SYLO Featured in The National’s Article on Fake Followers

The National has just published an article diving into how influencer marketing space can tackle fake followers and grow as a whole. SYLO‘s Co-Founder and COO Erick Schwab was featured in the article, giving his insight on this topic. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Fake followers (essentially social media accounts masquerading as real but controlled by automated systems) can be unmasked by companies such as Sylo, by looking for patterns of activity that are automated in nature. As a result, they can begin to assess who are the fake influencers, too.

“You can use technology to look like an influencer,” says Schwab. “There have been studies where people launched Instagram accounts and built up enough numbers over three months for brands to want to work with them. But by monitoring things like reach of posts, how content is consumed and how it’s responded to, we are able to measure the things that really matter.”

The gold rush that characterised the early days of the influencer industry will slow down now, he says, as a consequence of all this scrutiny. “It’s going to become divided into professionals and amateurs,” he says. “Some people will have a genuine influence over an audience that a brand will pay for, and that advertising will be worthy of those dollars.”

Read the full piece by clicking here!

Want to learn how SYLO is providing third-party audience and data verification for the influencer marketing space? Contact us here!

 

Image source: Pixabay

SYLO Featured in The New York Times!

As a follow-up to The Follower Factory article that was published in February 2018, The New York Times just released another article to explore how agencies are using technology to fight influencer marketing bot and fraud issues. SYLO’s technology was included in this article, along with insights from SYLO’s Co-Founder and COO, Erick Schwab. Mediacom was one of the agencies featured in the article:

““In the absence of direct pressure on the platforms, it’s a way for advertisers to take more control of their own spend and not be at the mercy of the platforms themselves,” said Jeff Semones, head of social media at MediaCom, which has recommended SYLO to clients.”

Read the full article by clicking here!

Want to learn how SYLO is providing third-party verification and data transparency to the influencer marketing space? Contact us here!

 

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Five Tips for Your Social Content Strategy

SYLO conducted a study on 4,334 pieces of branded influencer content, and the themes which were present in each piece of content, to analyze the most recurring content themes as well as the highest performing content themes. These pieces of content were posted by a random selection of 35 influencers in SYLO’s platform whose content can contain any of, or up to, the 85 content themes SYLO assigns in our content categorization process.

Performance was determined using the SYLO Score (learn more here) by calculating the average of the scores for each content theme present the overall content sample.

Here are several findings from the study:

1. Top 5 performing content topics

The top five topics, or themes, present or discussed in the content analyzed are ranked here:

  1. Motivational
  2. Advice/Recommendations
  3. Cars
  4. Beauty
  5. Collaboration


2. Top 5 most frequently used content topics

The study found that none of the top five most used content themes ranked in the top five performing content themes. The most frequently used theme, Lifestyle, ranked #24 in the overall list of top performing content themes.

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Fashion
  3. Food
  4. Personal Stories
  5. Beauty


3. Love of food and art isn’t always reciprocated

Though food was the third highest occurring content theme in the sample set, it just missed the top 10 performing content themes, coming in at #11, followed by art at #12.


4. Don’t wake up early to catch the sunrise

When comparing time of day content themes, SYLO’s study found that content featuring sunsets outperform sunrises by 67%! However, posts during the daytime outperformed nighttime posts by 3x.


5. A human element resonates with audiences

Our content themes also include whether the post includes a human or not. The study found that photos including a human element averaged a 28% higher score than those that did not.


If you want to find out the verified data-supported content themes and benchmarks where you or your creator partners perform best, contact the SYLO team
by clicking here.

 

Image source: Pixabay

Giving Brands & CMOs Exactly What They Want: Verified Influencer Marketing Data

This is the fourth and final video in David Beebe‘s series featuring SYLO‘s CEO Brett Garfinkel, discussing how the biggest problem in influencer marketing, that is verification and transparency, can be solved. CMOs and brands are demanding standardized reporting and measurement, yet are getting unverified data, conflicting reports, and no understanding of ROI. You can view the full discussion below, and view the whole series by clicking here.

David and Brett presented a webinar on why CMOs and brands are demanding third party independent reporting, measurement, and verification of influencer marketing data. View the presentation by clicking here!

 

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Will This Algorithm Solve the Biggest Problem Facing Influencer Marketing?

Content Decoded‘s David Beebe has released the latest video in his series, as well as an accompanying article, on what’s needed to prevent the influencer marketing space from stalling in 2018. The first video featured SYLO‘s CEO, Brett Garfinkel, and can be viewed by clicking here. This latest video features tech entrepreneur, Michael Montero, to discuss the biggest threat to influencer marketing. Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts in the comments or by emailing contact@meetsylo.com!

View the whole series by clicking here!

Image source: Pixabay

Influencer Marketing’s Big News Day

Thursday, January 11th, was a big day in news for the influencer marketing space. From Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm changes to Google’s changes to promote brand safety and ad transparency, SYLO has rounded up the latest articles which tackle how these announcements will affect the influencer marketing space.

1. Google Preferred and Ad Transparency

Sparked by the outrage caused by Logan Paul’s “suicide forest” video, a January 11th article in Bloomberg Technology stated that, “Google told partners that it plans to use both human moderators — the company recently announced it will have 10,000 employees focused on the task — as well as artificial intelligence software to flag videos deemed inappropriate for ads.”

Google then followed this up with a blog post on January 16th in which they outlined their plans for “stricter criteria for monetization on YouTube,” the manual reviews of Google Preferred channels, as well as their plans for more “transparency and simpler controls over where ads appear.”

Here at SYLO, we wholeheartedly support this approach, particularly for the manual review of posts. This will greatly increase transparency, authenticity, and brand safety in the space, and it is a practice that SYLO has employed from the beginning.

2. Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm Changes

Also, on January 11th, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media platform’s algorithm will start prioritizing friend’s posts over brands and publishers in the News Feed. This is a good thing for the influencer marketing space, as addressed in great detail in this Digiday article.

Here at SYLO, we believe that Facebook will prioritize creators that have built a strong community, have a two-way interaction with fans, and create authentic content. Moreover, it speaks to how important creators are to the social media space in general. Social media platforms (including YouTube, as mentioned above) are making adjustments to better support a growing ecosystem of quality content creation. As featured on Inc. (also on January 11th), Facebook also recently launched two new tools, an app and a Facebook for Creators website, to further empower creators to create quality content on the platform.

The Facebook Newsfeed algorithm change is yet another reason for brands to allocate more budget into the influencer marketing spacebesides already being a workaround for ad blockers, they are also now a workaround for this new Facebook algorithm.

3. Influencer Talent Agencies Called Out

Finally, on January 11th, another Digiday article dove into how influencer talent agencies are amplifying their social numbers that they report for campaign and creator success. As stated in the article, “Brands often preach “quality” engagement but seek big numbers, which means influencer networks are often scrambling to make up big goals.”

This is the biggest threat to the influencer marketing space stalling in 2018. If those who are matching and executing the influencer marketing campaigns are allowed to continue to self-report, success metrics will continue to be inflated and risk brand safety and creator authenticity. This is why standardized measurement was adopted by every other form of legitimate advertising media, and it needs to be adopted by the influencer marketing space if we are to justify the investments and increase budgets into the space going forward.


We’d love to hear your thoughts on these recent pieces of news in the comments below or contact us at
contact@meetsylo.com!

 

Image source: Pixabay

Will Influencer Marketing Stall in 2018?

Introducing the first video in Content Decoded‘s David Beebe‘s latest series featuring SYLO‘s CEO and Co-Founder Brett Garfinkel, where they discuss what’s needed to prevent the influencer marketing space from stalling in 2018. Check out the video below and let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments below, or by emailing brett@meetsylo.com.

View the whole series by clicking here!

Top 3 Most Viewed Posts of 2017

SYLO launched the SYLO Blog in June 2017 with the announcement of our third-party measurement standard for influencer marketing, and since that month have seen a 149% growth in views of our blog posts. Below, we’ve pulled together recaps and links to the most read SYLO blog posts of 2017all of which can give tips for your 2018 influencer marketing strategies!

1. Influencer Marketing in Desperate Need of Verification and Transparency

Digital marketing is under major scrutiny these days. CEOs of major international corporations (P&G, Unilever, Bank of America) are threatening to pull their marketing dollars if companies and platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and, to an extent, Google) don’t solve their reporting and measurement problems. Marketers are tired of spending their budget dollars without the safety net that is independent third-party verification and measurement, which builds trust and establishes credibility. This carries over into influencer marketing, which has massive potential but is sorely lacking when it comes to verification and measurement. Read more by clicking here!


2. Can Anyone be a Social Influencer?

Technology is enabling anyone and everyone to declare herself or himself an “influencer.” On the one hand, any of us can be an influencer in the most literal sense: co-workers, friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, and pets can influence our decisions and views all day long, whether it be in-person or online. On the other hand, in the realm of influencer marketing, brand marketers should be focusing on “creators” rather than just “influencers” – and if they’re going to use these two words synonymously – then no, not everyone can be an “influencer”. Read more by clicking here!


3. Is Influencer Marketing Still Experimental?

Answer: If you’re activating your first few campaigns then yes, it’s experimental. However, the costs will balloon up quickly, making its ‘experimental’ status unsustainable in the long run. That’s why it’s important to plug influencer marketing into your core marketing mix as soon as possible. Treat it as you would any other media you purchase so it can be evaluated equally against contributes to your overall goals. Integrating influencer marketing into your core marketing strategy and benchmarking it against past practices allows you to see its effectiveness in relation to everything else you’re doing. It also gives you an opportunity to measure the impact that influencer marketing is having on your other marketing mediums – what it boosts and by how much. Read more by clicking here!

The SYLO Team wishes all of our readers the happiest of holidays and much success in influencer marketing and beyond in 2018!

 

Image source: Pixabay

Top 8 Insights for Influencer Marketing Heading into 2018

By Brett Garfinkel and Erick Schwab, Co-founders of SYLO

With 2017 coming to a close, the SYLO team pulled together all of the trends we’ve analyzed, and now present to you in the form of these top eight insights for your influencer marketing efforts heading into 2018.

1. No one likes to be interrupted

Disruptive ads aren’t something that people look forward to. Platforms have been getting brands excited by trying to make ads less “disruptive” i.e. six-second bumper ads. But what it comes down to is that people really don’t care about what brands have to say about themselves in their ads. That’s why the rise of ad blocking software (600 million devices now block ads) and more than 85% of people skip TV and pre-roll ads.

Brands need to add to the story instead of interrupting it—and influencer marketing is an excellent solution. The key to developing great influencer campaigns is finding what already works for the creator and blending seamlessly into that narrative. 6-second ads and intrusive, sale-sy content just don’t qualify—they are as far from storytelling as you can possibly be.

Related: Stop Interrupting And Start Being A Part Of The Story


2. Influencer Marketing needs to be part of your core marketing mix

Influencer marketing campaigns are generally found on social media, but brands often neglect to connect it to their overarching marketing goal to see how it’s performing in relation to their other media investments. Instead of just using social media influencer campaigns to get exposure and engagement, think of ways to extend them to reap more benefits. For example, you could get creators to work behind the scenes to foster new relationships for your brand. Or, you could connect your influencer campaigns with TV ads and radio and billboard campaigns to increase impact and put out a coherent, uniform message across a variety of different channels.

Another point of consideration is SEO. While it is considered ‘below the line’ marketing, it can still benefit from the ‘above the line’ activities. Partnering up with ‘micro’ influencers (bloggers, reviewers) can expose your content to different audiences, plus your link diversity gets a significant boost, which will eventually affect your SERP rankings.

Related: Influencer Marketing In The Core Marketing Mix


3. No more one-off campaigns or fake influencers

Technology is enabling anyone and everyone to declare herself or himself an “influencer.” In the realm of influencer marketing, brand marketers should be focusing on “creators” rather than just “influencers”. Not only do the “influencers” need to be authentic creators, but brands looking to partner with them should focus on authentic relationships with these creators. Authenticity, both of a creator and a brand integration, is important to a successful partnership, and brands should strive to build lasting relationships with creators rather than one-off campaigns that hurt the authenticity of both the brand and the creator.

We wrote a whole blog post on tips for developing long-term creator relationships, which you can view by clicking here.

Consistently engaging in one-off campaigns without exploring longer-term partnerships can put both brands and creators in jeopardy. Influencer marketing campaigns will feel like advertisements, the possibility of sending a wrong message increases, and there is no access to any substantial data monitoring campaign performance over time.

Related: Can Anyone be a Social Influencer? | Is Influencer Marketing Still Experimental?


4. Utilize content and platform benchmarks

Harnessing content benchmarks to understand which topics resonate with audiences on various social media platforms will ensure that you’re reaching any and all engaged audiences for your creators. It’s rare that a creator only has “influence” on one topic or theme. Though the creator may be regarded as a “beauty influencer,” the creator may also see high performance in other areas such as parenting and pets – which could open up new opportunities to pitch relevant brands with the data showing this “influence.” This can also vary by social media platform. It’s important for both the brand and creator to understand the combination of topics and social media platforms that drive the highest performance and authenticity.

One thing that often holds back influencer marketing strategies is that they only focus on the category or theme that the creator is known for i.e. Beauty. In a beauty creator case study that SYLO compiled, we saw that beauty wasn’t the only theme she utilizes (or that resonates with her audience). For example, across Twitter and YouTube, this beauty creator’s content performed well when it featured product reviews or advice/recommendations, but not so much on Instagram.

Related: Storytelling Insights You Need to Know


5. Cross-promote your social influencer marketing content!

Last summer, SYLO conducted a study analyzing nearly 500 pieces of influencer marketing content produced by creators to see if cross-promoting their YouTube videos led to better performance (measured by the SYLO Score,) We found that YouTube videos that were cross-promoted scored 47% higher than those that weren’t cross-promoted, and creators who had cross-promotions accounting for more than 10% of their branded content saw a 58% higher score on average for that content.

The content study also showed that cross-promotion needs to be a consistent strategy, and one that is tailored to each platform. For example, one creator in the study used the same caption across all of the social media platforms where she cross-promoted her YouTube video. These posts may have performed much better if she had tailored her caption to a content/caption style that typically resonates with her audience on that platform.

Related: Three Tips for Social Influencer Cross-Promotions


6. Show actual performance with clean data and third-party measurement

Digital marketing is under major scrutiny these days. CEOs of major international corporations (P&G, Unilever, Bank of America) are threatening to pull their marketing dollars if companies and platforms (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and, to an extent, Google) don’t solve their reporting and measurement problems. In effect, marketers are tired of spending their budget dollars without the safety net that is independent third-party verification and measurement, which builds trust and establishes credibility.

This carries over into influencer marketing, which has massive potential but is sorely lacking when it comes to verification and measurement. If the influencer marketing industry doesn’t start providing marketers with quality data and intelligence, CMOs will pull the plug on influencer marketing media to focus resources and budget on what is actually proving ROI.

Marketers should be also informed when preparing the content and creator strategies for their influencer campaigns. As stated in a recent MarTech Today article, “If you want to be a better marketer, you need to start with clean data.” By utilizing third-party, independent data sources that provide creator, platform, and campaign performance, and content benchmarks, you can truly have a data-driven influencer marketing strategy.

Related: Standardized Measurement Will Help Creators Win Long-Term Brand Partnerships


7. The “bubble” will burst…unless this happens

Several articles have described influencer marketing as a bubble that’s going to burst. Yes, it will burst—as long as brand marketers and CMOs are unsure of the value or metrics being reported.

Third-party measurement in the influencer marketing space can validate the results and truly justify the spend. But, what we need to prevent the influencer marketing bubble from bursting is: Participation! MCNs, vendors, talent managers, creators, agencies, PR firms, and brands all need to get behind a solution, that is third-party standardized measurement. You need a village to make this a reality, with all of the key players in the influencer marketing universe coming together for the betterment of the space.

Related: How the Influencer Marketing Bubble Won’t Burst


8. It’s time to take influencer marketing to the next level

It’s been years since influencer marketing started making a difference on the digital scene (at least in the format we’re familiar with now – first YouTube, and now Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms). We have a growing number of creators (and brands willing to work with them), agencies connecting them to each other, and startups offering all kinds of services to both sides. It’s definitely high time to solve the pressing issue of standardized measurement in influencer marketing so that the industry can continue to develop. SYLO’s innovative approach to this problem enables the influencer marketing community to move the industry forward – learn more at meetsylo.com.

Related: Influencer Marketing in Desperate Need of Verification and Transparency

 

Image source: Pixabay

How the Influencer Marketing “Bubble” Won’t Burst

By Brett Garfinkel, CEO and Co-Founder at SYLO

When winning and executing any type of campaign, a key thought process for media sales teams is that they need to maintain this business to help deliver on or above their set quota. To achieve this, they need to show campaign success so that the brand marketer looks good. When the brand marketer looks good, this increases the media vendor’s chance of gaining repeat business and overachieving on quota.

For media types, such as TV, digital advertising, or website advertising, there are third-party independent measurement solutions to verify and validate this success. The way we know which are the best performing TV shows during Tuesday primetime is because there is standardized reporting – the Nielsen rating.

In the influencer marketing space, there was such no third-party out there where they could see the success. Up until now, reporting is often just creating the story to keep brand marketers satisfied and keep the business coming.

My team has been told this over and over again in meetings with brand marketers. They’re left with the apparent reality that every campaign is a success. We ask, “When was the last time you received a report that showed that your influencer marketing campaign performed poorly?” Answer: *crickets*, and then *chuckles* as they realize the reality of the situation.

It is for that reason that independent, third-party standardized measurement is necessary for the influencer marketing space.

The Current State of the “Bubble”

Several articles have described influencer marketing as a bubble that’s going to burst. Yes, it will burstas long as brand marketers and CMOs are unsure of the value or metrics being reported.

Then, there are a number of vendors who present themselves as all-in-one solutions with matching, execution, and reporting components for influencer marketing campaigns. Can you see how this might introduce conflicting factors when it comes to real, accurate measurement? They have a horse in the race, but are still providing reports.

Perhaps your influencer marketing tech stack includes an influencer identification/matching tool and/or a platform that manages and executes the campaigns. Regardless, you will need a third-party measurement platform to validate the results and truly justify the spend.

The Most Valuable Word in the Influencer Marketing Space

What we need to prevent the influencer marketing bubble from bursting is: Participation! That should be the most valuable word in the influencer marketing space. MCNs, vendors, talent managers, creators, agencies, PR firms, and brands all need to get behind a solution, that is third-party standardized measurement. You need a village to make this a reality, with all of the key players in the influencer marketing universe coming together for the betterment of the space.

There are countless articles quoting top marketers from the likes of P&G, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., and Unilever, demanding for transparency and accountability in the advertising space. This needs to be demanded for every type of advertising. So, if you believe this, then participateno one entity can make this a reality. For brands and their agencies, standardized measurement will legitimize their reporting and provide confidence in what is succeeding and what is not so that they can tailor and improve their strategies; when you receive conflicting numbers and reports from various sources, there is no moving forward and the “bubble” will burst. And for the talent side, it will bring more budget into the space as there will be actual measured performance, as well as an increased confidence in the brand partnerships, content strategies, and creators themselves.

What is It Worth?

As you increase your influencer marketing spend, and see yourself working with more creators across more platforms, shouldn’t you expect a better understanding of your results via third-party standardized measurement? If the answer is yes, then how much is it worth to you? Not in terms of just budget, but in efficiency and the ability to positively affect your business goals. What is it worth to you to be able to have third-party standardized measurement and content benchmarks that will save you so much time, effort, and money on underperforming campaigns and influencers?

I’d love to hear your answers to the above questions, as well as hear your thoughts and position on what was discussed in this blog post. Please contact me at brett@meetsylo.com to continue this conversation, and you can also visit www.meetsylo.com to learn more about standardized measurement for the influencer marketing space.

 

Image source: Pixabay