When Jessica Shyba posted a photograph of her infant son napping with his puppy, she became an instant online success, her photo and the blog she posted it on going “viral.” She had become an online “influencer,” and brands sat up to take notice.
Within days Shyba was so overwhelmed that she needed to hire an agent to help her figure out what to do next. Having almost 500,000 followers on Instagram, she was already popular with users but now also with big brands that are sidling up to social media mavens like Shyba more and more to better engage with other users (See more about social media influencers here).
Rob Fishman explains the question that many brands are asking about these influencers: “So if you have a have a budget that you want to allocate to Instagram but you’re like, ‘Well how do I go about finding the 30 people who are the perfect brand ambassadors for me?’”
Fishman, the co-founder of Niche, a company that helps place ad packages on social networks, continues “Once I find them, how do I reach out, how much should I be paying them and how do know what the return on my investment is?’”
Other companies, like Reelio, focus on the biggest social network, YouTube. “YouTube’s the big dog,” say Ben Williams, one of Reelio’s founders, and thus a great starting point for most brands. “The top hundred channels on are really easy to find,” say Williams.
Placing ads on these hundred channels is very competitive however and, as you might expect, quite expensive as well, with rates per sponsored video between $30,000 and $50,000. More modest influencers are a bit harder to find but still sought after and compensated based on the amount of viewers they have.
Why all of this fuss to court bloggers, photographers and others who have large followings on social media websites? Because if the content placed on those websites appeals to all of those followers, the ROI can be significant.
Amazing what a picture of a sleeping baby and a puppy can do these days, isn’t it?