LGBT New Media, Influencers and YouTube Content Creators
"In the digital realm, celebrities have fallen out of favor as brands are increasingly turning to social influencers on Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram."
"Businesses are making an average of $6.50 for each $1 spent on influencer marketing, according to a survey by Tomoson. And this year (2016), more than half (59 percent) of the 125 marketers in the survey are going to increase their influencer marketing budgets."
These quotes came from Tomoson.com, as seen here:
In some way, large or small, we're all a media entity of one if we're posting on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest and more. The question is, for a company or brand, how do you decide who to work with amongst the millions of Twitter posts, YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Snapchat posts and Facebook content created and uploaded daily? And once you decide WHO you want to work, WHAT is it that you can actually do?
LGBT New Media Today
To start, we find it important to bring this all into perspective, so that we're all on the same page in terms of how we evaluate media we as businesses wish to work with in the LGBT media world. The terminology is not written in stone yet... in general, we see the following breakdown in influencers today:
- Bloggers with a strong social media outreach in general.
- Photographers with a strong social media outreach on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
- Video Bloggers, with a strong social media outreach on YouTube, and perhaps Twitter, Facebook, Vine and Instagram, to name a few.
We find this distinction important, as most marketing campaigns are still a mix of website ads and editorial, mobile and app marketing, e-mail marketing and of course, social media marketing outreach. What sets the influencers truly apart is that they universally have a strong following via their social media channels of choice, and their audience typically has a much stronger personal connection with these individuals. These influencers have put themselves and their personalities out there for all to see, for better or for worse, and it's this distinction that allows us to work with more and more companies that understand the power of traditional online media and can see the segue and connection from social media marketing (which is becoming more and more traditional nowadays) to individuals with a strong social media following.
So first, before we go any further, the big question is "how do I get these influencers engaged and talking about my product or service?" If I'm a wine company, should I get a list of the top 100 LGBT influencers and send them all a bottle of wine with a nice, friendly note asking them to talk about me and write about my company?
Before we answer that, let's look at another set of definitions - Paid, Owned and Earned Media.
Paid, owned and earned media are the three forms of media exposure available to your business. Each has inherent pros and cons, and consumers do not trust them all equally.
- Paid media is any exposure that you have directly paid for. Billboards, advertisements in magazines, TV advertisements, sponsored social media posts, pay-per-click online advertising and so forth.
- Owned media is publicity that you have not directly paid for, but which you control, such as your social media accounts and your company’s own website.
- Earned media is media that you neither pay for nor have control over, such as the reviews that people write about your business, independent articles about your business in magazines or online, and comments on your own content. Consumers naturally trust earned media more than paid or owned media, and this is where social proof becomes truly valuable.
Over time, new influencers will come along and some of the original ones may fade away as their interests evolve and change over time. That's the beauty of it... as long as you as a business are maintaining a personal relevance in these online channels, you'll always be on top of it all when it comes to keeping your business relevant as well.
The LGBT travel world gets it! Bringing together an influencer group such as this is unprecedented in the LGBT media space, and will only continue to grow and evolve in the years to come. As online marketing continues to evolve in the coming years, the one adage will still ring true... we're now speaking "with" people and not "at" or "to" people when it comes to our outreach strategies in today's world!
To view this article as a PowerPoint presentation in PDF format, follow this link:
To read the blog on this LGBT Travel presentation, featuring Spain Tourism's LGBT Marketing Outreach 2016 Case Study, click here: