2017 was the year of #MeToo, Bitcoin Mania, Fidget Spinners, California fires, Hurricanes, the Great Eclipse, the Las Vegas Shooting, an Oscar Mix-up and a nail-biting World Series where the beard may have actually jumped the shark. Many of these events we first learned about through social media and its influencers.
But cutting through all that noise were the relationships we hold dear. We want to take this time to personally thank all of you for your trust and for staying connected with us. Whether you’re a client, an influencer, a vendor or a LinkedIn colleague, we truly value your support, and we hope to continue our relationship in 2018 and beyond.
We wish you the happiest of holidays and a prosperous new year. Please reach out to us if there’s any way we can help you. In the meantime, feel free to check out our highlight reel from 2017 (link below), and read about my thoughts on the influencer and social media space over the past year.
Evan Aaronson and the Boomopolis Team
.We invite you to check out the video compilation of our best promotions of 2017. There are four main things that stood out for us this past year. 1.) In addition to the traditional brands, TV and Movie projects, record labels, and apps, we also got to work with a few products geared toward children and their parents. This meant working with a lot more kid influencers – a category which we feel has exploded over the past year. In fact, we even have a list of our top 20 kid influencers from 2017 – check it out HERE.
2.) We didn’t solely rely on influencers to create content. We came up with ideas ourselves and hired outside directors – as in the case with the app, Tasty Treats, where two videos we produced received over 350K views and 70K likes 3.) Utilizing a gaming influencer, we participated in an in-store promotion at an Office Depot in Florida promoting the HP Omen. Hundreds of the influencer’s fans showed up there where they competed against him in the game, Overwatch. 4.) We were excited to be a key partner in the Megastar Talent competition where the winner just recently won a million dollars. (I got to meet Usher who was also involved in judging the competition – pretty cool stuff.)
1. #MeToo Campaign – Need we say more? The way in which women are treated in the workplace will never be the same – all thanks to one New York Times article and social media. So it looks like game over for Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. Louis CK, on the other hand, give him about a year – he may be back. Comedy audiences can be pretty forgiving.
2. That United Airlines Guy Being Dragged Off a Plane – Yep, you probably forgot about that one as it happened way back in April, but it wouldn’t have gotten quite as much attention of course if not for a few other passengers recording it and posting it on social media. A doctor basically refused to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight and was forcibly dragged off the plane (bloodied and bruised ). This had travelers up in arms over airline policies.
3. KFC’s Genius Social Media Move – At the end of this newsletter, we talk about the importance of thinking outside of the box and using clever social media strategies to keep ahead of the competition. This KFC idea (a strategy which actually went viral when some savvy user discovered it) is a perfect example.
Given that they are known for having 11 herbs and spices in their recipe, the Colonel follows exactly 11 users on Twitter – 6 random guys named Herb and the 5 Spice Girls. Beyond finger-lickin’ good, this idea is finger-lickin’ amazing. The Colonel would be very proud.
4. The Facebook Watch Tab – With this new tab, solely geared toward video content, Facebook entered into more direct competition with the major TV networks. Many of the weekly series are actually created by influencers. They earn 55 percent of ad revenue while Facebook keeps 45 percent. In November, they renewed only a handful of the original shows its funding.
5. YouTube’s Adpocalypse – Many YouTubers saw their revenues decrease substantially because YouTube had stopped running ads against their content. It was supposed to only hit YouTubers who deal with controversial subject matter, video games, gun reviewers, and historians, but it hit many others as well. YouTubers complained because the rollout wasn’t explained to them ahead of time. This all meant that they were more reliant on the kind of influencer deals that companies like Boomopolis provide. Some of them also went to Patreon, a website that allows musicians, YouTubers and other creative types to offer a subscription service for fans.
6. The Rise of SVOD and Original Content Production – Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Facebook, HBO, YouTube, and Hulu have all spent a combined total of over 20 billion on original content in 2017. YouTube Red is surprisingly gaining steam as it recently broke the Top 10 of these services (and they’re aiming to age up with new series like the sequel to the 1980s Karate Kid.) But how many monthly subscriptions will a consumer be willing to make? On a more positive note, with all this new work for filmmakers, actors, and writers, could we see a major paradigm shift where parents actually ENCOURAGE their creative-minded kids to go into the arts – instead of pushing them to be doctors and lawyers? Hmmm.
7. Snapchat IPO – Here’s a direct quote from me about 2 months before Snapchat went IPO in March, 2017 – one I made before Instagram stories was even released. “At best – a bump off hype for 2 weeks and then down from IPO price – eventually resting below 20.” Well, hate to say, ‘told ya so’, but reality will eventually beat hype every time. This is not to diss the people over at Snapchat, who I’m sure are working on amazing things, but the core of Snap was always simply a feature that companies like Facebook could simply rip off. Maybe their new interface will give them a nice boost. Onwards and upwards for the Snapchat crew.
8. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality – While these two guys have been around for a while now, they are slowly getting into the hands of your average Joe’s. 2017 for VR is equivalent to 1998 for cell phones or 2007 for Facebook, and you better believe you’ll be seeing plenty of content about it via social media influencers.
9. LinkedIn Adds Video – LinkedIn was never a huge player in the influencer marketing space, but that could soon change with their introduction of video earlier this year. Some are choosing to do off the cuff videos about their business, while some job seekers are posting a video resume – one of them even went viral and this lucky girl got tons of job offers from it.
10. Musically App Sold to ByteDance for over 800 million – If you’re not under 18, the parent of someone who is, or a brand trying to market to this demographic, then you may not have heard of this hugely popular app, but it is indeed a big deal, and many of its influencers are slowly becoming millionaires – not only off the app, but off of its sister app, Live.ly. In any case, Chinese company, Bytedance obviously saw this potential, and paid em almost a billion for it – not too shabby.
11. Twitter Doubles Down on Character Count – Moving from 140 to 280 – They also made a few other smart moves which caused their stock to be up over 50% for 2017 – this is quite a comeback story.
12. Children Interrupting BBC News Interview – When the kids of a news correspondent walked in on him during a BBC interview – it quickly went viral due to one key ingredient – RELATABILITY.
What parent can’t relate to that? This thing still makes me laugh out loud. And while this was not planned or intentional, we see the minds of savvy marketers spinning as they plan something like this for their next campaign– perhaps a new trend in marketing called “the fake mistake”. Remember Balloon Boy back in 2009? His dad tried it to help promote his hot air balloon business. It didn’t quite work out for him though.
* IG adds the slideshow carousel – allowing for more than one image or video in one post.
* The polling feature continues to gain steam on both Instagram and Facebook.
* Facebook continues to tease influencers with monetization. In its latest attempt to woo video creators away from YouTube, Facebook released the Facebook Creator app, and it includes a bunch of tools for streaming video. Facebook has wanted to poach them for years now. Still, the money for them on YouTube is way better.
* CNN Makes 25 Million Dollar Deal with YouTuber Casey Niestat
* Top Viner then YouTuber, Jake Paul, gets fired from Disney Channel show for misbehavior and disturbing the peace
* Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again Is Now the Most-Viewed YouTube Video with over 3.2 billion views. (Trivia – My brother, Craig, signed Wiz to Warner Brothers back in 2007.)
* The Backpack Kid and that Catch Me Outside girl become flavors of the year. The Backpack Kid started to get noticed on SNL when he danced alongside Katy Perry. The reaction online was a mix of laughter and awe. Who was this kid? Where did he come from? He now has over a million followers on IG. As for the Cash Me Outside girl, this 14-year-old viral sensation got her start as a guest on the Dr. Phil Show by simply uttering a ridiculous phrase, “Catch me outside. How about that?” Danielle Bregoli now has over 12 million followers on Instagram.
*Invisible Box Challenge – The latest new craze to take over social media involves placing an imaginary box on the ground and pretending to step over it.
*Possible Vine Comeback – Vine officially became dead in January of 2017, but the word on the street is that the co-founder has a new trick up his sleeve called Vine 2. We shall see.
While influencer marketing provides a lot of opportunity and potential for brands and agencies, I also feel that there is a lot of misinformation and hype around this space – hype that is often not justified.
Many brands and agencies jumped on this bandwagon because they felt it was the next big thing.
They almost felt they had to because all their competitors were doing it. This has resulted in many companies simply overpaying for influencers because they didn’t fully understand their value. Thus the question ultimately gets asked – does influencer marketing actually work – in the real world (not just in business articles trying to get clicks)?
The answer is… yes and no – it really depends on a number of factors including the product itself, the influencers used, the creation of the content (the most important aspect), and the execution of the campaign. One thing is for certain though – it is definitely not the end all and be all answer to everything.
Like anything else, in order to receive the best ROI, the campaigns need to be well thought out and done properly. In the early years (2014 and prior), most influencer marketing did in fact work because it was still new, and it took customers by surprise. This is exactly the same reason why cold calling, direct mail and email marketing were also super effective in their early years – that is until the consumers figured them all out. Those methods then had to re-invent themselves and evolve over the years. This is exactly what influencer marketing has to continue to do. We all have to do our research and really add value to our clients.
Here, at Boomopolis, we are constantly evolving, and changing up our strategies in order to get the best results. It’s no longer a simple task of booking an influencer and having them post about the product. There’s geographical targeting, boosting, choosing the best platform for a product, creating branded stories, piggybacking on current trends, utilizing in-person promotions and a whole array of other tools which will vary based on the client’s needs. Above all that though is creating the best content possible because that over-rides any mistakes made in the other categories. In addition, we now provide minimum guarantees not only for following levels but also for total impressions and engagements.
In 2018 and beyond, we also feel that influencer marketing will be used more in combination with paid social and traditional content marketing. With the validity of influencers’ followings and engagement coming more into question, we think that many influencers will be utilized less for their followings and influence and more for their skills at creating content. Once the compelling content is created, the exposure will happen more by paying the social platforms directly. This is the direction our company is heading – more as an outsourced content studio – a) utilizing influencers with filmmaking skill to create content that sticks, b) spreading that content in a strategic way and c) delivering the results to our clients. Boomopolis will also be a lot more involved in the ideation and creation of this content – as this is one of our biggest strengths.
On that note, one post that stood out for us over this past year comes from a Wendy’s executive, and it actually went viral on LinkedIn. Here it is… somewhat abbreviated, and I think it encapsulates a lot of how I feel.
“My eight-year-old daughter looks down at her iPad when commercials interrupt her TV show, and couldn’t care less if the content is streamed or over-the-air. She is who we are marketing to– a consumer base that is increasingly agnostic about media channels. Why are so many marketers fiercely protective of digital vs. traditional? Playing safe with budget allocations, focusing on “what we did last year” instead of real consumer behavior and business results? Or on the other side, shifting spend away from offline media that are working just to say you’re increasing “new media” allocation? We should only invest in what works to move the business, whether that be Snapchat or NBC, or more likely a combination thereof. My eight-year-old doesn’t care about your historical traditional vs. digital media spend and the politics of changing it. And she’s looking down at her iPad when you do.”
That’s about it for now. Stay tuned for Boomopolis 2.0 in 2018 as we continue our passion for helping businesses BOOM.
We Want to Hear From You!
What was your favorite viral video of 2017?
Which social media influencer hit it out of the park this year?
What was your favorite brand integration of 2017?
Give us a holla at grow@boomopolis.
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