The Future of The Micro vs. Mega Influencer – Why User Generated Content is Poised to Win for Businesses

Guest Post from Matt Gibbs, Co-founder and CMO of UPshow

Millennials and GenZ might be the curated selfie generation, but a shift is happening, and businesses are taking notice. The cultural pendulum is swaying away from brand-sponsored mega-influencer-celebrity-endorsed posts to organic content that’s generated by people you know, or even those you feel like you know. Capturing more natural moments and promoting them within a more intimate circle of followers versus big ‘on the main stage’ posts is what’s now in-vogue. An industry 2018 Trust Barometer Report revealed that 60 percent of people no longer trusted social media and reported that immediate friends and family are better for recommendations than influencers.

That said, Kylie Jenner-esque paid posts aren’t going away, but they have become tarnished, and millennials and their younger counterparts are gravitating towards more natural interactions from those within their inner circle or for relatable micro-influencers. As a result, more brands are gravitating toward user-generated content to increase engagement and build trust and community.

According to a study, 56 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product that they’ve seen in real-life images posted by another consumer – a shift away from the rainbow-colored preplanned photos that dominated platforms like Instagram in late 2017.

UPshow, the company I co-founded, is a social TV platform that companies such as Crunch Fitness, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen and ATI Physical Therapy are using to transform their customers into immediate influencers.  The platform entices customers to post on social media by projecting them on big screens in-venue. As a result, friends and family, also see and are often influenced by the posts. The content and choice to participate is totally in the hands of the consumer.

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Other companies also provide services that cater to this trend, such as Guest Crew and Woobox.  Their platforms harness user-generated content and boost it organically. Guest Crew leverages a community of organically generated influencers and Woobox turns user-generated content into contests.  Filtergrade uses professional photo grade filters (such as Adobe Lightroom presets) to help brands generate more professional quality shareable images that are unique and micro-influencers can use them too to make their posts mimic celebrity influencer quality.

It’s a new era for user-generated content and if brands want to appeal to younger audiences, such as millennials and GenZ, they need to embrace the social media trends that will improve their engagement rates by putting the power in the hands of the consumer in a genuine way.  

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Matt Gibbs is co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of UPshow, a consumer engagement platform that transforms a business’s existing TVs into its top marketing assets.  Gibbs is responsible for branding, lead generation and advertising for the

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company. Gibbs is a genuine entrepreneur and trailblazer in digital media with deep roots in the Chicago start-up community. Along with college friend and UPshow CEOAdam Hirsen, Gibbs co-founded SparkReel in 2011. SparkReel created a more efficient way for friends and family to share mobile videos online and evolved into a social media agency that created user-generated content campaigns for Verizon, Oreo, Condé Nast, Apartments.com, among others. UPshow was born out of SparkReel when customers wanted social media engagement screens at events. Gibbs graduated from Miami University of Ohio and resides in Chicago, IL with his wife, two children and corgi.

#MotivationMonday Inspiration

Let’s be honest, Monday’s can be TOUGH. I’ve found the best way to combat the day is to have a positive attitude going into every single Monday.

Every day you wake up is a day to make a change. No matter what obstacles lie in front of you, there are always ways to avoid them and come out shining even brighter on the other side.

Monday don’t always have to be dull and dreary. All you have to do is focus and believe that something great is going to happen. Then just allow that greatness to shine upon you throughout the entire week.

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My #MotivationMonday advice is below..

Wake up and help one person a day.

Be kind and it’ll come back to you.

Positive energy is a powerful thing.

If you release positive energy into the world, then the world is going to return that energy right back to you as a thank you.

How do you get through your Mondays? Leave a comment below…

Honored to Be Named as One of the Top 19 B2B Marketers To Follow In 2019

I’m thrilled to announce that last month the team from B2B Marketing Exchange included me within their list of 19 B2B Marketers To Follow In 2019.

These influential marketing professionals specialize in areas such as ABMinfluencer marketingdigital marketing and more. I’m honored to be included alongside 18 such influential and powerful icons within this list. 

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On a personal note, this has been quite a transformative year for me.  I left my full time role last fall to dip my toes into the world of entrepreneurship and setup my own marketing consultancy, Marissa Pick Consulting.    It’s been several months since I made the change and I’m enjoying getting my hands dirty developing marketing strategies, content marketing campaigns as well as expanding my work across new fields and alongside some fabulous clients which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

Who knows what lies ahead but i’ve learned to enjoy every day and moment including sharing honors like this! Thank you again for the team at B2B Marketing Exchange for including me within your list of 19 B2B Marketers To Follow In 2019.

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! Whether you’re shopping at a women owned-business, sending flowers to some of your female role models or simply taking a moment to recognize the women within your life or around the world there are plenty of meaningful ways to embrace today.

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Today’s a special way to share the voices and photos of women that we are able to know, admire and support.  Last year was rough for for me but into 2019 I’ve really focused on finding a balance between family, work and life.  It’s not an easy task as a working mother but one which is necessary for me to make time for myself and be happy as a woman, a mother, a wife, a co-worker a daughter and so many of the roles I play in life.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

Not only celebrating for just one day will do, we must try out to make every woman in our life feel special.  It’s very important to understand that it is women who complete the society.  I hope you take a moment to reach out to a friend, a mother, a colleague and wish them a very happy International Women’s Day!

 

10 SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE THINGS TO TRY WITHIN SOCIAL MEDIA THIS YEAR FOR ONGOING SUCCESS

I’m thrilled to share a post from one of my oldest colleaguesDhariana Lozano. I’ve worked with Dhariana for over ten years and she has grown to be one of the most influential social media and digital marketers within the industry.  She has setup her own agency Supremacy Marketing and often published posts on her blog as well as many industry channels.

Each week Dhariana runs a segment known as #CoffeeWithDhari on her Instagram live stream.  Within the livestream she promised her viewers a list of simple and effective things to try on social media within 2019.  You can read the below repurposed post below or by visiting her blog as well.

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10 Simple & Effective New Things to Try on Social Media in 2019 for Success 

  1. Ephemeral content

I think disappearing content or content that is only temporarily available will be big in 2019. It will give followers an extra reason to follow your brand on the particular social media network you’re publishing this kind of content on so they don’t miss out. We’ll discuss a few of these content forms in this post.

  1. Live videos

Live videos will not slow down in social media in 2019 and tie into ephemeral content forms we just talked about. Live videos really let your followers see more of who your brand is behind the scenes. Their unscripted nature add a different element that can contrast a curated feed. They are a great way to “humanize” you brand and drive live engagement with your audience. Live videos can also be repurposed for content later on.

  1. Videos/Vertical video

Speaking of videos, I think vertical videos will become more popular on social media in 2019. We naturally hold our phones vertically and with the popularity of Instagram Stories and the introduction of IGTV I think there might be more of a shift to create vertical content.

  1. Instagram stories

Keep going with those Instagram Stories! I don’t know about you but I’m spending a good amount of time scrolling through stories as opposed to going to the accounts of the people or brands that I follow. While we’re chatting about Instagram stories I think you should make use of the countdown sticker. I just had to bring this one up because I love! It’s a great way to remind people of what’s happening. I’ve been using them to remind my followers of my weekly #CoffeeWithDhari live story segment.

A little bonus here: I think giving Facebook Stories a shot may be worth it. You can repurpose your Instagram Stories.

  1. Influencer marketing (mainly micro influencers)

The influencer marketing world is shifting. I think in 2019 more focus will be placed on micro-influencers. Micro influencers are people with smaller followings (think 10k). These influencers may have a more engaged audience than some of the bigger guys.

  1. Showing more personality

Getting more personal will be a differentiating factor for brands on social media in 2019. In the crowded space of social media marketing, being laser focused will yield more results than trying to appeal to the masses. I predict brands will continue to get personal and get behind specific social and even political causes. Not to0 long ago brands wouldn’t touch issues like this – so it’s refreshing to see the turn around. Just like in life, your personality will attract the people you’re friends with. Showing more personality is also helpful in creating more engaging content on social media.

  1. The death of vanity metrics

I predict (and hope) that 2019 will bring the end of the concentration of vanity metrics on social media marketing. I mentioned this a little in my latest #CoffeeWithDhari session. In the new year I think there will be a stronger emphasis on engagement as opposed to paying attention to follower numbers. Likes may even be weighed more lightly. This is because with the decline in reach, making the most out of the audience you have, and reaching more of the audience you already have will have a bigger impact than just simply gathering likes.

  1. Chatbots, 1-1 messaging

Have you interacted with a chat bot yet? The potential for brands using chatbots is immense. I ordered some items online and was able to get tracking info and updates right on Facebook Messenger. This should be a great aid to customer service. Definitely something to think about going into the new year.

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been an all time favorite of mine. I think people and brands alike are starting to see the importance and potential of LinkedIn. The originators of the Groups feature – LinkedIn has been a place to gain super targeted and high value leads. LinkedIn has been revamping itself in the past few years and I think more people will be exploring the possibilities on this network in 2019.

  1. Social media ads

Last but not least, and somewhat unfortunately, I think social media ads will be big in 2019. With all the saturation going on, the only way to break through may be to pay to play.

Social media marketing is an ever changing landscape. Just like you change over time, social media changes from day to day. 2018 has been filled with so many new features and innovations and I can’t  wait to see where we will go in 2019. No matter what changes, just know that one thing will not – and that is the power of a strong social media strategy. I am looking forward to relaunching Building Your Brand On Social Media in early 2019! For now you can keep track of your own social strategy with my handy social media strategy checklist.

To view the full article please visit Dhariana’s Blog and subscribe today to receive her notifications. Leave a comment and let me know if you have any recommendations of what you’re looking to try within 2019. 

2019 New Years Greetings

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”- Sarah Ban Breathnach

a444d1d64d116d61194deea7f6a02c54.pngRinging in the New Year is a cause for celebration.  This holiday break allowed me to spend time with family, friends and time to reflect on the past year.  Any time of new beginnings also goes hand in hand with time of reflection.

Whatever your personal resolutions include they will take work and it can make the difference to put these hopes into words as I believe seeing is believing. I find all of the New Years messages, cards, well wishes and quotes as a reflective moment to remind us to uphold our new years desires and share joy with others into the new year.

Wishing you a very happy 2019!

Support Ricky’s Riders During #CycleForSurvival

#CycleForSurvival is important to me. This year I’m participating in my seventh year of Cycle for Survival on February 2, 2019.

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I’m raising money for rare cancer research. Why? For my father, Richard.

My father, Richard, was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago. He’s been kicking cancers ass. Now, he’s recovering from a stem cell transplant, in remission and doing well. He’s been fortunate to benefit from cancer treatment and advances, but not everyone is as lucky. I ride for my dad, but also for those who aren’t as fortunate as him.

Click the following link to visit my fundraising page and make a donation that will truly make a difference: https://bit.ly/2PqJruF

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Below are three reasons why I hope you will support Team Ricky’s Riders: 

1. Rare cancer research is underfunded, leaving people fighting these cancers with few options — sometimes none. Because of the generosity of people like you, Cycle for Survival is changing that.

2. 100% of your gift (yes, every dollar!) will fund research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to advance new and better treatments. All funds will be allocated within six months of the events. Cycle for Survival will share what was funded and continue to keep us updated on progress.

3. Discoveries will benefit cancer patients everywhere. Memorial Sloan Kettering treats over 400 subtypes of cancer each year and collaborates with institutions around the world.

JOIN THE BATTLE and support #CycleforSurvival

Thank you in advance for your contribution!

XOXO

Marissa