SeatGeek x David Dobrik: The mother of all digital social media marketing partnerships

Hey everyone, thanks for joining me on my blog again! First of all, how are we already in Week 12 of semester?! It’s seriously gone by so quickly. As you may have noticed, my posts, whilst being diverse in content, have centred around my interests of social media marketing on the rising platform of the digital sphere. So what better way to end the series of posts than by having a chat about, what I think is, one of the most successful social media sponsorships going around in the digital world right now.

[Source: youtube.com]

SeatGeek, the Web’s largest sporting and entertainment event ticket search engine, has over the past 12 months, successfully been able to reach a new customer base of teenagers and young adults, through partnering with 22-year-old YouTube sensation, David Dobrik. With a whopping 12 million subscribers under his belt on his YouTube channel, David’s sponsorships with SeatGeek has focused attention on the customer perception of their brand, by building their brand image as one of generosity, fun, and loyalty. The diversification of sponsorships across all of David’s social platforms has also helped to increase SeatGeek’s brand awareness.

Probably one of the most infamous sponsorships SeatGeek have done with David Dobrik, is financially aiding David to buy new (and expensive) cars for his closest friends and family. In exchange for approximately 20 seconds of promotion in his 4 minute videos, they have become notorious for bringing tears of joy and excitement to David and his loved ones with the purchase of new cars including brands like Tesla, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Watch the video down below to see the seamless integration of sponsorship and entertainment in one of David’s videos!

With 72% of SeatGeek’s social traffic coming from YouTube, it’s no wonder they continue to frequently sponsor David’s channel! However, this partnership isn’t just limited to Dobrik’s YouTube channel, but also his other social platforms, including his podcast VIEWS with David Dobrik & Jason Nash and his Instagram.

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Electric love

A post shared by DAVID DOBRIK (@daviddobrik) on

By sponsoring such a large influencer like Dobrik across multiple digital platforms, SeatGeek are able to reach a wide variety of consumers, and thus can aid the audience in perceiving their brand as one generosity as well as fun (linking back to their brand offering of selling tickets for entertainment events). Whether that be buying David’s friends brand new cars or paying off their college tuition, consumers now recognise SeatGeek as a loyal brand in their partnership with Dobrik and influence a highly positive view of who the company is.

Above is a short 3 minute video showcasing a recent merchandise pop-up store SeatGeek sponsored for David. The partnership has become so iconic that one fan stated that, “it’s not David Dobrik without SeatGeek, and it’s not SeatGeek without David Dobrik,” which David later goes on to emphasise fans may feel this way because, “SeatGeek has become like a character in my videos”.

Due to the uniqueness and creativity of this partnership, it’ll be interesting to see if any other brands are able to have similar loyal partnerships with an influencer like this one! Do you guys think this is the start of a new trend in the way brands partner with social media influencers? Let me know in the comments down below!

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The Issue of Transparency in Influencer Marketing: #AD

I’m sure you all have seen it – the hashtags #ad or #sponsored plastered all over social media platforms. When influencer marketing on social media first started gaining popularity back in 2010, there were no concrete rules or regulations on this form of advertising as it was a whole new concept in the world of marketing and advertising. In fact, not too long ago in 2017, only 20% of marketers were able to clearly demonstrate the impact of influencers through indirectly influenced sales, and it’s only now that influencer marketing on social media has been taken more seriously by brands and regulators. Therefore, countries such as the UK and the US have introduced some regulations such as the use of hashtags (eg. #ad) to help consumers identify if content they’re seeing on social media, posted by various celebrities and influencers, are paid promotions or just honest personal opinions.

Above is an example of influencer Jess Conte using the hashtag #ad in a sponsored Instagram post.

So now that we’re clear on what these hashtags are and why they’re now being heavily used, let’s talk about the pros and cons of using hashtags as a symbol of advertisement.

Pros:

  • Integrity – Both for the influencer and the brand. The consumer doesn’t have to question the honesty of either party and may very well appreciate the ethical behaviour of the influencer and the brand sponsoring them.
  • Transparency – Consumer’s are aware the post is sponsored, visually aided by the hashtag.
  • Clarity for consumers – Consumers can make an informed decision about whether they will purchase the product/service or not, as they don’t have to sit and question whether the post is a paid promotion or not.
Another example of the use of hashtags to identify a paid promotion. In this case, tagging the brand itself as a signal of the advertisement.

Cons:

  • Starts to feel less personal – A lot of the time when a post has been sponsored, the brand would have sent the influencer a pre-written caption to put alongside the photo (Instagram/Facebook) or have given them a pre-written script for a video (YouTube). This structured content may make the post seem less personal than if the influencer had scripted the message themselves.
  • Blurred lines between traditional and organic promotions – Due to the use of #ad or #sponsored, alongside a scripted message, the sponsored post may become and be perceived as a traditional form of advertising, as opposed to an organic promotion by an influencer. In other words, the sponsored post may start to have the vibe of a formal brand advertisement, instead of an informal and natural promotion from an influencer on a product they truly love. This in turn, may deter consumers from actually paying attention to what the influencer has to say if it is labelled an ad.
This example of Kylie Jenner shows how an influencer/celebrity’s post can sometimes look and feel like a traditional ad, thus also feel less personal.

Cons (cont.)

  • Lack of trust in influencer – As most influencers have grown to popularity due to their relatability to the every day person, if they start to post a large amount of sponsored content on their platforms, then consumers may start to lose trust in them because they can’t tell if they’re just doing the post for money, or if they actually do love and use the product.

What do you guys think about the use of hashtags such as #ad and #sponsored? As a consumer would you prefer to see visibly if a post is an ad or not? Or does it not bother you? Let me know in the comments down below!

How Netflix Uses Artificial Intelligence to Make Your Movie Selection Easier

Let me paint a picture for you. It’s a Friday night, and you’ve just come home from either a long day at uni or at work – and all you want to do right now is veg on the couch, grab a glass of wine, and put on a movie. So you open up Netflix in the hope to find a riveting movie of your preferred genre – whether that be comedy, drama, action, etc. – but wait, there’s too many options to choose from and you’re suddenly overwhelmed! 15 minutes later, and you still haven’t decided on a title (maybe even longer if you’re watching with family or friends). So in the end, you give up, exit out of Netflix and end up re-watching your favourite movie from your DVD collection.

We’ve all been there before, and Netflix is well aware of this first-world-problem struggle. So how does the streaming service giant attempt to assist us with this problem? Artificial intelligence! More specifically, via the use of their tailor-made algorithm. According to an article written by WIRED magazine, a person views between approximately 40-50 titles before they pick what they’re going to watch. In response to ease the use of the service, Netflix first estimates the likelihood you will watch a particular title, based off factors including: viewing history, other customers with similar tastes, as well as information such as genres, actors and categories.

Here’s an example of some of my current recommended titles on Netflix

Another aspect of Netflix’s recommendation system, is the use of ranking. It ranks not only the order of the titles in each row, but the rows themselves, in order to give consumers a more personalised experience. This can be really useful for when we have a broad idea of the type of genre we want to watch, but can’t think of any titles from the top of our heads that we might be interested in watching. Netflix will also sometimes resurface old titles you may have started in the past but never finished, in order to “give you a little nudge” to continue watching that movie/tv show.

An interesting idea to consider though, is whether the use of artificial intelligence in this context is always going to be 100% accurate. I know for me personally, I could be watching a dark and thrilling tv show such as Black Mirror or Bates Motel one day, but then the next I could be watching something very light-hearted and fun such as Full House or Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So far Netflix seems to be able to keep up with my constant interchanging between genres, but the question I have is whether they’ll ever be able to predict to a tee my exact taste in movies and tv shows?

What are your thoughts? Have Netflix’s recommendations to you always been accurate? Let me know in the comments down below!

WIRED’s Autocomplete Interviews: Content Marketing at Its Finest

For any of you avid YouTube viewers, or even any of you that occasionally surf the video-sharing website, would probably have heard of and watched WIRED magazine’s Autocomplete Interviews. If you haven’t, then let me put it simply. Imagine your typical sit-down interview with some of the world’s top A-list celebrities – but in a much more casual, light-hearted, and personal way. Here’s one of my personal favourite Autocomplete Interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, which has managed to reach 26.8 million views!

[Source: youtube.com]

The basic gist of the interview is that the guest/s answer the web’s most searched questions, based off of Google’s autocomplete feature – which is an alternative and fresh new way for fans to get to know their favourite celebrities.

[Definition of ‘content marketing’ by the Content Marketing Institute:]

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience ā€” and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

So how does this relate to content marketing? Well for me personally, and I’m sure many other fans of this YouTube series can relate to, I had no idea who WIRED were, or what their brand actually was. That was until one day I decided to Google them, to find out they are an online and print, American monthly magazine, with a focus on technology and how it’s affecting culture, the economy and politics.

With the basic premise of content marketing being that it’s a creative way to share online material, “that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in it’s products or services,” WIRED have successfully been able to create brand awareness in the minds of consumers, without even having to advertise who they are or what they do. Instead, prompting an interest and loyalty to their name, based off a simple video series concept.

With just over 4 million subscribers on YouTube, and the Autocomplete Interview videos reaching anywhere between the 100 000’s up to 26 million views per video, a magazine once just targeted towards technology interested consumers, have now been able to reach people with all kinds of interests across the world and are really creating a name for themselves across the Internet.

What are your thoughts on these new trends relating to content marketing? Have you seen any of WIRED’s Autocomplete Interviews? Let me know in the comments down below!

The Dark Side of Influencer Marketing: Fake Followers

Over the past few years, social media marketing – in particular, ‘influencer’ marketing – has become increasingly popular, with benefits being received on both ends. For brands, they are able to create brand and product awareness to a large audience, and for a relatively low cost – and for the influencers, they are being substantially financially benefited from just simply posting one Instagram photo to their account. Founders of global influencer marketing agency, Viral Nation, have stated that on average, influencers with up to 1 million followers can earn up to $10 000 per post, and anything greater than 1 million follower can earn between $100 000 to $250 000 per post!

Eg. Instagram influencer, Shani Grimmond’s sponsored Instagram post for Casetify.

This has created a desire for your everyday person to want to become an influencer, because who wouldn’t want to be able to make some quick cash from a simple social media post? However, this has meant there has been a rising trend of social media users buying followers. This can result in brands unknowingly sponsoring an Instagrammer who does not have genuine followers, and therefore can lead to a very low return on investment for the company.

In 2017, Australian beauty and lifestyle influencer, Chloe Morello, posted a video to her YouTube channel, calling out “fake Instagrammers” for committing fraud by buying fake followers to receive products, exposure from brands and free overseas trips.

[Source: youtube.com]

Morello states in her video that, “some of these people have a fake following, and at the end of the day, the brand is investing money to sell products and these people don’t have a real following”. This video created havoc in the beauty and lifestyle category on social media, as fans went straight to the comments to ‘expose’ influencers they believed to have been faking followers (comments have now been disabled from the video).

Ways to identify if someone has a fake following include:

  1. The ratio of followers to likes – eg. 50 000 followers but only 200 likes on a photo
  2. Engagement through comments – eg. comments with only one word or emoji (i.e. not meaningful comments from genuine followers)
  3. Flick through the followers of the influencer – are they real people who post and engage regularly, or are they fake accounts with no profile picture or posts?
  4. Check influencer analytics and statistics on socialblade.com, for any discrepancies or unusual follower spikes or other activities

Therefore, brands definitely need to be careful with who they’re choosing to partner with, in order to make sure that they will receive the highest return on investment as possible, as well as maintaining their own credibility and reputation.

What do you guys think? Have you ever come across any ‘fake’ influencers? Let me know in the comments below!

‘Webrooming’ and How It’s Made My Shopping Experience So Much Easier

Webrooming. You may have never heard of this term, but I’m sure you would have done it before! Webrooming refers to when customers begin their shopping journey by first browsing online, and then proceeding to go in-store to purchase the product/service.

[Source: Google Images]

One major advantage of webrooming is that it allows customers to browse and compare prices online before going into the store. Consequently this means that customers can save time in shopping centres as they know exactly what store they’re going to visit and what item they’re looking for. I personally prefer this method of shopping when it comes to shopping for a product that I know I’m on the hunt for, as it means I can take my time at home browsing without the busyness of a shopping centre, but also means once I go to the store to buy the product, I can see it, feel it and try it out before I make a purchase.

For example, last year I was on the lookout for a new pair of casual yet affordable jeans, so I went online to clothing retailer, Glassons, website.

[Source: glassons.com]

After browsing the website for a while, I came across a pair of jeans that I was interested in.


After clicking the size and style that I was interested in, there was even an option to check in-store availability at my nearest store.

The next step for me was to go in-store, try on the jeans to see if it fit the way I expected (ladies you know the struggle). Finally, I made my purchase!

Furthermore, I believe the trend of webrooming has made shopping simpler and easier for customers to choose between options from the comfort of their own home. The fact that brands are taking advantage of this trend, by giving options such as checking in-store availability and click-and-collect methods of purchasing, highlights this growing trend and how it’s changing the way consumers shop.

Have you made a purchase through webrooming before? What’s your best experience been so far? Let me know down below in the comments below!

Why I love Google’s Paid Search Marketing: Helping Me Find My Next Band Tee

As most of you may or may not be aware, through the use of Google’s paid search marketing techniques, Google will usually display at the top or side of your search page, a paid advertisement. You would think this can be untrustworthy right? Because the website has paid for that spot? Interestingly, whilst these websites have paid for that prime spot on your page to advertise themselves, they still have to go through Google’s quality checks. This is to ensure that not only will this page be relevant for what consumers are looking for when they search for a specific term, but that the website and company itself is of a high quality and not a spam website.

In my own personal experience with these ‘pay per click’ advertisements, is that nine times out of ten it will be relevant to me, with the odd occasion where it is not what I’m looking for specifically. For example, I’ve recently been on the lookout to purchase a vintage band t-shirt, and this is what came up on my Google search page after typing, “vintage band tee” in the search bar:

[Source: Google]

As you can see in the above image, to the right of my screen there are four sponsored ads for “vintage band tee”. Another interesting thing to note is that the websites under the sponsored area, are websites that I have shopped on before – which is therefore displaying how Google not only will show me sponsored content, but also that Google uses their algorithm to recommend to me website it knows I’ve been on before. Thus, giving me the most relevant results for my search.

I definitely see this as a positive thing, because if not I could be spending hours searching through website after website for what I’m looking for, as my search term was quite vague. Whereas, now because Google has easily shown me options that it knows I’ll probably like (considering I’ve shopped on those website before), I’ll be able to find a product I would consider buying in a faster and more efficient manner.

Do you guys find these sponsored ads a positive thing for you as well? And has Google been able to recommend to you relevant results in your own online shopping experience before? Let me know in the comments down below!