LIKES AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A NUMBER

So, you can’t see how many likes you have. What’s changed?

It’s old news by now that Instagram has altered the “like” feature from users’ posts, so that it isn’t obvious at first glance the engagement each post reached from the respective poster’s followers. 
It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve been living in a world without a visible number of likes. How are we feeling? How are YOU feeling? We personally have opinions on it! And after watching the reactions stirred up since the start of the controversy, we’ve decided to finally put in our two cents over the matter.


We’ve been reading on the subject everywhere, and are finding that many are agreeing with us, that this could be a blessing in disguise. 


So, the real question here is, what’s changed for influencers?
We’re an influencer management agency as well as a digital marketing agency. Of course, our influencers were the first people we thought of when we heard the news that Instagram would be implementing this change. 


But at the same time, we feel that our influencers are impactful enough that this change wouldn’t affect their brands negatively. Because at the end of the day, when they share their content, it should engage people enough to actually ingest it, take it in and appreciate it – not just glance at a number for validation, you get what we mean?


Many are agreeing with our theory, and Instagram users, be they influencers, marketers, or people who use Instagram for non-business or branding purposes are in fact, embracing the change.


“Businesses on Instagram will have to be more creative in analyzing data and get specific about what content is actually driving the business, and supporting your business goals,” explains Mel Brittner, social media strategist at Later. And it isn’t just our influencers who are embracing the change, but others are as well. In fact, according to Global News, Toronto-based influencer Jessica Lam is seeing this as a pleasant plot twist rather than a challenge.


“I create my work for my audience to relate to, be inspired by and engage with. I would hope my audience doesn’t take into consideration about how many ‘likes’ each post gets because it should be my work itself that drives them to ‘like’ or comment on something.”


Think of it as an opportunity to tell stories

Also, we’d like to point out that hidden likes could also prove to be a beneficial tool with exploring Instagram Stories and IGTV! IG stories have the potential to gain more traction than general posts do, and the public can never tell how many people your stories engage anyway (although YOU can always tell!) but also IGTV! 


IGTV is a great way to create more engaging content and gain more followers while promoting your brand. It’s known as the ideal way to get followers and fanbases to feel closer to the person creating content – and yes, there are no records of likes!


So really, what did we ever need likes for?


“Likes were always a false currency, but an easy number to give when asked how content is performing and an easy way to compare, so I think this shift forces businesses to look at what’s actually working.” 


Keep doing you, likes or not – it really doesn’t make a difference. As long as your content is engaging and creative enough, those numbers won’t need to be paraded around throughout your page. It’s all in your followers anyway.

The Power of Influencer Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, I’m sure you’re heard of the famously failed Fyre Festival debacle of 2016. 
Let’s catch you up if you haven’t. Ja Rule (remember him? “What’s my muthaf****n’ name… R.U.L.E!”) and now-convicted entrepreneur Billy McFarland buddied up to create what was supposed to be the luxury party extravaganza known as FYRE, held in the Great Exuma territory of the Bahamas.

McFarland used the power of influencer marketing to lure an audience of privileged millennials and Xennials to party it up on what they thought would be a deserted island coupled with a “glamping” experience.
Their reality? Canvas tents with tiny floor mattresses and literal cheese and tomato sandwiches. Untoasted.

The Fyre festival resulted in lawsuits, two documentaries, and embarrassment above all, but what nobody can deny is that the power of influencer marketing was prevalent in the whole thing.
How do we mean? The fact that the festival was able to even achieve notoriety was solely due to the use of influencers marketing the whole thing.

Big names with hot bods like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin actively shared the event on their respective pages, posted for photos and branded themselves as supporters of the event, giving the intrigue to the public and thus luring them to buy in on the festival. This is what influencers do – they influence the decision you’re going to make, which is why it’s always a clever idea to use them in your marketing campaigns.

It’s an age old tradition to get somebody attractive to advertise a brand as an idea or lifestyle, but the power in it now is that anybody can be famous, right? So long as you’re beautiful and confident, you also have a shot at fame and followers, and connections and networking has so much to do with that.

Is that why people trust influencers so much? Do they, in return, want to be influencers also? It has been branded as one of the most sought-after careers of the decade thus far, because really, who wouldn’t want to get free stuff all the time and ensure that a crappy picture of themselves will never be published. But more so that that, influencers are changing the market. If you choose the right influencer to represent your brand, then it is GUARANTEED you will see results. In fact, these days, there are interesting statistics that highlight the growing importance of influencer marketing in the industry.

The ones that get us, as Influencer talent managers all giddy, however? 

70% of Teens Trust Influencers More than Traditional Celebrities

49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations 

I must say, this one is a little true, based on personal experience. Influencers are just more real than celebrities. They haven’t been tainted like celebs have been.

The Influencer Marketing Industry is Expected to Hit $10bn by 2020

And the (albeit, temporary) success of the FYRE festival is proof in the pudding.

Influencers are simply the way to go, nowadays. Real people who have a strong message to deliver, who are self made and more approachable than celebrities? Yes. Because they just have more credibility to them to enjoy what the average Joe/Jo/Josephine enjoys every day. They aren’t as glamorous as celebrities, but have just enough glamour that their lifestyles are in reach.

So, invest in an influencer, but make sure you choose the right one for your brand. Let it be known though, that as proven, influencer marketing is 100% effective and guaranteed to boost your sales. Just remember that your influencers will definitely get you noticed, but the logistics are up to you on how to maintain (and justify) the notoriety. 

For more insight on influencer marketing, or if you’re interested in finding an influencer to market your brand, click here to our website to book a free consultation.

Digital M(heart)keting

I can already tell you that as soon as she reads this, the first thing that’ll come out of my FROSS ([adj]: Friend Boss) Tracy’s mouth is “stop trying to make “M(heart)keting happen! It’s never going to happen!” a la Regina George from Mean Girls. But, I’m going to continue to contest that statement because since I traded in a career in print media for being a soldier at Media Burn, I’ve been learning a lot about the industry that contradicts any claims that marketing and mindfulness don’t mix.

Coming from an editorial background, I’ve personally worked with lots of different clients boasting different industries. Editorial advertising is tricky, because it’s kind of like a broken dream. Your staff is made up of writers coming in thinking that they’re actually allowed to express their opinions, but because freedom of speech isn’t always FREE (and we need to eat), you end up singing praises about clients you hate. Joining an agency, is on the other hand, the liberating opposite because you’re putting in all of your effort to represent someone else’s brand and know what you’re getting yourself into from the get go. No false promises here, especially if your agency knows what they’re doing – you know what you’re getting yourself into from the moment you join the team.

And that being said, joining this specific team has been nothing short of joyful. Perhaps its boutique agency puts a lot of heart into a world that I always used to feel would be ugly, for lack of a better term.

How does Media Burn’s heart differentiate from the rest? Traditional marketers are ruthless – they’ll do anything to screw a dollar out of you. But working here, I’ve noticed that as a young company, we’re pretty wholesome in how we practice.

Money
Take budget, for example. I’ve come to learn that most agencies out there won’t be mindful about using their client’s budget wisely. Despite the semantics of our company’s name, we don’t and never will, “burn” your budget. We can show you a ROI with every dollar spent, and you’ll ALWAYS know where your money is going.

Dedication
We put our hearts and souls into what we do around here. I remember working on an account overtime during Thanksgiving dinner, sneaking to and away from the dinner party to rectify an emergency while the rest of the team were logged on with me at their respective homes. We pour in a lot of effort to keep our clients happy by actively trying to problem solve and plan in a timely manner.

Exclusivity
Another way Media Burn proved me wrong about the marketing industry is choice. I used to think that all marketing agencies were vultures that would prey on any single client they could get their hands on, not unlike a feeding frenzy. But, as it turns out, quality agencies really consider who they’re taking on as clients, and while image is definitely a vital contributing factor the process (as FROSS says: “we don’t just take anyone, guys!”).

We have to take into account that companies we’re on-boarding are ethical, and that they’re also going to benefit from our services. We really don’t want to waste anyone’s time or money if they don’t have the margins for proper advertising on social media like Facebook and IG ads.

So, with all that being said, we continue to work our fingers off to give our global range of clientele great representation. But we follow the simple and effective ethos above to make it all human, while picking our clients wisely to deliver results in a way that is transparent, trackable, and responsible.