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Issue No. 25
— November 2016

The influence
ISsue

 
 
Digital trend publication
blending a mix of culture,
insights and data.

A trend product by


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EDITOR'S LETTER

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This issue is always fun for the team at Matte Black because of our experience and projects in the world of influencer marketing. From traveling to a movie set in Nova Scotia with a group of Viners (r.i.p. Vine) to hosting intimate dinners on behalf of our brands with top tier fashion bloggers, we've done it all. 

 

Influencer marketing has changed in it's short span of being an effective strategy for getting products in front of consumers. There's a surplus of so-called "influencers" available at brands' disposal, and with no science or formula to measure a successful influencer marketing project, it really is an undefined arena for brands and influencers alike. We explore these topics and more in this issue.

 

We also dive into an even newer trend in influence that has been getting attention lately: the micro-influencers. This is a community of people who have built humble, but loyal followings based off of their authenticity and ability to use social media to connect with others who share the same views, interests, or goals. These people don't have millions of followers, but instead thousands. We're breaking down why these people are making more of a difference for brands.

 

Whether you're familiar with influencer marketing or not, we promise you'll find something good here.

 
 
 
 

Delanie Billman

Managing Editor

 
 

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Editor's Letter

 
 

"I like to have strong opinions with nothing to back them up with besides my primal sincerity. I like sincerity. I lack sincerity." 

-Kurt Cobain

 
 
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Contents

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Dig into the issue by clicking on the links below!

 
 

features

1. The Rise of the micro-influencer

The micro-influencer is interactive, constantly engaging with their community and ensuring they are heard. This person is creating an enviable, yet tangible lifestyle, and their community not only wants to be a part of it, but already feels like they are. These influencers are tapping into the consumer's modern desire to be a part of something unique in a world where content is fleeting.

— Nicole Best

 

2. The Changing Influencer Landscape

This is the world we live in, as influence peddlers and Instagram marketers, where the standard was set long ago to seed without pay. There is a shift ahead in ideology, and while it may not be felt influencer wide at first, sponsored content is coming.

— Kyle Hjelmeseth

 

3. Shape Shift's Top 40 Micro Influencers

There's a trend happening in influencer marketing right now, and that trend is the "micro influencer." These people don't have millions of followers, but dedicated communities of cult followers that these influencers have built based on pure authenticity. We're sharing a curated list of the best micro influencers spanning fitness, travel, fashion and more that we encourage you to consider for strategic brand partnerships.

— Matte Black

PORTRAIT

4. Cyndi Ramirez

New York City based Cyndi Ramirez is the founder of TasteTheStyle.com, First Lady of Den Hospitality and overall darling of the Internet. When it comes to hospitality, Cyndi is a go-to resource for New Yorks hottest bars and restaurants, and she knows a thing or two about staycationing, having creating Taste the Style's much loved series, The Staycationers. 

 
 


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Contents

 
 

"Social media is an amazing tool, but it's really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact." 

-felicia day

 
 
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—Findings

BUSINESS

 

Marketing's most indespensible execs

AdWeek shares it's most important execs in marketing, media and tech.

Read more ➭

 

The on-demand economy

Is it necessary for every service to be "on-demand?"

Read more ➭

 

A shoppable instagram is coming

Instagram rolls out shopping posts for a group of 20 retailers.

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Tasty's secret

Here's how Tasty's addictive cooking videos helped BuzzFeed build a food empire.

Read more ➭

 

Yes burberry, yes

Burberry creates an epic trailer for a movie that doesn't exist.

Read more 

 

RIP, vine

Twitter to shut down Vine after laying off 300 employees. Read the 5 sad reasons why.

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

TECHNOLOGY

 

Snapbots

Snapchat launches Snapbots, vending machines for it's new Spectacles.

Read more ➭

 

adobe for a.i.

Adobe’s latest A.I-powered updates let creatives work better, smarter, together.
Read more ➭

 

Google flights to the rescue

Google Flights will now tell you when to expect air fares to increase, so you can buy cheaper tix.

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

CULTURE

 

President trump

The world reacts to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

 

 

Read more ➭

 

The digital protest of the dakota access pipeline

Facebook users are "checking in" to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Facebook to show support of the protest.

Read more ➭

 

ken bone's 15th minute

Presidential debate star Ken Bone gets a second shot by starring in this brand's video, urging people to vote.

 

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

design

 

adidas x awang

The surprise collection wins over NYFW.

 

 

Read more ➭

 

Adidas' New sustainable shoe

The shoe brand's newest sneaker is made with 3-D printed, recycled ocean waste.


Read more ➭

 

This Venice landmark is getting a makeover

One of the cities oldest landmark is transforming into a luxury retail space.

Read more ➭

 
 
 
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Bigger isn't Always better

The rise of the micro-influencer 

by Nicole Best

 

A digital influencer: the term heard ‘round the world. As a surplus of individuals have oversaturated a market that was once undefined, lifestyle, coffee, beauty and travel influencers have become commonplace, so to speak. These people have created an industry that is is so attainable, it almost acts as a surplus of talent. So, with this overcrowding of an industry, how do we sift through each of these individuals and differentiate between Influencer A and Influencer B?  

 

As a brand, when you look at an influencer on Instagram, Snapchat, what have you… are you more concerned with their reach or their engagement?

 

Let’s do a little math to figure it out: if someone has 4 million followers and gets .5% engagement per media, is that better than an influencer with 30K followers who gets 10% engagement per media? The answer is no.

 

This is where the term, ‘active user’ comes into play. An active user is someone who is following another person with purpose. Active users are engaged and genuinely interested in the people they are following. These people are important because as a brand, wouldn’t we prefer to see 100 clicks back to a website to buy a product off of one post, than see 100,000 impressions but no ROI?

 

As important as exposure is, hitting your key demographics with what we consider the micro-influencer is a more strategic route for a brand. The micro-influencer has a dedicated, niche following. They have a community of users that deem them the expert in their fields; the Beyonce of their craft, following their every step with a magnifying glass.

 

The micro-influencer is interactive, constantly engaging with their community and ensuring they are heard. This person is creating an enviable, yet tangible lifestyle, and their community not only wants to be a part of it, but already feels like they are. These influencers are tapping into the consumer's modern desire to be a part of something unique in a world where content is fleeting, as our friends at Forbes noted.

 

He or she is also more cost effective. Because even though they can’t necessarily prove how they’ve helped other brands, they’ve curated a community that deems them the expert in their field.

 

For example, let’s say you are a skincare brand and you want to tap into the enviable life that Sincerely Jules has created. Yet, maybe 10% of her followers care about her beauty routine. I.E. you’re wasting dollars hitting 90% of a community that really doesn’t care about you. With the same amount of budget, you’d be able to activate 10 influencers with 50K followers in different niche, demographics to really expose your brand in key markets, ultimately seeing better engagement. To top it all off, these influencers aren’t yet represented by management who control deliverable and can ultimately compromise the authenticity of the partnership.

 

So let’s forget about follower size. Let’s forget about the cost associated with the following; the traditional CPM’s that actually don’t mean anything in digital marketing.   We need to measure ROI differently; there are a lot of intangibles that you can’t put into a spreadsheet. Let’s measure clicks back to a site, total impressions reached. How many new eyes are coming to your page and seeing your products for the first time? How much brand awareness are we increasing?

 

Because there is such a thing as being too popular. And social media influencers who start seeing declines in engagement with increases in follower sizes are the ones who realize this.  

 

*WE put together a list of the top 40 micro influencers that span travel, fitness, fashion and more. See who they are and why you should be paying attention to them*

 

 
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colophon

 
 

Editor-In-Chief  
Chelsea Matthews
@chelseamatthews

 

Managing Editor
Delanie Billman
@delanie___

 

Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop
@micahheykoop

 

Creative Direction
Nolan Goff
@nolangoff

 

Art Direction + Design
Jesse Ligo
@jesseligo

 

Photography

Carlos Quinteros Jr.

@carlosquinterosjr

 

Coordinator
Nicole Best
@nikkiibest

 

SESSIONS Producer
Aria Davis
@theariachanel

CONTRIBUTORS

 
 

Kyle Hjelmeseth

Kyle Hjelmeseth is the founder and CEO of God & Beauty, a selective, boutique agency for influencer management and marketing, based in Los Angeles. Kyle's relationships across many industries have resulted in over $300,000 in contracts over the last year. Real relationships create real meaningful ideas and work. He lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife and their grumpy cat Sammie.

 

Streaming on Netflix: HBO...West World!
Nasty habit: Not washing fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Drink of choice: Mezcal Honey Sours
Go-to karaoke song: Forgot About Dre
Childhood hero: Perry Mason

Nicole Best

Born and raised in Southern California, Nicole Best handles influencer programming for LA based culture marketing firm Matte Black. When she isn't working, find her wandering the aisles of Skylight Books and (trying) to fill the pages of her first novel. 


Last song played: Gemini Feed by Banks
Instagram Stories or Snapchat? Instagram Stories
Go-to bar order: Spicy tequila cocktail, plz and thankyou.   
What did you want to be when you grew up? Influential in some way
Streaming on Netflix: All about that HBO GO. WestWorld is everything. 
 

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Cyndi Ramirez

New York City based Cyndi Ramirez is the founder of TasteTheStyle.com, First Lady of Den Hospitality and overall darling of the Internet. When it comes to hospitality, Cyndi is a go-to resource for New Yorks hottest bars and restaurants, and she knows a thing or two about staycationing, having creating Taste the Style's much loved series, The Staycationers

 

Follow her @cyndiramirez.

 

Victory song: It's All About the Benjamins ;-) 
Celebrity crush: Chelsea Handler and Sophia Amoruso and I got to meet BOTH of them a couple of months ago. 
Guilty pleasure: Currently: Gossip Girl. Always: movie theatre popcorn
Last item purchased: Glossier Bow Brow and Generation G
Stress reliever: Wine and yoga (preferably together)