Originally published on Max Borges Agency’s company blog; a people-first public relations, creative services and digital strategy firm with a focus on consumer technology.
“Influencer Marketing” is dubbed one of the biggest content-marketing trends in 2016. Brands are turning to content creators to bring creative ideas that help tell their brand story and get in front of new audiences.
A recent study found that 65% of brands have plans to raise their influencer marketing budget in 2016. If influencer content is distributed properly, it should garner traditional media coverage through rigorous media outreach, increase a brand’s social share-of-voice, and most importantly, encourage customers to engage with the brand or product.
Beyond generating captivating content, trust is what makes these creators so valuable.Consumers are trusting brands less and turning to their friends more. Using the power of “word of mouth” marketing by partnering with content creators, brands are able to build trust organically through the influencer’s channels.
With rising costs in digital sponsorships, it’s often beneficial to put energy and resources behind emerging content creators that will require less dollars – and often times more passion – as they work to grow their brand.
1. Jordyn Jones
Jordyn took her Dance Moms audience to Youtube and gained notoriety through her unbelievable choreography andcovers. It’s almost hard to believe she’s only 16 when you take a dive into her social channels; she’s worked with brands big and small and gained more than 2 million followers on Instagram in a few short years. Though she’s been looped into Hollywood recently, Jordyn still keeps the personality of someone many young women can relate to. This connection and trustworthiness is a big reason why her content makes waves through the digital space, and pushes the needle for brands.
Followers: 2.1 million
2. Gabi Gregg
Gabi took a leap of confidence when she posted beautiful images of herself in a bikini along with other plus-size womenonline. The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading her to build an audience around her authenticity. She is redefining sexy by creating content that exudes confidence, self-acceptance and diversity. Her lead platform is Instagram as she harnesses the power of storytelling using captivating images, but she’s also featured as an advocate on TV and other digital media platforms.
3. Raymond Braun
This LA-based content creator is more than an internet personality – he’s an activist, too. He was named the Forbes “30 Under 30” All Star and OUT 100 honoree for pioneering the wildly celebrated #ProudToLove digital campaign. He shares support, laughs and resources for the LGBT community and has a strong commitment to issues affecting youth. His background comes from being on the platform side – he worked at Youtube for three years – and he brings new insight to ways you can create content and make use of new media to generate buzz. His advice: “Don’t forget that behind every follow, like, view and share is another human being.”
4. Franchesca Ramsey
Franchesca, also known as Chescaleigh, shook up the digital space with her “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” video which immediately went viral. She used this surge to build a platform to create content that encourages positive discussion on topics like race, gender equality and other social justice issues she is passionate about. Her videos have been featured on websites like MTV, Huffington Post, Jezebel and Glamour. She’s since started writing, hosting and using extending her vlogging to the lifestyle space making tutorials and other personal content. Her secret to success: “Remember social media is a conversation, so you don’t wanna sound like a robot.”
5. Logan Paul
Logan’s roots to internet stardom come from his popular Vine account. The 6-second snippets of humor, his life, and the occasional brand placement, helped him build an audience of more than 20 million. Since then, he’s spread to other platforms including Instagram and Snapchat where he works to create content that keeps his communities engaged over laughs. He’s not a stranger to working with brands, and an appearance on the cover of AdWeek gives him extra klout, but his creativity and passion for each project is worth the price. “He is this generation’s teen idol, and every time he presses a button on his phone, millions of people know what he’s doing,” says his agent.
Followers: 4.4 million
6. Lo Bosworth
Though her fame is everything but emerging, Lo is finding new audiences by taking her on-screen experience to the blog-sphere. Following her Laguna Beach and The Hills moments of fame, she took to the internet to build a home and lifestyle brand that follows that of a modern-day Martha Stewart. Her content promotes the handmade, homemade, taste made and practical know-hows of everyday life. She recently earned the Bloglovin’ Best Celeb Blog Award. A quick glance at her channels and you forget she was a reality star, then get sucked by and engaged with the vibrant content that looks and feels “real.”
7. Julieanna Goddard, aka Julz
From “Miami-famous” to “Snapchat Queen,” Julz has changed the way brands interact with their audiences by harnessing the power of social media. The self-proclaimed Director of Vibes has worked with brands like Redbull, Beats by Dre and Burger King building on her creativity and mastery of platforms like Snapchat. She earns more than 100K views in a 24-hour period and serves content that screams authenticity. She tells Highsnobiety, “Snapchat is the new television and the best part is that users are in control of their very own show.” Her work hard play hard mentality and high energy are contagious, which keeps her viewers engaged and coming back for more.