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How 2021 was the year of growth for influencer marketing industry

Jacob Scott

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While this year taught us new things about influencer marketing analytical tools, several new trends came to light

2021 was a revolutionary year in terms of exploring the influencer marketing industry and the vast opportunities that it holds for both brands and influencers. While rapid adaptations and advancements were made in the field, new regulations were also imposed by ASCI which were a clear indication of the rising popularity of influencer marketing.

With such rapid transformations in the influencer marketing space, has diversified into macro, micro, and nano influencers. Macro-influencers have a wide reach, but research shows that micro-influencers get more than four times as many likes on sponsored posts as compared to macro-influencers with millions of followers. This increased engagement rate is only due to the enthusiastic audience of micro-influencers who perceive them as trusted experts on a particular topic. They have a more popular mass appeal. In general, with more followers, Influencers have a lower engagement rate.

While this year taught us new things about influencer marketing analytical tools, several new trends came to light. Let us have a look at these-

Use of Sponsored Ads

While scrolling through Instagram, you might have come across multiple posts that say ‘’Paid Partnership.’’ That’s nothing but sponsored ads.

We all know that the internet has become a crowded space. While initially, people were forced to see ads, lately many of them have started using ad blockers to get rid of them. But with the help of influencer marketing brands can easily penetrate their target audience, ensuring that their content is viewed by an authentic audience who are keen to know what their favorite influencer has in store for them.

Sponsored ads in influencer marketing help brands to showcase themselves to their audience in a more natural & authentic way. Moreover, they have a more targeted approach that allows them to communicate with their audience through creative storytelling.

Sponsored influencer content has become an essential part of the industry and is growing tremendously, owing to the budget-friendly marketing approach that it offers.

Rise of Regional Influencers

While nano & micro-influencers created their own space in the influencer marketing industry, the rise of regional influencers paved the way for brands to appeal to vernacular languages and expand their reach. Hence, brands that have a niche and only aim at targeting a particular kind of regional audience can tab their target group by engaging with the regional influencers. This helps brands to have a targeted and focused marketing plan, with maximum benefits.

According to a report by RedSeer there are about 210 million monetisable internet users in India who consume content in vernacular languages. Hence, brands focus on working with regional influencers who become the perfect mediators to communicate their brand messaging across their prospective customers.

Additionally, regional influencers have a very unique presence amongst their followers, due to their social connection which comes from a place of regional inclination and connectivity. The followers can comfortably communicate with their favorite regional influencer and have a sense of belonging. This is one of the major reasons why regional influencers are growing at an unprecedented pace and have a huge fan following in their community.

How does this help the marketers?

Regional targeting not only attracts a larger consumer base but as discussed above it also creates a personal connection with the audience. Moreover, regional platforms like Moj, Roposo, ShareChat, etc., have been replacing global apps and giving high competition to widely used global apps like Snapchat, Instagram, etc., which is another major indication for the rising popularity of this trend.

Rise in Male Influencers

The fashion industry is no longer a regime for female influencers. As much as we all know about women breaking stereotypes, men are breaking it too by influencing the audience through fashion.

Men’s fashion has evolved throughout the years and has changed our perception of fashion. While men’s clothing had limited options earlier, their diversified approach towards clothing styles has now encouraged many men to present themselves as fashion influencers or even operate their small fashion businesses.

Top male fashion influencers like Siddharth Chandra, Kush Sachdeva, and Pranav Goswamy have become an inspiration for many upcoming influencers. Also, their unique approach has helped them grab huge marketing projects from renowned brands.

Today, male influencers have created a specific audience for themselves and hence attract huge business. On the other hand, female influencers are also diversifying their approach by working in varied fields like online gaming, racing, speed biking, and much more.

Influencer marketing trends have massively grown in the year 2021 and helped brands and influencers in getting a high reach and engagement. The above trends are some of the initial transformations, however, the industry will witness many more interesting trends in the coming years.

The author is CEO and founder of Vavo Digital. Views expressed are personal. 

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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