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5 QS: DANETA BUDALICH – BACHIU

Daneta Budalich – Bachiu
@DanetaB

We sat down with Daneta Budalich – Bachiu to talk about future trends in the world of Instagramming and what she loves most about being an influencer.

 

1. Tell us about what you’re working on currently.

 “I’m just in the midst of creating a blog and plan to launch next month. I held off for years thinking the platform would become irrelevant, but it seems like it’s a stronger channel for communication now more than ever.

My page will give my audience a little more about me – my interests, my home, my experiences with products, my shopping preferences… but I hope to deliver it in an easy to read, relatable way. I want my information to be relevant and attainable, but I also want to make my followers LOL!”

 

2. Why did you start Instagramming?

 “Instagram was an amazing source of inspiration for me when I first had my son. It also kept me from falling asleep during all those middle of the night wake-ups! I found a passion for styling and photography and things just snowballed from there. It also became my creative outlet as I pushed the pause button on my career in event marketing to raise my kiddos.”

 

3. How does being a mom influence the content you write, and your lifestyle as an influencer? Is it difficult to juggle parenthood with brand partners’ competing priorities?

 “What works best for me is partnering with brands and products I already use and love. It makes it so much easier to shoot and share if that product fits naturally into our everyday. There’s no denying the allure of authenticity for brands and consumers, and in our space, moms trusting and admiring other moms. It’s really important to me that I remain honest, and that sometimes means turning down partnerships.

Being a mom is my full time job, so I find myself sneaking in some shooting during nap times or when the kids are in their best moods. A lot of my editing and emailing happens in the evenings and sometimes really late at night (after the kids have gone to sleep!). Basically, I don’t get any time off! But, I love what I do and it’s amazing how much you get done when you are busy. The biggest challenge I have is being able to attend events when I have a baby glued to my hip, or when the household needs me the most (dinner and bedtime). In those cases, I have to pick my battles and do what’s best for my family first.”

 

4. Where do you see the industry heading in the next few years?

“It will be very interesting to see where the industry goes – how long Instagram and blogs will remain relevant. New apps will be created that will seem more desirable when compared to Instagram’s shortcomings, like the lack of a chronological timeline and an increase in sponsored posts. We are already seeing it with VERO. Video will be huge, especially for brands, so we will see a surge in branded video content and what influencers will put out there, as well as a big partnership between the two.

As for brands, I think many have realized the value of what the convergence of “content” and “influence” have created and we will see this type of marketing become the main focus for many big brands. This will create a new ‘Human to Human’ approach, or ‘Social Selling’ – finding ways for consumers to sing the brand’s praises while influencing other consumers, not the other way around. I think there will be more opportunity for influencers to enter long term ambassador-like relationships with brands – being the primary content makers that brands feature on their portals (for example, brands shifting to a more blog-like approach) with content that’s real and updated frequently (vs a standard website).”

 

5. As someone who’s been on both sides of the industry – working in it as a practitioner and as an influencer – what’s one piece of advice you can give PR agencies when working within their existing network of influencers, or those agencies that are looking to start working with influencers?

      “Developing sincere and collaborative relationships with influencers are key to shared success. I think you can achieve this by:

  1. Develop strong relationships | Don’t just email an influencer for a campaign opt-in when you have a deadline to a client and then never talk to them again. Really create a respectful relationship with the influencer. Follow up on lost campaigns, give them feedback, etc. Create strong relationships!
  2. Work for both parties | Manage client needs with the influencers, but also manage the brands expectations when it comes to the influencer’s work. The influencer’s main role is to ensure they are producing content that the client is happy with, but none of us want to break outside of our own unique style to achieve this (if we felt uncomfortable sharing content, it means it isn’t the right fit). Having a PR person stand up for the value of an influencer’s work is huge. Also, being fair when it comes to timelines and revisions, as well as compensation.
  3. Be educated and real | Understand influencers stats (not just followers, but engagement and quality of work, which is unique to every influencer), as well as being knowledgeable on the amount of work that goes into producing and sharing content will really help in the negotiations with both client and influencer. Also, be as honest as you can be! We all know there are budgets and KPIs but everyone wants to be compensated for their hard work.
  4. Collaborate | Give more when you can because that same influencer you have a great relationship with, will for sure do more for you when you can’t – when budgets and timelines are tight, they will be there to help you look good.”

These five questions with Georgia Eliopoulos were compiled by Kristia Pavlakos, Coordinator, and Derek Bathurst, Coordinator, APEX PR/ruckus digital.

5 QS: Georgia Eliopoulos of Extra Sparkle Please

Georgia Eliopoulos
Extra Sparkles Please
@extrasparklesplease

 

Up next, we sat down with Georgia Eliopoulos, creator of ExtraSparklesPlease.com, to talk about future trends in the world of blogging and what she loves most about being an influencer.

 

1. Tell us about your blog currently and the direction you see it heading in the years to come

“Lifestyle! As 60 per cent of my followers are moms and dads, I want to provide more content about family life in general. I also want to talk more about personal experiences… the stuff people “don’t talk about”. Most recently I started adding in food and recipes.”

 

2. Why did you start blogging?

“When I started this blog my slogan was always “because she had so much to say and wants the world to hear it.” I had people in my everyday life asking me questions and decided to take that and make it more accessible to them… just one click away!”

 

3. What is your favourite and least favourite thing about being an influencer in Toronto?

“My favourite things are the experiences I’ve had and the people I have met along the way. I’ve met two of my closest friends through this industry – if all of this were gone, I still have friends for life. My least favourite thing is how cut-throat and cliquey it can be. I’ve learned that the reality is that the “bloggers supporting bloggers” concept may be true, but people will do whatever they have to do to get ahead.”

 

4. Where do you see the industry heading in the next few years?

“Personally, it’s going to be interesting. EVERYONE seems to want to be a blogger, so it is becoming very oversaturated. This is what I am doing for a living and I can see how many people are finding loopholes in the system, which sets back the ones who are staying as organic as possible.

“I think bloggers in the next 2 years will end up gearing their content more towards podcasts and “video diaries” (not YouTube); people will want to visually see and hear what people have to say rather than looking at the same photos of people at the same trendy cafes and restaurants. I think in 2 years, Instagram won’t pack the same punch and we will have to rely on a new, more realistic platform to be heard!”

 

5. What’s one piece of advice you can give PR agencies when working within their existing network of influencers, or those agencies that are looking to start working with influencers?

Be less sweet. There are a lot of influencers who have a sense of entitlement and people have to realize that you have to get through all the no’s in order to get a yes! I started working towards this in January and first started getting paid in September. Let us work to build a relationship with PR agencies and help you guys out. It goes both ways! Also, give us more links to purchase to include in our posts. For example, even if no one buys anything from one of your client’s posts, look at how many people’s interests are being piqued to go beyond Instagram and our blogs.”

 

These five questions with Georgia Eliopoulos were compiled by Kristia Pavlakos, Coordinator, and Laura Zechel, Consultant, APEX PR/ruckus digital.

 

5 Qs: Danie Reyes, CEO, and Catherine Sugrue, COO, of Do the Daniel Inc.

APEXers and the ruckus team are asking five questions about the year it’s been and what individuals are looking forward to in 2018. Up first…

Daniel Reyes
CEO, Do The Daniel Inc.
@dothedaniel

Catherine Sugrue
COO, Do The Daniel Inc.
@cnsugrue

 

1. How do you choose the content you share with your followers?

Daniel: “It’s all about the things that actually resound with us. We would never write about or partner with anything we don’t believe in. We want to be one hundred percent transparent with our audience and the only way to do that is to make sure you are supporting things you believe in.”

2. In your opinion, what is an example of a compelling campaign?

Catherine: “Audible, a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet, launched in Canada last year. To promote the launch, the brand ran a campaign that contracted different influencers throughout the year, to promote awareness amongst consumers all year round. I think that’s a great way of keeping the narrative going!”

3. What are your most favourite and least favourite things about being an influencer?

Daniel: “The best thing about being an influencer is that no two days are ever the same! There are long term partnerships we can rely on, but every day at the office is always new. There are so many aspects involved in keeping this business running that you never get bored.”

Catherine: “The boundaries sometimes get blurred in this industry. Shutting off from work is not always an option. It’s hard when you’ve built a brand where every single second of your life needs to be seen, to ask for that time to yourself.”

4. How does it feel to have a partner who is in the same industry?

Daniel: “In the beginning it was a lot of fun because we used to go to the same events all the time. As both Do The Daniel and Fashion Nights continue to grow it’s fantastic to be able to support each other, but it’s also great to be able to operate in different circles. However, it’s nice to have the constant support and mutual understanding of the business and the industry.”

5. How do you see the industry changing?

Daniel: “For a long time, there have been a lot of individuals in this industry. Lately, we have noticed more and more that like-minded people are beginning to collaborate in teams, and create content for a larger audience. There is more support throughout the industry.“

These five questions with Daniel Reyes and Catherine Sugrue were compiled by Kristina Mikhalkova, Coordinator, and Lindsey Soper, Consultant, APEX PR/ruckus digital. Follow Kristina on Twitter. Follow Lindsey on Twitter.

Upstairs Amy – the making of a web series

Recently Walmart and Interac launched their new comedy web series, Upstairs Amy. We spoke with Jenn Stein of APEX and Gary Edgar of ruckus Digital to find out what goes into making it, how the brands get integrated and why they think this approach will work with the target audience.

Subscribe to Upstairs Amy on YouTube and watch new episodes every Monday

What’s the story with Upstairs Amy?


RUCKUS DIGITAL AND APEX PR ARE COLLABORATING WITH WALMART CANADA AND INTERAC® FOR AN ORIGINAL DIGITAL SERIES, UPSTAIRS AMY, PRODUCED BY SHAFTESBURY

From the producers of global phenomenon Carmilla, Upstairs Amy is a scripted comedy that will also feature real-life digital influencers curated by APEX Public Relations.

The grass is always greener on the other side – or, in Amy Zhang’s case, on another floor.

 

Upstairs Amy follows the lives of three millennial moms on a journey through friendship, motherhood and self-discovery. When Amy’s apartment floods, she, her husband Dean, and their toddler are forced to move upstairs while the damages are repaired. There, Amy meets her captivating new neighbour Kaavya, the “it-girl” from the 26th floor. When a white lie turns into a new life, Amy and her best friend Veronica find themselves surrounded by Kaavya’s world of beauty, glamour, mystery and men – and so begins Amy’s transformation from average accountant into social media superstar “Upstairs Amy.”

 

ruckus Digital knows brands need storytelling and relatable characters that resonate with their target audiences. Before, commercials were the standard way of serving content to consumers. Now, consumers are in control – they decide when and how to interact with brands. This is why we are so excited to be working with Kin Community and their talented group of influencers, whose participation in-show will extend to their own channels and beyond. The influencers will be posting weekly content on their own channels relating to each week’s episode. ruckus Digital will lead the development on media buying and social content for the series.


The series is scheduled to launch
in November 2017 on a dedicated Upstairs Amy YouTube channel.

Use ambassador videos to tell your brand story

It’s estimated that in 2017, video accounts for 74 per cent of online traffic. Combined with the fact that 55 per cent of people watch online video every day, video should be part of your brand’s integrated story.

Husqvarna Canada has been working with ruckus Digital since 2015 to build and sustain an engaged social media presence.

From timely branded holiday content (i.e. mock Father’s Day tie below) to #FanFriday user-generated content, momentum continues to build with Husqvarna Canada’s audiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To take content to the next level, we created a Husqvarna PROfiles video series with industry professionals at Parkwood Estates (film location for movies such as Billy Madison) in Oshawa, Ontario.

The long form video content (approx. 2 minutes each), gave Husqvarna ambassadors the opportunity to tell their industry stories in an authentic and meaningful way – with the integration of on-site product use. This approach continues to perform well online with its intended audience.

Need help telling your brand’s story through video? Drop us a line.

Four things I learned working with mommy bloggers

While some digital marketers are still debating the definition and value of “social influencers,” others are incorporating them into brand campaigns, using their expertise and audience to get a few more (relevant) eyes on a product or service.

Recently, I’ve started working closely with a bad-ass group of influencers that have dominated the blogosphere for quite some time – mommy bloggers.

After working with several of these lovely ladies on a few different campaigns, I’ve learned a few things that (I think) are worth sharing.

The more info you can give the better

When you’re prepping a blogger on a campaign, the more background information you can provide the better. Yes, they are in creative control of the content produced, whether a blog post or social image, however if you can provide tips on what a client loves to see (or prefers to avoid) you ensure the success of the content on all fronts – you, your client and the blogger are happy with the result.

Work towards long term relationships

Building long term professional relationships is key, and it’s no different when you’re working with bloggers. Not only does it make sense to build ambassadors of a brand that are truly into the product or service, the content can flow more easily across campaigns and channels when it’s not a one-off post.

Set actionable KPIs

Measurement is a whole lot easier if you set actionable goals. Rather than impression estimates, why not count how many people responded to a call-to-action – commented on a post, entered a contest, bought a product etc., etc. – and determine the success of a program based on those results. This provides a benchmark for bloggers to work towards and for clients to understand the success (or failure) of a campaign.

Put some paid media behind your stuff

Blog campaigns take a lot of work – so it makes sense to arrange for some paid media behind the post. The budgets don’t need to be huge, and you’ll want to focus your efforts where your target audience is hanging out, but overall paid posts will help you get more out of the awesome content you’re creating.

Sarah Rogers is an account coordinator at ruckus Digital. Need help with your influencer strategy? Drop us a line.

Feature image from @beautycocktailsgirltalk