Influencer Marketing: Who To Watch in 2018

As 2018 starts to wind down, thought we could revisit the watchlist, the up and comers, the rising stars, of Influence 100: the Who’s Who in the Influencer Marketing industry. Here’s what they are up to.

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In April 2018, after months of curating weekly newsletters I put together a list of the most influential people I could think of, people I had read about, seen do amazing things, and ultimately change the industry.

Vetted the list with a dozen experts in the industry. And ultimately produced Influence 100.

During the search a few names kept popping up that were out of the scope of this particular list but I wanted to keep tabs on. Keep my eyes on. People like Rand Fishkin who had dominated digital marketing with Moz, for years but now is set to establish a beach head into Influencer Marketing.

Spoiler Alert: Sparktoro sounded great then, and now keeps rolling out really cool things. Can’t wait to see how his product comes out.

Over the past year, the tides have turned towards my little corner of the industry. Our corner. Influencer Marketing.

And each week I discover new emerging trends, brand new to the industry. Like Streaming, Creator Spaces, Burnout and Influencer to Influencer Networking. Some call it collaborating.

Real Question: Is there a support network for influencers?

A recent swath of “burnout” articles alerted me to the fact that not everyone has outlets, support, even those who are

What stood out, to me, is that there were interesting people about to do something great. Positioning themselves as true market changers. They are poised to be squarely on the 2019 edition of the same list.

This list of 20 extra individuals were called The Watchlist. You can go back and see them on it right now. Click here to read Influence 100.

Today, I caught up with most of them and invite you into what they are up to now. Because I’ve pushed them up so far, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that many good things have come around in the past 6 months.

Rand Fishkin

Rand has been super busy. Here’s what he has to say has happened since April.

  • We’ve built some behind-the-scenes tech to create and test our index of profiles for the eventual SparkToro product
  • We’re estimating ~6–9 more months before we have a public beta ready to show folks
  • We did launch Sparktoro.com/trending, which has been very well received in the web marketing world as a tool for folks to keep up to date on what’s happening in the field each day
  • We closed a round of funding in June (Link)
  • My book, Lost and Founder, came out at the end of April, and was just covered as the #1 highest rated business book of 2018 by GoodReads (link)

Peter Hollens

Earlier this year Peter released Hollens Creator Academy. This alone, beyond his legacy of advising startups, put him on this list. I wanted to see who came out of this. I was excited to follow Peter and his creator academy.

Since we last checked in, he’s renamed the academy to: Creator Education and currently, revamping the first course and has built a second unreleased course in partnership with Patreon to teach creators how to use their platform

When asked about the name change: “You can create something that’s greater than yourself.” His intention was to let this live and breathe as it’s own thing not tied to his own name.

Alex Negrete

Caught up with Alex over email.

We launched Rise9 to the App Store and have a rapidly growing community of over 2000 influencers with 700 million reach.

We threw our annual VidCon bash with hundreds of the top influencers in the world and well-known brand sponsors like Hasbro, Shure and Uplive.

We are getting ready to launch our web platform that will help brands and influencers build long term sustainable partnerships.

Influencers — Download Rise9 on the App Store. Brands and Agencies — Email alex@rise9.co for more info.

Phil Ranta

Phil’s very recent move to Mobcrush was the exact event that squarely put streaming into my world-view. If Phil Ranta is working on it, it’ll be huge. Here Phil shares what he and the Mobcrush team have been up to since the list first appeared.

We just announced 750 million followers worth of creators are using our apps. This puts our reach in line with the top MCNs, but they’re creating within our ecosystem.

We launched Mobcam at VidCon to a star-studded hospitality suite.

We’re seeing a huge moment for organic creation due to the rise in popularity of Fortnite Mobile.

Chris Landa

In June, Transparent Influence was in Alpha. Chris has since moved back to Los Angeles to launch the beta and hold small and large networking events focused on quality connections amongst influencer marketing and online video professionals.

After releasing the closed alpha, Transparent Influence has added key features and will be launching the beta version in September.

Additionally, the company will be holding small and large networking events focused on quality connections amongst influencer marketing professionals throughout the rest of 2018.

Brett Garfinkel

Sylo and Brett came onto my radar as finally some tech for our industry that could seriously change it. Beyond just managing campaigns and finding influencers through a couple data points.

It was totally my personal decision to wait and see if this measurement proves effective. But I had to showcase Sylo in some way.

Brett had some really exciting upcoming news to share since the list release.

Over the next few months Sylo, the third-party measurement and data analytics company for the influencer marketing space, will be implementing product that will help

(1) brand marketers better understand the value of the audience they are reaching through the Sylo score, and

(2) Creators and their talent managers to better understand how they might improve their reach and engagement, and have more control as to how they are presented and who gets to see what data.

Tanya Bershadsky

Caught up with Tanya between her jaunts around the country by email. She had this to say.

We’ve been working on the media buying side of the business this year. Facebook and Instagram sponsored posts have been doing really well during campaigns, so we’re offering that as a service now.

We ran an influencer marketing campaign for the only place on the internet you can buy lottery tickets, lottoGopher, with a lot of success around boosting those posts via FB and IG.

Excited to start working on Jeff Bridges’ upcoming film coming out this October, Living in the Future’s Past!

Full Disclosure: I consulted on the data and analytics of the LottoGopher campaign Tanya mentions. Glad to see that she had success boosting posts in this campaign.

Stay up to date on trends and people in Influencer Marketing.

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