Katy Perry

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Influencers brands need to know are ones who could help them with their marketing. But the others they must learn about are the ones who are so influential, they could damage their brands with a single post on social media. That’s why Digital Third Coast studied the latter and found 24 such influencers.

In an era when just about everyone has a Facebook page, why did President Barack Obama, the Ford Motor Co. and Ian Somerhalder turn to the same person to manage their online voices? Oliver Luckett and his company, theAudience, are virtual producers, creating thousands of pieces of content per month: Facebook pages, videos, Twitter messages—just about anything with the potential to go viral. Luckett says old models of communication have lost influence; building original, shareable content is now the most valuable way to connect with people. And he argues that the same principles apply whether you’re campaigning for leader

The release of a blockbuster album has historically come with a few standard marketing moves. Flood the radio with an early single. Book as many TV appearances as possible. Line up partnerships with big retailers and consumer brands. But at midnight on Thursday, when Beyoncé released her latest album, she did none of those things. Instead, she merely wrote, “Surprise!” to her more than eight million Instagram followers, and the full album—all 14 songs and 17 videos of it—appeared for sale on iTunes

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