Everything You Wanted to Know About Paid & Organic Media (But Were too Afraid to Ask)

Before heading out to Anaheim, California, to join influencer Brent Rivera at VidCon 2018’s panel “The Hidden Truths of Paid and Organic Media,” WHOSAY EVP, Talent and co-founder Harvey Schwartz sat with us to serve up some truths about working with talent in branded content campaigns—including when’s the right time to put money behind your content and what are some of the advantages as well as disadvantages of taking this approach.  

 Harvey Schwartz 

Harvey Schwartz 

WHOSAY: Why are people saying organic reach is dead?
Harvey Schwartz: With the major social networks all moving to algorithms to program feeds, including now YouTube in their sub feed, there’s no way to depend on or guarantee organic views and overall reach.

WS: When is it best to use paid media?
HS: When you need to target a specific audience or when you have a video with above average engagement you can boost it to reach a larger audience.

WS: Are there any best practices when it comes to sponsoring content?
HS: You have a higher bar to cater to your audience with #ad so it's critical to deliver strong content so that your fans continue trusting your personal brand.

WS: What are some of the do’s and don’ts of working with paid media?
HS: It’s an investment, so pay attention to your targeting and only promote content that’s highly engaging.

WS: What are some of the advantages of working with talent and paid media?  
HS: Although it can be costly, the platforms are building tools that allow you to quickly boost content or easily work with brands.

WS: How does talent approach working with brands?
HS: With all the searchable hashtags and API connections, the best way to attract brands is continuing to build authentic channels – across all platforms that not only entertain audiences but also highlight interests and hobbies that add potential partner themes for brands.

WS: Are there differences between platforms when it comes to optimizing organic and paid content?
HS: YouTube long-form content can’t be promoted the same way on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where it just shows up in a user feed.

WS: What are dark posts and what are they used for? 
HS: Dark posts are similar to promoted posts but they don’t initiate from the influencers feed, they just show up in targeted audience feeds. The benefit is you can test/learn and optimize different cuts without burning the organic channel with lots of similar posts.

WS: When is it OK to buy followers?
HS: Never as it’s not honest business and can jeopardize future brand opportunities, and platforms regularly scrape for bots and fake followers so you’re probably going to lose them anyway.

WS: Is following growth through paid media a safer alternative to buying followers?
HS: Yes, presenting engaging content to a new audience can authentically attract and grow your followers as its truly Opt-In.

Both WHOSAY and VidCon were recently acquired by Viacom in a move that will accelerate its participation and investment in next-generation platforms, expand its focus on live events and boost Viacom’s capabilities across advertising, marketing and digital content.

Harvey Schwartz is EVP, Talent & Co-Founder at WHOSAY. He oversees the talent relationship division of the company and is part of the WHOSAY Match leadership team. WHOSAY powers influence marketing campaigns for brands across all verticals and utilizes every level of celebrity and influencer to deliver measurably superior results compared to other social and mobile advertising solutions. WHOSAY is a Viacom company.

Photo header credit: Sharon McCutcheon