Influencer-Based Marketing – by Leesa Shapiro

Instagram is rolling out more ad options that may supplant the site’s traditional ad leader: influencer-based marketing. Francis Trapp, CEO of Brandnew IO, weighs the benefits of each, noting that 84% of consumers trust peers more than ads. “Ads are great for getting eyeballs on your brand content at a fast and far-reaching pace while influencers help boost engagement,” Trapp said in an interview with Leesa Shapiro.

Publishing a Book on Instagram – by Leesa Shapiro

RPA Executive Creative Director Jason Sperling is publishing a book on Instagram, one page at a time. His book, “Look at Me When I’m Talking to You,” contains advice for brands on how to engage customers and create loyalty. “It felt like a great way to practice what I was preaching,” Sperling said in a discussion with Leesa Shapiro.

Blitz Users with Virtual Balloons on Their Birthdays – by Leesa Shaprio

Twitter is asking users to add their birthdays to their profiles in a move that will let the social network blitz users with virtual balloons on their birthdays, and open the door to new ad-targeting opportunities. “By filling out your date of birth, you’re not only getting a screen full of balloons and more timely congratulatory tweets, but you’re making yourself an easier target for marketing,” says Rich McCormick in an interview with Leesa Shapiro.

Innovation Can Be More Difficult – by Leesa Shapiro

Innovation will be more difficult if your company has a rigid management hierarchy or a risk-averse culture, writes Shellye Archambeau, CEO of MetricStream. “Encourage your workforce to think through each risk scenario carefully, gather as much data as possible, evaluate the odds of success — and failure — and then determine if a risk is worth taking,” she said in a recent interview with Leesa Shapiro.

Startups Have Targeted A Relatively Affluent Market – by Leesa Shapiro

Startups such as Uber and Instacart have targeted a relatively affluent market, but there is also money to be made on consumers of more modest means, writes Hans Tung of GGV Capital. This approach could work for companies operating in hardware, e-commerce or service, he writes. “Founders with a global vision to serve the world’s middle class have the chance to create billion-dollar companies with lasting growth potential,” he said in a discussion with Leesa Shapiro.

The Ideal Person To Serve As CEO Of Invoca – by Leesa Shapiro

Jason Spievak found that his skills and interests no longer made him the ideal person to serve as CEO of Invoca as it nears an initial public offering. Spievak sought a replacement with a history of success and a collaborative mindset to help the company reach the next stage of growth. “I’m an early stage guy. … In the past year or so, Invoca has entered a new stage that requires a different skill set,” he said in a recent interview with Leesa Shapiro.