Trends, news, and analysis: catch up on the week's biggest headlines with the Julius Works Blog's weekly roundup, your cheatsheet for staying in the know with influencer marketing.

News and Analysis:

New York ComicCon and The Influence of Cosplay

This past weekend, New York's Comic Con trucked on for its 12th year at the Javits Center, hosting almost 200,000 guests. Since its inception, the size, scope, and business of the convention has grown exponentially, in line with the resurgence of comic related media in pop culture. But it would be a misnomer to say NYCC is just a place for Marvel movies fans; 'nerd' culture of all types finds representation in the crammed galleries and crowded alleys of merchandise, displays, and presentations.

Perhaps the main attraction, though, is the cosplays. Cosplays are typically self-made costumes worn with varying levels of role-play, from mimicking voices to full-on performance art. Cosplay, and the associated subculture, has naturally extended itself into the world of Influencer Marketing. From YouTube tutorials to Instagram modeling sessions, cosplay influencers like @jessicanigri can command over $30k for an Instagram post.

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Search traffic for 'cosplay' naturally spikes around large conventions, like San Diego Comic Con, but New York draws the largest numbers. This year, for example, @msraecosplay, gained over 1000 followers just over the duration of the convention. To an account like hers, with 46k followers, a 1k jump is a significant margin of improvement. Other cosplayers who capitalized on the social craze experienced similar gains in following.

Cosplayers like @msraecosplay and @jessicanigri usually command predominantly male audiences between 20 and 29 years old. They're usually interested in video games, pop culture, and movies. Putting these demographics together reveals a group of people who have disposable income available and are willing to spend it. Cosplay is an infectiously popular facet of pop culture for a variety of reasons, and its biggest fans are prime demographics for influencer marketing.

IGTV Is Finally Getting Some Original Content

Meredith, the sprawling magazine publisher responsible for brands like Fortune, People, and Food & Wine, announced its plans to develop 10 original shows for IGTV. Using a combination of influencers, celebrities, and marquee brands, Meredith plans to take advantage of the early days of the platform, setting roots before other large brands do the same.

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Though IGTV is still taking hold, and its viewership pales in comparison to its competitors, Meredith's move is more than just a vote of confidence. While the content can be reused, putting this much work into IGTV signals that the market expects it take hold. Considering prolific public figures like Joe Biden are hosts on IGTV, a lot of stock is being driven into its success.

One could argue that a legitimate competitor to YouTube is healthy for innovation. Though consumers generally prefer to watch video content on Facebook, YouTube maintains its stranglehold on video content production and consumption, preferences aside. Verticals like beauty, health, and gaming thrive on its platform. Instagram has so far fared better for fashion, lifestyle, and food content. If Meredith's participation in IGTV is any indication, those figures will change.

IGTV's popularity is sputtering along, with much of the interest waning after its initial announcement. Slow growth can mean a quick death in the tech world, but if Google's maintenance of the zombified Google+ is any indication, some things just won't go away.

Interesting Reads For The Week:

Four Great Benefits That Come From Properly Vetting Your Influencers
- Via Forbes

Purging the Influencer Swamp: A Hard Look at Transparency and Accountability
- Via MarTech Advisor

The Real Problem With Influencer Marketing: You're Focusing On The Wrong 'Influencers' - Via Forbes

That's all for this week, thanks for reading. Be sure to to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more influencer marketing news, analysis, and interesting content.