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Q4—the busiest, most competitive time of year for marketers—is officially here.

As the holiday marketing crush begins, we recommend engaging with new communities or activating on different platforms to break-through, as demonstrated in the industry news round-up below.

01: Streamers Discover MAC at TwitchCon

MAC Cosmetics made headlines for being the first beauty brand to exhibit at the 3rd annual TwitchCon—connecting it with an audience far beyond its traditional base. While the integration may have raised some eyebrows at first, the brand proved that its stream-ready makeup products can empower gamers across all genders to feel more confident on camera.

According to Glossy, large activations like TwitchCon, experimental campaigns and year-round deployment of makeup artists at smaller events constitute roughly 25% of the brand’s marketing budget. Event-based influencer marketing is a strong driver of engagement and Collectively has seen that unexpected collaborations that stretch beyond a brand’s vertical can break through and earn up to 60% more engagement.

Takeaway: IRL events and livestream platforms provide rich opportunities to collaborate with niche communities—but first, uncover how a brand adds true value.

Read On: Glossy / eMarketer / Washington Post / The Geek Spot

02: Creators Lean into LinkedIn

Whether whispering quietly or shouting from the pulpit, in-the-know media strategists and marketers see LinkedIn as content marketing gold, with some comparing the platform to the heyday of Instagram in 2014 and Facebook in 2010.

The algorithm was updated in June to emphasize niche professional interests, and as people spend time on the platform “beyond the job search," it’s becoming more widely embraced by creators, despite a current lack of monetization opportunities. Considered largely controversy-free, LinkedIn revealed at its user conference that it’s on a mission to counter social inequality and opportunity gaps fueled by the greater digital divide.

Takeaway: As engagement trends upward and influencers build out their brand presence on LinkedIn, content collaborations can break through in a more brand-safe context.

Read On: Axios / Digiday / New York Times / GeekWire / CNN

03: Influence with Intention

Democratic at its core, influencer marketing amplifies diverse voices and allows for broader translation of different values compared to other forms of advertising. This is why the practice has such sway and increasingly resonates among Generation Z and Generation Alpha—the most diverse generations yet.

Earlier this year the UK banned gendered stereotypes in advertising, and its first fines were recently handed out, stoking the age-old debate: does advertising create culture or respond to it? From Mattel’s new gender neutral dolls to the “Disrupt Aging Collection” by AARP and Getty Images, the marketplace seems to echo the dolls’ slogan—let’s “keep labels out and invite everyone in.”

Takeaway: Representation in influencer marketing matters more than ever—marketers should expect next-gen creators to scrutinize partnerships, opting for brands that reflect their values.

Read On: Time / FastCo / NYTimes / Mobile Marketer / Forbes / Cassey Ho