Influencer Sessions: Get To Know @running.yana
Dec 06, 2023
We caught up with Pro ultra-runner, athlete and coach, Yana Strese, to talk marathons, mobility and magical running routes. Read on to find out more about Yana’s journey to finding her passion and her plans for becoming one of the running community’s most beloved influencers.
If you could be transported to anywhere in the world to run a race, where would it be and why?
One of my dream places to race is the Azores, simply because of its unique nature, climate, and trails. Ever since watching a documentary of the Ultra X 110, I’ve been impressed by this place.
Tell us about your background and how you started to build your following.
After studying Film and Television and working in this field for several years I got burned out. My solution at this time was running. I did a lot of running and eventually I also started competing in trail and road races from 10k up to 120 km ultra-marathons (and successfully too).
It became my passion and after studying again and making my degrees as a medical PT, running coach, and nutritionist my new profession. At this time I also started my social media account where I shared running tips and workouts as well as my races, training, and running adventures. It’s my second year as a full-time content creator and athlete now and I absolutely love it!
Which platforms do you predominantly use? Which is your favourite for posting and which is your favourite for community engagement?
My main platform is Instagram (also my favorite to engage and communicate). I also have a blog and website and I just recently started my YouTube channel where I share full workouts and vlogs (coming soon). My website and blog are basically my representation platform as a professional athlete to display my long-term sponsors and partners for my sport. I also used to run my coaching there, where clients could book me as a PT and coach or request training plans; however, since doing social media full-time I do not coach at the moment.
My blog is part of my creative outlet where I review products (running shoes, apparel, gear) or write blog posts about events, adventures, and races that have been part of a partnership/collaboration.
The goal with my YouTube channel is to have a second platform to build a community and create a bigger reach, but also to secure an income over time.
What type of content do you create (video/static etc), and which type works best for your audience?
I’m creating static feed posts as well as video content. Videos in a Carousel format perform best at the moment, followed by reels and daily stories. Posts in a Carousel format (static pictures as well as videos) have the greatest engagement in terms of likes, comments, saves & shares, and reach. This style of post is my “bread bringer”, that’s what I call it because it always performs great.
Reels are my creative outlet. Here I can play with different editing and trending audio. They usually perform well and get good feedback from my community, however, depending on how much it aligns with the IG algorithm, the performance (engagement, interactions) varies. Some go viral, and some perform on average.
Stories are my daily duty to keep my community updated but also allows me to take them along on my journeys, vlog style. They have great engagement when I’m traveling, doing a race, event, or when something exciting is happening.
This is the same with blog posts on my website. If it’s adventurous and I share it on my IG, then it gets a lot of attention.
In your own words and experience, how would you define “influencer marketing”?
I would define influencer marketing as a collaboration between well-known (in their field) social media users and brands to promote their products or services.
Why do you think influencer marketing is so powerful today?
Because of its authenticity! The content is original and consumers now believe more in genuine reviews and recommendations from people they can relate to.
Have you worked with brands before? How do you decide which brands to work with?
Yes, I have worked with several brands, located all over the world. I work with brands that I can identify with and choose products/services that convince me. Here’s a list of bands I’m currently working or worked with:
– FitLine (I’m in their athlete program but also creating content on a monthly basis. Exclusive contract for nutrition)
– FRÉ Skincare (long-term collaboration for skincare but not exclusive)
– Under Armour
– Albatros Adventure Marathons (long-term partner for adventure races)
– UTMB (trail running races, events)
– HMDS (long-term partner for races)
– WAA Ultra (belongs to HMDS)
– Tactical Foodpack
– Wings for Life World Run (long-term partner)
Not everything is listed here. I’ve also collaborated with start-ups and smaller race organizers.
I really enjoy the variety of my brand partnerships. On one side it’s the classic product placement and promotion (which I really enjoy), and on the other side, it’s having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to go to special events or races all over the world. For example, I’m flying to the Polar Circle in two weeks to race a marathon and half marathon there (Albatros Adventure Marathons) and two weeks later I will be in Egypt for the 120 km HMDS.
If it’s a product or service that I’m promoting, I really enjoy having the creative freedom to share it in an authentic and natural way with my community. And if I don’t like it, I don’t promote it.
How do you think influencer marketing will change over the next 12 months?
I think authenticity, transparency, and genuine connections will become more and more important.
How has influencer marketing changed since you began working within social media?
Brands became more aware of the power of influencer marketing by building trust through an influencer and their audiences which far surpassed what traditional, glossed-over types of advertisements and campaigns were capable of.
Do you use any software to help create and edit your content?
Yes, I use InShot, Lightleap, and Instories on my iPhone as well as Final Cut Pro X on my computer.
How do you balance your online and offline lives?
Having a structured plan that involves my daily work, training, and off-time. When not working, I’m mostly training (doing my sport is my biggest passion – sounds cheesy, I know).
I would call myself an outdoor and travel-loving person who likes to explore new places (also around my hometown/county) and go on micro-adventures. But I also love to have a movie night on the couch or read a good book and just chill.
During busy times it can be quite hard to switch off for me. My partner is then the one who reminds me of taking a break 🙂
Which influencers inspire you?
Where would you like to take your career as an influencer?
Growing my following to 1M. Inspiring, motivating, and being/growing as a role model in the running and fitness influencer scene. I can see myself traveling the world, running in stunning places, being at cool events & and meeting like-minded people. As a well-known influencer with a big following and reach, I see myself working with big brands in the sports and running industry.
If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.
@ Socially Powerful
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