Influencer marketing has been around for a long time. Appropriately enough, its influence as a discipline is growing. According to SheSpeaks, 70% of brands will increase their influencer marketing budget in 2016. The types of influencers that brands are using are expanding as they try to tell stories in ways that appeal to different audiences and reach them more organically.
Several sessions at WOMMA’s recent Summit shared best practices and case studies that showcase the power and delight of influencer marketing. Following are a few highlight from these sessions.
YouTube is the path to Millennials: More than one session highlighted the use of YouTube stars as the influencers of choice in appealing the Millennials. Here are a few factoids that were sprinkled across several sessions.
- If a brand is going to work with a YouTube creator, it needs to demonstrate an understanding of the channel and the individual creator’s work. This is not product placement; it’s storytelling through the voice of the creator. The YouTuber will want creative freedom to tell the story their way, which is uncomfortable for many brands. In many instances, the brand is not involved in scripting or production. They can, however, write their contracts to pay 50% upon approval of the influencer and concept, and the last 50% upon review and approval of the video. Compensation is based upon reach and audience match. Reelio and Visa presented a great case study and best practices associated with this trend.
- According to Reelio, inclusion in a YouTube influencer’s video has a 40x advantage over video pre-roll and enjoys a 9.2 % click-thru via link at bottom of video or landing page.
- YouTube sensation, Bethany Mota, shared tips about the best way to engage. Her biggest issue is remaining true and authentic to her audience, which at 17 million viewers and 36 million views, is considerable. She will only work with brands that she uses, loves and fits her persona. She likes to involve her fan base in content creation and other activities. For example, she has her own clothing line and seeks input on what people are wearing and how they put outfits together. This becomes input for her line.
- Comedy is more important to male Millennials than music, gaming or sports. Finding the stars that can incorporate the right mix is the key to reaching this elusive demo. Gillette shared a campaign that leveraged dude perfect for a launch of a new razor that used comedy and sports. Click-thru to product landing page was 10%.
Tier two bloggers can be more effective than working with “unicorns”. Most people think influencers are unicorns……but are they relatable? One high profile influencer vs. a “herd of unicorns” sharing can have just as much, if not more, reach and in many instances are more relatable.
- Stefania Pomponi of Clever Girls shared a Crest case study where 23 influencers created 23 million impressions as part of a new product launch.
Momfluentials still matter. Many mom influencers have larger audiences than many cable stations. As with the YouTube stars, a brand first needs to understand the mom influencer and what kind of content she creates. Products need to integrate seamlessly into the influencer’s content.
A few best practices:
- Use multiple influencer channels (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat etc.). Understand how to adapt content for each channel. For example, Facebook is essentially a broadcast channel while Pinterest is a planning channel; each requires entirely different content strategy.
- Reviews are still important. 96% of women buy after reading a positive review (if they are in the market for the particular product category). Authentic review generation is an important part of engagement strategy. Make it easy for people to share their honest opinions and experiences.
- Brands do not always have to co-create with an influencer: share content with them and allow them to share it first, or collaborate with a partner or retailer.
Kathy’s forte is enterprise content strategy, content marketing and thought leadership. Over the past 40 years, she has worked with both emerging brands and large enterprises in developing content and thought leadership strategies. She has written several research reports, white papers and has been a key contributor to Forbes Publish or Perish Report.