Turning Influencer Marketing All the Way Up

Later this month I’ll give a presentation at Spredfast Summit in Austin, TX in a session called “The Risks and Rewards of Celebrity and Influencer Social Voices.” If you’re going to be in the area, please join us!

In an attempt to share with those who cannot attend (as well as gather my thoughts), below is a general summary of the brief talk I plan to deliver.

Context. Context is key when working with social influencers. Athletes, artists, gamers, etc…each have their own unique culture, each of which in turn has its own unique sub-cultures. Understanding this cultural context is critical not only in picking the right influencers for your campaign but in the development of content as well. If an influencer typically posts from football stadiums, the content that the influencer creates with your brand will be vastly different vs. that which might be created backstage at concerts. Marketers need to do more than simply identify the kinds of influencers they need – they must understand the nuances of their cultural niche and their audiences in order to build effective campaigns. I plan to show a bit of how we organize around this context at Roc Nation and put it to use for our clients and the brands with which they partner.

Empowerment. No one knows how to connect with their audience better than the influencer themselves. Therefore, successful influencer programs require brands to surrender a great deal of control. Setting an influencer loose behind a brand he or she believes in is the best way to make an impact – even if it results in a messier / less predictable campaign than marketers might otherwise be used to. This means empowering influencers by giving them tools and opportunities to participate in the campaign, regardless of how much control the brand has in specific circumstances. I plan to speak a but about what this means practically for things like approval workflows, timelines, talent relations and even media buying.

Data. If you aren’t using data to help select the right influencers, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Social listening platforms are now fairly commonplace, and they can tell you A LOT about an influencer’s audience and what their likely engagement will be. I plan to show some specific examples from my favorite social listening tool.