The New Generation of Social Influencers Are Engaging Audiences in Meaningful Ways

Social Media Week

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The strategies of how a brand or company’s reaches an audience has fundamentally changed. “Increasing audiences online are looking to people they trust,” states Rahul Chopra, the CEO of Storyful. The key to reach and retain audiences is authenticity.

Lucie Greene, the Worldwide Director of Innovation at J, Walter Thompson, says that product reviews are becoming increasingly important to the point that if a product gets below 4 stars, it just won’t sell. In a time where marketing can be out of your control, making sure that brands are publishing authentic and relevant content is the best way to influence this digital audience.

Jesse Angelo, the CEO of the New York Post, explains that his company highly values the authenticity of their voice in each piece of content. Now, brands need to create a large amount of content, which brands like New York Post are already doing. For brands, partnerships are key for content creation and authenticity.

From live-stream YouTube gamers to Instagramers, there’s a lot of influencers online across topics and mediums. Lucie suggests that brands do a co-creation or collaboration with these influencers, or they can try to mimic these content strategies.

The panel agrees that the context of each piece of content needs to feel organic and authentic. Ilana Nolte, the President of North America’s m/Six, suggests that the “long game” of a brand needs to be to create content that compliments each other, and integrate a brand’s voice throughout.

She suggests that companies need to understand their audience, reach out to their influencers, and roll out content strategically.

The directness of how content reaches audiences should be well defined, and the transparency between brand, influencers, and the audience is crucial. When launching a campaign, a brand needs to ask themselves: if you’re going to do this, how do you do it?

Remember that if you put your product in the hands of an influencer, they might criticize it to their audience. The key is to pick the right influencer, and to do so, Lucie suggests assessing them like you would a media channel.

With content creation, the context should be on the forefront. In the digital age, this means “the art meeting the science.” Is this the right time and place? What does the data trends say for this time and medium? Does every piece of the campaign feel right? Does this feel authentic?

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Kathleen Engle

student, NYU


I'm a graduate student at NYU, studying Digital Media Publishing. I've previously worked in the book publishing industry. For my thesis, I'm creating a content aggregator app that works across social platforms. My hobbies are graphic design and trying out popular news apps. I'm also an excel guru and a sixth generation Floridian.

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