How Fullscreen Navigates the Influencer Marketing Bubble and Measures Success
What are the smart ways to jump on the influencer marketing bandwagon, including measuring success beyond organic results? Fullscreen will answer this question during their #SMWLA event, “Navigating the Influencer Marketing Bubble: Measuring Success“
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Our session at Social Media Week Los Angeles will focus on the three view points of influencer marketing — influencers (creators) with BLT repping them, brands with Misha repping from Maxus, and the partners who match and grow these relationships (aka Fullscreen repping).
How should brands measure success of influencer marketing? Any essential metrics or data points to track?
The recent flareup around influencer marketing being overrated really fascinates me. Social media has fundamentally changed the balance of power between customers and brands as peer recommendations play a much larger role in purchase decisions, and influencer marketing’s ROI now blows online advertising out of the water – just ask data heavy weights Nielsen and McKinsey.
Of course – there is not one silver bullet metric that can demonstrate value or ROI for the many types of influencer marketing campaigns out there. Instead, brands or agencies should take the first but most important step towards success (for anything, not just influencer campaigns) — and winnow down their list of goals to one or two max.
I know this is super hard to do, but it’s critical to define the key objective and then work with your influencer marketing partner to match this objective against the specific audience you want to reach. Fullscreen works with each brand to map the top objective and audience with the best type of influencer content and highest performing platform before we even start the conversation of which influencers will participate.
The most popular objectives are to create brand awareness, push engagements, or drive clicks / sales. Yet no matter what the objective, I urge brands to look beyond the simple calculation of total “reach” of an influencer – i.e., total number of followers / subscribers across all platforms.
If awareness is your top objective, push your partners to qualify that reach in more depth — focus on the reach of the influencer on the particular platform(s) they will be posting on for your specific campaign. Go further and ask for the average reach for the influencer for a lookalike campaign or competitor, if available. Whenever possible – compare contextually. All verticals are not created equal in influencer marketing.
Even better, though, is to gauge an influencer’s potential success with your brand against two filters — the composition of the influencer’s audience and how well their sponsored content performs. Even if the influencer has amazing estimated reach based on their follower count, what percentage of those followers constitute the demographic you are trying to reach?
Review their average engagement rate for posts — is their audience engaged with the content? Lastly — review some of their previous sponsored content to get a sense of what a more realistic reach and engagement rate is for the same type of content you’ll be asking them to create. Contrasting the performance of an influencer’s selfie with an adorable puppy against a branded integration is not an accurate comparison.
SMW: What does Fullscreen do differently than others regarding talent, partnerships, and audience development?
Fullscreen creates differently in all respects. In the past 2 or 3 years, Fullscreen has catapulted beyond the tired concept of a YouTube “multi channel network” (MCN) to become a full fledged digital media company (hence our new name, Fullscreen Media). We have a staff of over 20 people who are dedicated to identifying, recruiting and grooming our network of influencers — and not just on YouTube.
My division, Fullscreen Brandworks, is the comprehensive social media and influencer marketing powerhouse. Our core offerings are geared towards brands and advertising with them in creative, authentic ways. We understand the emotional connection with trusted personalities and we have the talent, data and tools that can match up influencers with brands to create a powerful partnership.
The statistics that always impress me, no matter how many times I mention them, are those that reflect the numbers behind the passionate audiences who follow our network of influencers. There’s a perception that YouTube and social media is for teens. But digital has grown up and the demographics of our audience prove this.
The median age of our audience is 33 – compare that to the average TV viewer at 55. Two-thirds of these folks are 18 – 49, which is the sweet spot for TV viewership. Additionally, the average HHI is $79K, which is $17K higher than TV’s average of $52K. They index higher in buying new gadgets first and are truly early adopters.
Since day one we envisioned a world where various screens, devices and platforms would emerge, but the true power belongs to the influencers, and Fullscreen is synonymous with the creators behind this highly engaged audience. They continue to build content around passion points that resonate with their audience, their values, and what excites them.
SMW: Why is influencer marketing an important ingredient to a brand’s marketing strategy, especially as younger generations advance in their life or career?
It’s been said that emotion is the strongest driver of advocacy and enrichment. And youth behavior hasn’t really changed in thousands of years — when you’re in that sweet spot of tween, teen and young adulthood phases, you are passionate and feel deeply about the interests, hobbies, and personalities who inspire you.
Older generations had to wait until college or later adulthood to physically find other folks who could “geek out” on the things they cared about too. The beauty and power of the internet is that it’s even easier for young people currently to find other people who are passionate about these niche interests — and they don’t have to live anywhere near each other. This earlier, stronger adoption regarding personalities allows for lifelong relationships to exist between influencers and their fans, even as they both age and enter new life phases.
Sponsored content on an influencer’s channel is often hailed by their followers as a sign of “making it” and has become the norm for influencers during each stage of their careers. Luckily their fans can easily follow along and with the best influencers, feel like their voices are heard during all of these phases. Influencer marketing, in every form throughout history, will always drive customer action by leveraging human emotion through the art of storytelling.
SMW: Any major milestones of Fullscreen establishing itself as a leader in digital entertainment?
As mentioned earlier, we have recently rebranded our nearly 750-employee company as Fullscreen Media — and one of the most exciting divisions is Fullscreen Entertainment, comprising some amazing initiatives like Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Productions, the company’s subscription VOD services for Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen (the app we launched in April!), and Fullscreen Live, which will produce 250 live, in-person events in 2016 with our hottest influencers.
SMW: What’s on the horizon for digital content and influencer marketing? What’s likely going to happen this year? In 5 years?
During our 2016 NewFronts presentation, our CEO George Strompolos used one of my favorite Fullscreen taglines — “People Are the New Media.” Fullscreen placed a big bet early on that influencers would become media channels in their own right, and for the savvier agencies and brands, the future has already arrived in terms of programmatic buying against influencer channels. The digital media and content marketing companies that will succeed will be those who leverage technology to truly activate influencers at scale.
One way that Fullscreen is at the forefront of this is with our influencer marketing platform suite – we’re able to identify the sub set of influencers to use on a campaign based on the demographics of their audience as a whole, just like a TV network evaluates their viewership. The platform allows us to distribute branded social influencer content just as a media network can amplify content across multiple properties.
An example of this media activation is our HerScreen & HisScreen initiative, which aggregate the top 50 female- and male-led creator channels in a way that mirrors primetime programming and packages them with Nielsen campaign-rated audience buying. The top 50 channels include female stars like Grace Helbig, Andrea Russett and Eva Gutowski, while the male stars include Fine Brothers Entertainment, Rooster Teeth and Devin Supertramp.
This new offering will be optimized for unique reach and viewability, with guarantees through Nielsen’s DAR and Comscore’s vCE measurement. To put the potential reach in perspective, the HerScreen influencers deliver some 14 million views per week, rivaling femme-focused TV shows like “Project Runway,” while the HisScreen vertical has a bigger dude audience than male-centric TV shows like “Walking Dead,” “People vs. OJ Simpson” and the NBA All-Star Game!
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