Do Marketers Really Need Video Influencers?



This event took place at Social Media Week in Los Angeles. Sign up for SMW Insider to access the full video of this event and 50+ other #SMWLA sessions.


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“When video influencer marketing is done right,” says Jessica Clifton, U.S. Managing Director of Strategic Growth and Development at Edelman, “studies show it brings in more than five times the return on investment, two times the sales of paid advertising, and 37 percent higher retention rate over paid advertising,”

Clifton, Rob Jones, SVP of Video Strategy and Programming at Edelman and Adam Smith, President of United Entertainment Group — shared in this session how to successfully use video influencers and develop campaigns that deliver results.

The three recently created Starling, a company connecting global influencers and brands to create authentic, measurable, long-term partnerships. This is their recommended game plan on influencer marketing:

Understanding different types of influencers

Smith explained that there are different types of influencers to take into consideration when starting a campaign. He says there are three types.

“You have celebrities, which are typically paired with the TV and movie platforms; Influencers, who are usually those who become famous on Facebook and YouTube with their own tight knit community of fans; and Hybrids – think Kylie Jenner or Selena Gomez, who are famous, but who are driving brands on social such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.”

Clifton also explained that there is another way to categorize influencers — not by the platforms they influence on — but by the type of influence they have.

“You see cultural influencers, who are celebrities, influential consumers and media stars; media influencers such as journalists and bloggers; and representative influencers such as elected officials,” she said.

Creating your game plan and the three A’s: Awareness, Affinity and Action

Jones explained that as you start to create a partnership with an influencer, it’s important to look at awareness, affinity and action.

Awareness, he said is finding out what your goals are, for example reaching a new audience or amplifying a new message or program.

Affinity, he said it looking at how to change opinions and recruit new customers with your influencer. What do you want your influencer to relate to? Who is their audience?

And finally, he explained that action is when you work to drive increased engagement and conversation.

“It’s important to remember to look at your influencers and know that slapping a label on content doesn’t work. It has to be organic and authentic content to work. Once we create that content, we look into amplifying and taking action.”

Jones encourages brands to use all the data they have to learn more about their influencers audiences, their own audience, and the audiences they want to reach.

What to take into consideration when choosing your influencer

“There are four key things to think of as a brand when selecting influencers,” Jones said. “Reach, Relevance, Resonance and Relationship.”

Reach is asking, “do they reach the target audience?”

Relevance is asking, “does their content tap into the key brand attributes?”

Resonance is asking, “Will the brand’s value proposition resonate with this audience?”

And, relationship is the importance of matching workflows and building a relationship between your influencer and their community.

“It’s important to develop content that resonates with the influencer’s community,” Jones said. “Collaborate with the influencer and if content is more heavily branded, host it on your own channel.”

This event took place at Social Media Week in Los Angeles. Sign up for SMW Insider to access the full video of this event and 50+ other #SMWLA sessions.

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