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4 Insights Into How Marketers Create An Integrated Approach To Influencer Marketing

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If you think of influencers as just another cog in your marketing wheel, Lindsay Fultz of theAmplify argues that you’re failing to harness the power of some of the world’s best content creators.

Lindsay Fultz is The Middle Child on Twitter, and she also advocates that influencer marketing be thought of as the middle child of an integrated approach to brand marketing. That’s probably not a coincidence, but it does make sense on both accounts.

Fultz, VP of Brand Partnerships and Strategy at theAmplify, spoke at Social Media Week New York on the topic of how to integrate your influencers into your overall strategy. And she started off on an interesting note.

“I hate the word ‘influencer.’ What does it actually mean?” she said.

If you’re wondering how someone who hates the word influencer was able to give a compelling talk on how to use influencers in their brand marketing, read on for the four biggest takeaways from her presentation:

The two buckets of influencers

When Fultz asked the crowd what the word influencer actually meant, she answered her own question by breaking the role down into two buckets.

“You have two buckets. Beautiful people, or creative people who actually have a talent,” she said.

The beautiful people bucket is the older model of influencer — though it’s still the current model for a lot of brands. A beautiful person gets guidelines on how to post their selfie. Their caption “reads like an infomercial.” And it’s difficult for brands to calculate exactly how much money these campaigns bring in. They are not integrated into the brand.

Increasingly, brands are looking to the newer model of engaging with creative, talented influencers who want as much say on how the campaign should look as the brands themselves.

How to integrate world’s best content creators

Fultz was incredibly high on the capabilities of this new bucket of influencers. “Influencers are some of the best content creators in the world,” she said early and often.

“When pinpointed correctly with audience and interest, they can actually speak to your audience in a way, and generate content in a way, that incites action and ignites conversation,” she added.

In order to integrate them successfully into your brand mission, you need to ask yourself some important questions. Is their profile the right aesthetic for your brand ethos and personality? Do they want to be locked into a partnership? Do they have a talent? And can they deliver on the long-term?

How to utilize Crowdcultures

Crowdcultures are as old as time, even if the word isn’t. Fultz describes them as the knitting club that meets up at the local arts and crafts shop, or your book club.

“Before the internet, Crowdcultures were communities that were based on geolocation.The communication then was limited to location. For the most part, brands had no idea this was going on,” she said. “Today, these Crowdcultures are happening all over, and brands have access to either be a brand sponsor or to enlist brand ambassadors as long-term partners.”

Content that crosses borders

Obviously, an influencer that creates content that reaches all different demographics is a prime choice. But “borders” in this case is more than just about reaching new markets. It’s also about breaking down the silos of marketing.

Influencer marketing is the middle child of marketing, and it should touch digital, social media, customer support, content marketing, e-commerce, shopper, events and PR, and paid SEO, according to Fultz.

Influencers can work with all these groups. “It should not just live on social,” said Fultz.

Influencer chatbots are a prime example

One way that influencer marketing can break down silos is in the world of chatbots. Chatbots were a huge topic at SMWNYC, and they came up as a way for brands to integrate the personality of an influencer into different aspects of the business.

“An influencer chatbot is a way to have one-to-one, personalized conversations at scale,” said Fultz. “You can integrate exclusive content, surveys, tickets, coupons. Your brand is authentically integrated when it makes sense.

Fultz was a champion of the power of influencers in her talk, both in terms of their own self-worth and what they can bring to a brand.

“When you invest in them, they invest in you,” she said. “And the return is huge.”

theAmplify is a creative brandtech influencer service that makes influencer marketing better, faster, and easier.

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