Julius’ Top Tip for Influencer Partnerships: Show Genuine Interest



Julius’ Danny Palestine was joined at #SMWNYC by a panel of industry experts to discuss how marketers can have successful, effective partnerships with influencers.


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Influencers are on the pulse of what’s happening in social. They’re not just content producers anymore. They are strategists.

“People are not looking up to pro-athletes or actors on TV as much anymore. They’re looking at the influencers,” said Sarah DeThomasis, Director of Digital Strategy at RpR Marketing Communications.

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Joined by Danny Palestine, Head of Customer Strategy at Julius, Jeremiah Rosen, CEO of Sundae, and Jeremy Simon, SVP of Influencer Marketing at Lippe Taylor, this panel came together to discuss all-things influencer at #SMWNYC 2019.

Here are their top three takeaways on what brands need to know about the influencer space:

Help Influencers achieve their personal and professional goals.

Fifty percent of influencers are making more money this year than they were last year. As brands increase their outreach to influencers, it becomes more and more challenging to get the attention of higher echelon influencers.

“You don’t necessarily need money or products to entice an influencer,” says Palestine. “We didn’t have anything outside of our time and creativity. We customized assets specifically for the influencer to build that one-on-one connection. When we reached out to them, they were widely engaged with us. And when they shared us on social, our numbers were through the roof.”

By showing genuine interest in who they are and what they believe in, you will be able to get the best work out of influencers.

Another tip from Julius and Lippe Taylor’s influencer survey is that 80 percent of professional influencers work with brands seven to 10 times a year. “If you want to work with an influencer who knows the ropes, look for that seven to 10 threshold. You’ll know it’ll be smooth sailing and that the content will be immaculate,” advises Palestine.

Don’t discount bloggers

When we look at the influencer space, we think about Instagrammers. But results show that 28 percent of professional influencers have a blog. “Blogging is a legacy platform that has transcended the social media wave. There’s a lot of longevity and SEO benefits, so don’t discount this medium,” recommends Palestine.

Influencers claim they can be their most authentic and expressive on this platform. “Advance storytelling can be done on a blog. If you’re working with a smaller influencer who has a blog, it can indicate that they take this a little more seriously.”

Nano influencers have value, too!

When you take a look at nano influencers beyond the numbers, they can be equated to junior employees who brands can nurture. “When we give them the opportunity to excel, they are going to perform for us because of that relationship,” says Palestine. “It also helps that they are probably more cost-effective at that lower-level.” Over time, this can result in a stable network of influencers that deliver quality content.

When deciding between nano and macro influencers, it all depends on your business objectives. “We’re very much of the mind that anyone can have an influence, so if you’re just trying to get a mass quantity of content or get a promotional code out there, you might be able to go the nano influencer route,” DeThomasis suggested.

Rosen added, “If you take the best performing nano influencers and put them head-to-head in a paid environment against a macro or celebrity influencer, there’s much less drop off with the nano content because the content itself was created more credibly.”

Influencers prefer to work with brands directly

Sixty-five percent of influencers prefer to work with brands directly instead of agencies. Why is this the case?

“Agency work is more project-based, whereas brands are able to plan for the entire year. With project-based work, influencer turnover within an agency is quite high. It’s not the best experience for them,” explained Palestine.

What can agency people and brand marketers do to enhance their relationship with influencers? Take them to coffee. Get to know who they are as people. Bring them in as a consultant. They are on the pulse of what your target audience is talking about, so ask them what they care about.

When it comes to the future of influencer marketing, Simon urges top-tier influencers to set the stage. “Celebrities had something outside of their promotions. What we’re seeing now with professional influencers is that the level of sponsored content to editorial content is at 90:10 when it should be 30:70 to be considered authentic,” Simon shared. “It’s up to top-tier influencers to find something outside of being an influencer if they wish to continue leveraging their audience.”

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