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What’s the Secret to Getting the Most out of Your Influencer Campaigns? People Power, Says The Outloud Group

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During their #SMWNYC session, Beckett and Hoos shared their best advice for how to make structural changes that will lead to a more successful and efficient influencer program.

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Mention the word ‘influencer’ to someone ten years ago and they wouldn’t have a clue what you were on about. These days, influencers can be the difference between the growth and demise of a brand.

The birth of influencer campaigns and the fact that careers are made and companies explode through the power of human endorsement have led to a gradual understanding in the marketing world. Influencers are priceless commodities in the 21st century.

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Joel Beckett, Founder and CEO and Bradley Hoos, CGO of The Outloud Group an influencer agency based in Detroit, Michigan, took an interesting angle in explaining how to cash in and maximize profit from influencer campaigns during their #SMWNYC talk.

Instead of focusing on what’s best to do, they spoke about what companies who fail don’t do well – and what newer brands are triumphing from – in their chat about successful influencer-ran campaigns. They were joined by Mallorie Rosenbluth from GrubHub – a national food delivery service who have cracked the use of the influencer successfully.

Here are the most important takeaways from their half an hour session:

Power to the people

‘I am not the smartest person in the room – the creator is.’

The critical takeaway from Joel and Bradley’s talk was that there’s a power shift that has to take place between creative teams and influencers for success to arise. It’s a powerful statement to start with, and a belief that both speakers believe needs to be engrained into the mind of every member of a brand’s team when creating a campaign. The control, from a design perspective, has to be put in the hands of the influencers. Let them get to know your brand before you work with them. Spend time on it. It will pay off at the end.

Your creative team might feel neglected and disrespected by your decision to leave it to the influencers. But they’ll be immediately better at promoting your brand if they know it inside out, believe in it and want to promote it for you because they’ve been allowed an input. It might be difficult to relinquish duties and delegate creativity to other people – much like tearfully watching your children leave home. But it’s a shepherding job – tell the influencer what your goal is and leave them to it. How they get there is up to them.

Harsh realities were what Joel and Bradley focused on – and their adamant stance on relinquishing creativity included shutting the legal team out. ‘Put them in their place early,’ they say. ‘Their input will only ruin the programme.’

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

In the past, legacy companies were very specific in their ways of doing things. This included only using one influencer agency – an AOR (Agency-On-Record) as it’s known in the industry. But AOR’s don’t usually have expertise in the area of brand-influencer relationships. They’re all about the advertising. You don’t need to be loyal to one agency. Use different agencies to attract different influencers. Each one will be better suited to the specific influencer you’re looking for.

Many people believe influencers are useful for two purposes – brand awareness and customer acquisition. But it goes much further. According to Joel and Bradley, 75 percent of influencer traffic will not be attributable in any measurable way. But, in reference to the earlier point that letting the influencers get to know your brand is vital, it’s the brand advocacy that matters. They aren’t just advertising your brand  – they’re telling the consumers that they like it. And they mean it, too. Consumers can tell whether it’s real or it’s fake. So make it imperative that the influencer loves your product.

Similarly, trying before you buy runs just as true with people as it does with products. Getting to know your influencers beforehand means you can filter out the ‘shockjocks’ – as Joel referred to them – and the people who are more likely to ruin your brand with some bad decisions and bad press. Contractual agreements are always an option – but it’s much more expensive and time-consuming in the long run.

Get the right metrics

Mallorie’s intervention was ultimately a demonstration of how to do it correctly. She spoke of how GrubHub combatted the final pitfall of legacy companies mentioned by Brad and Joel. The lack of organizational alignment and measurement by brands when attempting to nail down their metrics can often lead to a brand’s downfall.

She used GrubHub’s example of using streaming gamers on Twitch to sponsor. ‘Who’s better suited to eating pizza in their basement than streaming gamers?’ It’s a fair point. It’s also likely that the people watching will be gamers too, hence their interest. And there you go – target acquired.

But how do you measure that?

It’s just like TV. Get the timestamp of when the ad plays – or in this case, when the gamer bites into a slice – and measure the website traffic at the time.

Even on social media, measuring website traffic during influencer campaigns and measuring

Instagram isn’t all that

When most people think of influencers, they think of Instagram. There’s alliteration between the two words, after all. But according to Brad and Joel, Instagram is base level for influencer campaigns. If you want to hit the big time, it rests on video – something Wix is doing well with targeted YouTube ads featuring big names like Karlie Kloss.

YouTube and Twitch, two streaming websites which rely less on scrolling and more on focused attention, should be immediate considerations when planning influencer campaigns.

Joel and Bradley might be endorsing their service, but the points they were iterating were firm beliefs – with evidence to back them up.

‘We don’t believe brands have a choice in whether to do influencer. It’s entirely necessary.’

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