Your Influencer Marketing Summer Bucket List

Your Influencer Marketing Summer Bucket List

Summer can be a slow season for many marketers. But slower seasons also allow for you to try new things and experiment with your marketing plans. By now you have probably dipped your toes into influencer marketing and noticed all that it is capable of helping you achieve. But, like most things to do with social media, influencer marketing is always changing and adding new aspects into the mix. It’s hard to know which type of influencer or social channel or execution will be best for your brand. Use this time to try different areas of influencer marketing and find your sweet spot!

Here are some bucket list ideas to try this summer for your influencer marketing campaigns:

Try Going Live

Live videos are nothing new on Instagram– many influencers do them all the time. In fact, celebrities like John Mayer even use them as a platform to host their own shows, bringing in millions of views every time. But the word “live” can scare a lot of marketers away when it comes to a campaign. We already know the human error aspect involved in influencer marketing and having content all go on live without being corrected can be a terrifying thought. The important thing is to be prepared, find influencers you trust, and keep the content simple and direct. Live videos can be an innovative way for influencers to connect their audience with  your brand in a more personal and interactive way.

Go All In On Stories

It is becoming more and more apparent how impactful Instagram Stories are for engagement during campaigns. Some influencers get triple the views on a story than on their actual post. The swipe up feature can draw more clicks than a link in a bio and stories allow for more video content which can be beneficial to many brands. Find influencers who thrive through their Instagram stories and test a campaign only through those stories. You may find your engagement and conversion rates go up, all while saving you money since influencers tend to charge less for a story than an in-feed post.

Go Nano

Nano-influencers seem to be all the rage right now. We’ve discussed in the past the pros and cons of all size of influencers. So, depending on your brand and how specific your target market is, nano-influencers can be very beneficial if you are relying on strong conversion rates. Try running a small campaign with some influencers in the 1k-10k reach range. Influencers at this size will sometimes post in exchange for some product, so there might not be much to lose and in return you might find your own perfect influencer campaign. Of course the big “con” for nanos is content quality and control, so if you do choose to trial a campaign and have important brand guidelines you may be better of with the semi-pros in the mid-level range.

Explore Beyond Instagram and YouTube

We know Instagram and YouTube are dominating in the influencer marketing game. The way these social platforms are set up makes for compelling campaigns and easy-to-track engagement and conversion rates, but it might not hurt to explore other areas. TikTok, in the past several months, has seen a huge growth in numbers and could be the perfect platform if your target is in the under 18 age range. There are also streaming platforms, like Twitch, which bring in insane amount of viewers and incredibly influential users. The popularity of podcasts has even exploded in the past year causing many marketers to turn there for influencers. We aren’t saying to completely ditch Instagram and YouTube, but be aware of the impact of other social channels, especially if your audience is Gen Z.

Go Long Term

Summer could be the perfect time to begin a long term campaign that’ll last throughout the remainder of the year or even into 2020. Maybe you are unsure of which way to go in influencer marketing–this is your chance to test the waters with different types of posts or a variety of influencers to see what works and what doesn’t. You also have the chance to start building long term relationships with influencers with the goal of them becoming brand ambassadors. This season is a great opportunity to experiment so that when the busy months and holidays come along, you’ll have set your campaign up for true success.

Influencer marketing is always changing and social media is always adding new and exciting things to the mix. Although it can be overwhelming at times always trying to keep up with every new update, there are always new things to embrace, including some of the ideas on this summer bucket list. One of the most valuable things about influencer marketing is the ability to test a variety of options through mini campaigns to find what brings the most success for your brand. We hope you can cross off one or more of these from your summer bucket list and come out of the season with a new way to ensure a successful influencer campaign.

About MATTR: MATTR, leaders in influencer campaigns for highly regulated industries, is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

Can I Run an Influencer Campaign for a Drug with a Boxed Warning?

Can I Run an Influencer Campaign for a Drug with a Boxed Warning?

I had a thirty minute phone call with a director at the FDA in April, 2019 about influencer campaigns for drugs with boxed warnings. She was so helpful! Read on for the insight she provided:

By now we know that pharmaceutical companies have pressed forward beyond experimenting with influencer marketing. Their stocks are soaring, people are living longer, and millennials, who trust influencers way more than they trust you-the-brand-or-agency, are now concerned with their own little ones’ health. It’s the perfect recipe for an addictive marketing drug–with no side effects.

However, you’re also surely aware of, and concerned with, the regulations. There have been only a few FDA wrist-slaps but to a pharma’s legal, the whole idea of giving a contractor on YouTube or Instagram control over the messaging screws up their faces as if they’ve just swallowed the worst tasting cough syrup imaginable. And the legal hassles have one profound side effect: long timelines. Plan on 3-4x the time of a usual campaign. But it’s all worth it; the ROIs for influencer marketing are between $6.50 and $12.00 for every dollar spent.

But what about drugs with boxed label warnings? Can you possibly run an influencer campaign with so many strict regulations? The short answer is yes, but you do need to be aware of some critically important factors. And lawyers don’t like short answers anyway.

Winter Is Coming…But Not For A While

In general, regulatory for pharma influencer campaigns is tough: influencer captions are obligated to use FDA-approved language, the post needs pre-approval from a committee at the pharma, contraindications listed, “fair balance” of benefits and risks, adverse events monitoring in comments…the list goes on a bit further. It is all do-able (we are in the middle of a couple campaigns now) though, so don’t be discouraged! So let’s get to boxed warnings. And, like drugs without boxed warnings, there is a way to legally run an influencer campaign that will satisfy the lawyers who, when presented with the strategy, look like they’ve seen Wight Walkers coming over the wall.

The Wight Walkers – Game of Thrones, HBO

Boxed warnings, also called, “black box” warnings, are mandatory for products that have severe or life-threatening side effects. Incidentally, they’re called, “boxed” warnings because the warning must be embedded in a box:

Besides Celebrex, you’ll see boxed warnings on antidepressants, contraceptives, anticoagulants, and more. This is serious stuff, which is why anyone’s first inclination when talking about an influencer campaign to the Gods of Marketing is, “Not today.”


What About Unbranded Campaigns?

Unbranded campaigns are those in which the brand and its benefits are not revealed. Think of it as awareness information for a condition, a kind of public service announcement. Typically there will be a link to drug’s site or a coupon download a few steps removed from the site. From the FDA’s perspective, the hairy part is just how many clicks away the product is revealed. This first guidance is called, “temporal proximity”, in the parlance of a federal agency and it makes sense because agency rules aside, consumers hate to be tricked. This goes for boxed and non-boxed warning drugs, by the way.

“agency rules aside, consumers hate to be tricked.”

The second no-no is what’s called, “suggestive content”. This is more qualitative than temporal proximity, and addresses those unbranded media which “look” like the drug in typeface, colors, or imagery. Think of an unbranded campaign for erectile dysfunction that featured a gorgeous, smiling couple on a bed with 1800 thread count sheets under a night dome of stars. You get the idea.

Time to consult the FDA guidance, right?

Wrong. The FDA pulled the earlier guidance on unbranded campaigns as they revise their direction in light of new media like social. And no, they legally cannot disclose when the guidance will be coming (I did ask), but you can get a notification when it’s live by providing your email to their list on And yet again, “suggestive content” applies to drugs with and without boxed warnings.

Absolutely, Positively, “No”

There is only one absolute with boxed warning drugs: reminder promotions. You may not use the drug’s name on any “reminder promotion” unless the boxed warning is present, but at that point you’d want all the other content to go with the promotion anyway, so it wouldn’t be a reminder ad. Think of a reminder promotion as a giveaway squishy stress ball at a conference, with the drug’s name printed on it. Companies have tried to get around this for boxed warning drugs by putting the giveaway in a cellophane package, on which the boxed warning is printed. But that’s too much of a grey area for the FDA director I spoke with. Influencer posts could be used as reminder promotion but it doesn’t seem likely.

So drugs with boxed warnings have all the strict requirements for promotions as those without and only one important outlyer (reminder promotions). But, as with a non-boxed warning drug, there must be “fair balance” in both the imagery and text of a promotion: as many risks as benefits must be present. You can bet that the boxed warning will have to be prominent in an influencer post, but we’ll hopefully learn more when the guidance is published by the FDA.

About MATTR: MATTR, leaders in influencer campaigns for highly regulated industries, is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.