Brand Laryngitis: Losing Your Voice to Millennials

By Jack Holt, Mattr CEO It’s not much of a secret anymore: Kids don’t trust what brands tell them. Think back to your teenage years — when your parents told you to do whatever. (You’re the parent in this scenario, by the way.) Why is this so different? Because by 2020, those kids — millennials and Gen Zs — will spend $200 billion in the US. Also by 2020, Gen Zs, (kids born after 2000), will comprise 40% of our economy (source: Nielsen). So if you’re counting on digital, social, or TV ads to get your message through to consumers, you’re liable to be shifting uncomfortably in your seat when presenting to the CMO. But you have messages to get to your consumers, and budget. And now you’ve resigned yourself to the eventuality that you have to use a different voice than yours. What will you do? There are some effective strategies emerging but let’s look at some current ones.   Native Advertising Budgets for native blew up last year. The Daily Beast saw a 50% increase in brand requests for native ads from 2014–2015. You’ve surely seen these articles or videos thinly disguised as editorial content. Maybe they are labeled, “sponsored content”. Regardless, the “savvy-cynicals” have already stopped clicking. A survey by Trusted Media Brands found a small reduction of brands planning to use native this year. Are they just tapping the brakes? Doubtful. Track Maven found that, although brands increased these ads by 78% in 2013–14, interactions declined 60%. Your target audience is desperately seeking authenticity and native content is a big Authenticity-Hole. Because you’re trying to trick them, doing your brand more...

Real Talk: Influencer Relationships Beyond the Campaign

In our Real Talk series, we’ve guided you through the many stages of working with influencers for a campaign: including analyzing and choosing influencers, creating your campaign, conveying your brand, and making changes during a campaign. In this final installment, we discuss what happens after the campaign ends. While the campaign is still fresh in your memory, you should document your experience with each influencer. Save the feedback and the results they drove for your brand. It may even be helpful to record a score for each that you keep in your records. If you do a campaign in the future and want to consider using some of the same influencers, you want to have an indication of your experience with them. If you run many paid influencer campaigns, the more documentation you keep, the better. Next, provide feedback to the influencers you worked with. This is good for you because you may want to work with them again, and it’s beneficial for them because it helps them learn from the experience. This is especially valid if they’re relatively new to being a paid influencer. They may want to work with additional companies in the future as an influencer and your feedback could help them refine their content and approach. Focus your feedback on three areas: The quality of their content (uniqueness, alignment with your brand/campaign, reception by their followers) Their efforts to drive more from their content (engagement, sharing, etc.) How well they operated within the parameters of the campaign In each area, tell them what they did well and what they could improve in the future. Make sure you’re...

Real Talk: Overcoming Obstacles During an Influencer Campaign

Our last installment of the Real Talk series focused on helping your influencers understand your brand messages, while also spreading the word via their own personal style. Picking up at where we left off, you’ve now provided the influencers with your brand’s message pillars and given them the guidance to use their creative freedom to spread the word. So what’s next? – actually executing the campaign. This is a crucial point of your relationship with your influencers. You can’t look at the campaign with a set it and forget it attitude. Using influencers can reduce the time on your plate usually associated with content creation during a campaign, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t involved with the execution. You must be readily available to your chosen influencers every step of the way – including during the entire duration of the campaign. Throughout the course of a campaign things often don’t go as planned. It’s likely that a situation will arise in which the influencer will need assistance. Someone from your team should be ready to engage with them when and if they have questions. Influencers can range from highly experienced to first-timers, but no matter their experience level, situations can arise where you must be ready to jump in to help them, guide them, and sometimes even solve a problem. Here are some common situations that you could run into: BRAND Obstacle: stay relevant At times, your brand may have fluctuations in the quality, functionality, service, or style of the product/service influencers are promoting or representing during the campaign. Being that your influencers are in essence your brand ambassadors, they should...

Real Talk: Helping Influencers Understand Your Brand Messages & How to Personalize Them

Every brand has its own way of talking. Certain words or phrases may be used while others are actively avoided. Statements could be simple and direct or full of imagery and emotion. Tone might be educational and helpful or sarcastic and humorous. A brand’s talking style differs greatly from one to the next, but on top of the style, every brand also has certain brand messages that emphasize its product or services, competitive advantages and experience. Altogether, there’s a lot that goes into how a brand presents itself. When you work with influencers, it’s important that they understand your brand messages and style. Your instinct may be to approach this task the same way you would when educating marketing employees and agencies on your brand, but the two scenarios are very different. While it might make sense to provide your ad agency with a Brand Style Guide, doing so with influencers would probably be overkill, so much so that some may even question working with you. Remember, influencers have their own unique voice, much like your brand. The value for you in working with them is derived from that voice they’ve already formed. It’s that voice that led them to become an influencer and accumulate followers who value their opinion. The worst thing you can do is try and force your brand on them so much that their voice is minimized. You want to tap into their network positively, not have it appear as if they’re simply a hired shill. So how do you maximize the voice of your influencers? Prioritization. It’s helpful to give a booklet or document...

Real Talk: Creating Your Campaign & Finalizing the Influencer Relationships

Last week we kicked off our Real Talk series on influencer marketing with a post on how you can use Mattr to analyze and choose influencers for a campaign. Today we’re following that up with a post guiding you through the next phase of the influencer marketing lifecycle, creating the actual campaign. You’ve done your research and decided which influencers you want to work with, but what now? How do you establish a relationship between your brand and these influencers? The first step is creating the influencer campaign. — Set your objectives. What is the purpose of the campaign? Are you trying to raise awareness for your brand or an event? Do you want to increase engagement or create brand advocates? Determining your objective is very important because it will help dictate what your influencers will do for you. — Outline the tactics. What exactly will influencers be doing? They’ll want to know this, so you need to have answers ready for them. Are they taking photos? Videos? Of what? Where? When? You should have all this documented, along with examples of what you would consider perfect pieces of content. This helps them understand what’s expected of them. — Determine your KPIs. How are you going to assess if your campaign was successful? The first thing you need to do is figure out the metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs), you’ll use to make that determination. If your objective is focused on brand awareness, then shares could be a KPI. If your objective is engagement, likes or comments could be one. — Benchmark goals. Your influencers need to understand...