If Influencer Marketing hadn’t already made an impact on the marketing industry in years past, it surely did in 2016. In fact, new research says that 86 percent of marketers used this strategy last year and most marketers are looking to double their investment in 2017. Let’s talk about some brands we believe rocked the 2016 Influencer Marketing space.
We’ve seen this time and time again, consumers are constantly searching “how-to” for everything and reading that ‘this trend or that’ has forever changed the beauty industry. No longer do celebrities on TV commercials or billboard ads dominate the buying behaviors of beauty product consumers, but rather it’s influencers like Jaclyn Hill that are captivating audiences and moving them to buy products.
With a staggering 3 million YouTube subscribers and 2.9 million Instagram followers, this beauty blogger, in collaboration with Becca Cosmetics, gets our vote for an 2016 influencer marketing campaign done right.
Not only does Hill give her approval for Becca products after having used them many times, but the brand goes a step further in this campaign by working with the influencer to develop a product produced by both parties – Champagne Collection Face Palette. This relationship benefits both the brand and influencer. The influencer expands her profile, while the brand gets direct access to an audience already bought into the creator of the product.
Beauty isn’t the only industry being transformed by social media influencers. Check out this collaboration between Mercedes Benz and Loki the Wolf Dog. This Mercedes Benz video captures the emotional appeal of its audience by telling the story of Loki and his owner Kelly Lund, inspiring others to get out and experience life in the outdoors, all while remaining only a background object in this cinematic A+.
Without even mentioning the features of the 2017 Mercedes GLS (the product which the video is effectively promoting), the car captivates viewers. In conjunction with this commercial, a 2016 Influencer Marketing hashtag campaign, #MBPhotoPass, also took to Instagram to showcase beautiful imagery of the experience, and produced another video using a HD 360 camera – giving viewers the sense that they could be sitting right next to Loki and Kelly on another adventure. Curious what other possibilities mixing 360-degree technology and influencers can do for your campaign? Read about how we’re equipping our influencers with the technology to stay ahead of the game.
Putting video aside, brands like TD Ameritrade are tapping into the belief that real people as brand ambassadors can make a bigger impact on the way average people connect with them. TD Ameritrade developed a campaign to change the perceptions about the finance industry altogether. And instead of calling this an influencer campaign they are calling it a “movement”.
The Human Finance Project tells stories from real registered investment advisors (RIAs) about what it truly means to be an advisor. All of these stories were collected through a traveling storytelling booth and are now being shared on their website. Developing this movement put the most important part of the business at the forefront of the campaign – the people. By putting a face behind the name and using the right people to spread the word about what they do, TD Ameritrade is effectively building trust, awareness, and real engagement with the audience they’re aiming to attract.
Corona stretched its creative possibilities by teaming with fashion bloggers to showcase beer-inspired outfits to promote Corona Lite – the lower calorie version of the popular beer. Partnering with Gilt Groupe, an online flash sale site, the fashion influencers were shown on its website and Instagram wearing “Light Looks” curated by the fashion bloggers. In this case, their audience is being persuaded by these influential fashionistas that you can drink a delicious low-calorie beverage and look good doing it.
Lastly, let’s take a look at one of our own clients. Western Digital needed a cost-per-engagement pricing model to limit risk while requiring fast turnaround for influencer activation so they tasked Mattr with sourcing influencers through our Virtual Agent platform to create unique campaign content. We identified and activated influencers in the “parent” and “travel” target markets that were also available for travel and campaign stunts.
Western Digital authentically reached new target audiences by securing three influencers on extremely short notice. By the end of the campaign, the influencers had driven consumer engagement that far exceeded estimated engagement and impressions (15+% more than average influencer engagement), increasing brand awareness and conversation.
This is a great example of how knowing your audience, having an objective and bringing on the RIGHT social media influencers to promote your brand can produce effective results.
Which 2016 Influencer Marketing campaigns did we miss? Tell us your favorite brands and campaigns in the comments.
By now we’ve all heard the standard influencer marketing metrics that the internet claims can make or break a campaign. Referral traffic, trackable links, brand awareness metrics and engagement to name a few. But what do all of these standard metrics really mean, when you break them all down? For the newcomers to the Influencer Marketing world in 2017, what are the absolute musts for metrics when building and monitoring an influencer campaign?
At Mattr, we have our own ideas about what’s important for a brand to monitor and measure before, during and even after a campaign. Some of the most important metrics we promote to our clients fall under the umbrellas of brand fitness, brand alignment and brand budgets.
Brand Fitness: Monitoring the Online Health of Your Brand
Brand Fitness gives a detailed view of the ‘health’ of your online brand over a period of time. Generally, those metrics break down into the number of followers a brand has on Twitter, the number of fans they have on Facebook, their total YouTube views as well as their Google search volume. These engagement metrics can be customized based on a brand’s social networks and goals.
Another piece to Brand Fitness is a brand’s online Share of Voice – or how a brand’s share of social chatter and online searches compares to their competitors. Having a side-by-side view of social mentions as well as Google searches compared to rival companies gives brands a way to monitor developments in their influencer campaigns as they happen.
Brand Alignment: Are You Reaching the Right People?
Another feature of Mattr’s Influencer Marketing metrics is psychographic analyses of a brand’s influencers as well as an influencer’s audience. In other words, does the brand know the target audience they are looking to attract, and are the influencers they’ve hired for their campaigns reaching and aligning with those target audiences?
This psychographic analysis can start way before the actual influencer campaign begins. Through natural language processing algorithms, Mattr has the ability to analyze a brand’s own social audience and identify specific values, such as how green the group is, or how cost-conscious they might be. These values might help a brand identify target groups that are ideal for a specific campaign.
Next, Mattr can identify specific social influencers who hold those same values dear, and even further, can analyze the influencer’s audience to make sure they align with the brand ideals as well. This gives brands more confidence in hiring the right influencers, as well as more confidence that the right eyes and ears will be subjected to the influencer’s content. A win, win for the brand. Keep in mind that this psychographic analysis is also an ongoing metric, that can be tweaked as needed through a full campaign, or from campaign to campaign based on specific brand goals.
Brand Budget- Keeping Your Dollars in Check
A last metric Mattr monitors for our clients throughout the influencer campaign is the brand budget. The success of a campaign is often related to how much a brand spends, especially if those brands are smaller and have less resources to waste. How do we do this? We hire influencers for brands based on a Cost Per Engagement model that ensures that a brand’s influencers are performing, and that their target market is actually engaging. Mattr provides reports to keep track of spending and engagement, and allows brands to increase or decrease spend, and add or cut influencers, based on their influencer marketing goals.
If any of the above-mentioned influencer marketing metrics are important to your brand as you plan your 2017 strategy, give us a call to chat more about your options.
(Originally posted in Austin American Statesman)
In 2012, Sarah Ware founded a company called Markerly that built tools to make it easier for bloggers to share their content on social media.
Ware said their widgets allowed Markerly to gather data on which bloggers were “truly influential” based on how many people were sharing their content. So Markerly had the idea of sharing this data with brands interested in working with these social media influencers.
Soon, they were making more money off their influence marketing business than the widgets. Markerly, which started in San Francisco but moved its headquarters to Austin, is now focused exclusively on helping brands find influencers and develop campaigns.
They employ 15 people and raised $800,000 two years ago, most of which came from a single angel investor, Ware said.
As the popularity of the influence marketing industry soars, it’s also created an opening for middle-man tech companies.
These firms develop technology that helps brands find influencers, manage and automate campaigns and create metrics for measuring influence.
In Austin, there are several influence marketing companies that launched within the last three years. And even traditional advertising agencies like GSD&M now have entire teams dedicated to influence marketing campaigns.
Some influence marketing companies act like talent agents, building a network of influencers who sign up with them and then connecting them with brands based on the type of campaign. They will also help out with the negotiations and with planning the campaign.
Other companies also have developed technology that helps pinpoint exactly how much influence these influencers have.
It’s not enough to just count how many followers on Instagram a fashion blogger has accrued, in part because it’s fairly easy to “buy” followers.
Daniel Carter, a doctoral student at the University of Texas’ School of Information, has studied influence marketing. He wrote a paper that examined computer science techniques that could be used to better measure influence on social media.
But he explained that social media companies keep a lot of their data to themselves because that’s how they sell ads, rendering it nearly impossible to use extensive data science to find the best influencers.
So influence marketing agencies are forced to look instead at only the publicly accessible data, such as followers, retweets and likes, comments and shares.
Markerly, for instance, has developed software that allows a brand to find their own influencers based on keyword searches. They also measure influencers based on “engagement” scores, which Ware defines as how many people liked, commented or shared content from a certain influencer, as well as total follower count. “They are able to find the perfect voice for them,” Ware said. Markerly’s technology also helps brands contact the influencers and monitor campaigns.
She said the company still handles influencer campaigns on behalf of companies, but they built this software so that companies can manage these campaigns in-house.
Austin-based influence marketing firm Mattr has also developed software and other techniques to help brands and influencers connect.
“We come in as the middle man and we have different reports and features through the app that monitor the campaign from beginning to end,” explained Carol Scott, a senior director of marketing for Mattr. Like Markerly, the agency also developed ways to measure engagement, which can help guide how much an influencer is paid.
“The more engagement they get on their post, the more a brand will pay,” Scott said. Like Markerly, the 5-year-old company initially focused on a different type of technology before shifting to influencer marketing.
They also offer marketers access to a “few thousand” influencers that have signed up to be part of Mattr’s network and are vetted by the company to determine their suitability for campaigns, Scott said.
Influencer marketing firms said the companies and brands they work with aren’t always concerned about generating sales.
Sometimes the goal is simply to generate awareness of their brand among millennials, or to get people talking about a certain product.
“Millennials have zero trust in anything outside their own social networks,” Scott said. “They only trust their friends, their family, a small group of people, and they all have social media accounts. This is how they are getting their news, their value, what to buy, what to wear, what to eat.”
The holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s produces more sales than at any other time throughout the year. Holiday gifts, Black Friday deals, and post Christmas discounts result in consumers dropping massive amounts of cash (or credit, in many cases!). This, of course, means that the holiday season is one of the most marketed times of year. It’s also the time of year to jump on micro influencers to help spread your brand’s holiday cheer.
During the holiday season, many brands, especially those who sell products through retail channels, are looking for creative ways to set themselves apart from competitors. Many are considering influencer campaigns using mid or micro influencers to attract new buyers. The largest brands, think Target or Samsung, set aside major marketing budgets for this time of year. They have plenty of money to run successful and paid influencer campaigns.
Smaller regional brands, however, may not have the marketing budget to pay mid or micro influencers. That doesn’t mean they’re out of luck when it comes to running influencer campaigns, though. Sometimes micro-influencers who aren’t pay-for-play can still provide brands with that extra boost of holiday exposure!
Micro influencers: motivated beyond the cash
One way to get micro influencers interested in promoting your brand is by offering a product/ service discount or freebie if they agree to promote your products, specials, and/or sales through their social channels. This might be a one-time, one social network promotion. Or it could be an ongoing campaign into the New Year via blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat – or all of the above! By offering a discount or freebie to your current brand ambassadors, all parties will benefit. Influencers will get that extra incentive for reaching out to their audience about your brand through the end of the year. And your brand will increase awareness through a trusted and authentic source.
Perhaps your brand doesn’t have anything tangible that they can offer at a discount during the holidays. What do you do if you’re a local magazine, publisher or blogger hoping to increase readership to end the year strong and please your advertisers? Why not work with a micro-level influencer with brand-aligned content (i.e. travel, beauty, sports, tech, etc.)? Perhaps offer them a Featured Guest section in the online version of your magazine if they simultaneously promote your publication to their target audience on social. Not only will your brand awareness increase, but your business will maintain positive relationships with those advertisers whom you promised a certain number of eyeballs.
Another way to create an organic, non-paid micro influencer campaign, is to offer free tickets to highly anticipated holiday events. Perhaps your company is hosting a VIP invite-only New Year’s Eve party this year. You’ve managed to round up a handful of extra invites. Or a popular holiday singer is touring through major cities this season, and you can easily get backstage passes and tickets through a friend or partner. Get creative! Influencers are real people, just like you, and sometimes they just want to get out of the house, away from their screens, and have some fun! Bonus: they’re likely to continue promoting your brand while they are having the time of their lives at your event.
Hire your micro influencers, and happy holidays for all!
The holidays are here, people are ready to spend and the spirit of giving is in the air! It’s time for you to start contemplating where or how you’re going to use marketing dollars for influencer marketing and other campaigns this season. Why not start by reaching out to a few like-minded micro-influencers that are already discussing your brand? These people would probably appreciate an offer for a discount or guest blog post on your website. Build, maintain, and enjoy these new relationships! Meanwhile, you and your influencers BOTH can have very happy holiday!
It’s no big secret just how popular Influencer Marketing has become. There are examples all over the internet of how brands and agencies are utilizing influencers to shine brighter than their competitors. Below are two examples of Mattr clients who had great success with Influencer Marketing. They used our in-depth social analysis features, our quick influencer activation and cost-per-engagement pricing model to win big!
1. Influencer Marketing: Case Study for Social Analysis- Ford Mustang Global Campaign
Results: At the end of Day 1, Ford reached out to Drake to have him share a Facebook post announcing the release of the new Mustang. His post resulted in 116,302 engagements from Ford’s audience globally over the remaining two days of the campaign.Background: To showcase and promote the new Mustang, Ford launched a 36-hour global campaign in six cities. The brand hoped to use organic online conversations about the new car to drive increased discussion of it.
Challenge: Ford realized they didn’t have a good understanding of the personas of the people who would be discussing the new Mustang online. They tasked Mattr with determining the personas of those online mentioning Mustang. They also hoped to identify influencers they could work with to increase online chatter.
Solution: Mattr analyzed the campaign response in real time for the first 4 hours, using 4 million tweets. Mattr identified 10 people influential to those mentioning the Mustang in the six cities around the globe they were targeting.
Results: Western Digital authentically reached new target audiences by securing three influencers on extremely short notice through Mattr’s Virtual Agent. By the end of the campaign, the influencers drove consumer engagement that far exceeded estimated engagement and impressions.
Background: To create brand awareness and conversation, Western Digital launched a campaign to identify and activate influencers in “parent” and “travel” target markets. The influencers were also available for travel and campaign stunts.
Challenge: Due to limited budgets, Western Digital needed a cost-per-engagement pricing model to limit risk while requiring fast turn-around for influencer activation. They tasked Mattr with sourcing influencers through Virtual Agent to create unique campaign content.
Solution: Activation of influencers in under 48 hours, 200 pieces of new content created, and exceeded engagement by 15+%
(Originally posted on Travel Massive)
Carol Scott, part of our Travel Massive Austin chapter and Senior Director of Marketing at Mattr, helps brands find and hire social influencers for marketing campaigns.
Mattr helps travelers who are active on social media get hired by brands for marketing campaigns. We know we have a ton of travelers and content creators here in the Travel Massive community, so we asked Carol a few questions about how to get involved and what Mattr is all about.
What inspired you to create this startup?
We began our company as a social segmentation service, building an app that can segment a brand’s social audience in real-time by personality, values, interests and demographics. As influencer marketing began to explode, we used the same segmentation model to help brands identify and hire social influencers who best aligned with their brand personality and values.
What makes your startup different from other similar startups out there?
We’re really trying to promote the micro influencer – those everyday people who are passionate about travel and have a dedicated audience who trusts them – to our brand clients for end-to-end marketing campaigns. Brands are starting to catch on to the fact that millennials have practically zero trust in advertising and even celebrities, and instead, look to friends, family and micro influencers to help guide their purchasing decisions.
How is your startup changing the future of the industry or helping to make travel better?
We’re helping to bring together travel brands and travel influencers for mutually beneficial, yet also extremely authentic, marketing relationships.
Do you have any tips for new entrepreneurs who want to create a successful startup?
Be flexible and expect change. We had to pivot several times to end up in the influencer marketing space.
As a startup, what benefits have you seen from being a part of Travel Massive meetups?
It’s a very targeted group of travelers that we can build relationships with to help grow our pool of social influencers. We feel confident promoting Travel Massive members to our travel brands as paid influencers.