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speakers panel discussion meetup

Influencer Marketing: Eye-Opening Perspectives from Leading Professionals

On Tuesday, June 25th PRLab hosted its latest Meetup at Boom Chicago. From startups to corporate– we gained a wide range of insights into some of the most difficult challenges in influencer marketing today. 

We recruited Digital Strategy Expert Ilaria Severi and Business Development and Branding expert Maarten Vissers to give keynotes about influencer marketing to a crowd of over 100 people. Afterwards, Strategic Director Sophie van der Schaft and Managing Director

Daan Sip joined us in a panel discussion to address the real-time concerns of the audience. 

We’ve summarized the most important tips from their presentations into one article so that you’re always armed with this valuable knowledge. 

Ilaria Severi- Can Influencer Marketing Impact the Purchase Funnel? 

Ilaria Severi is a fresh face on the marketing scene, with 3 years of experience as a senior manager with the Cirqle and a network of over 50,000 influencers. She’s worked with some of the best known Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble and McDonald’s.

Even with the immense growth of influencer marketing, there are still some who are skeptical about its effectiveness, especially in terms of sales. Ilaria’s keynote highlighted the latest numbers and statistics to address these questions. 

  • 61% of consumers interact with at least 1 piece of influencer-generated content a day,
  • 87% of consumers are more likely to be moved to take action because of an influencer.  

But this growth is only attainable with a meaningful strategy and efficient technology to optimize how you execute your influencer marketing campaign. 

Ilaria introduced us to some key metrics we need to track and consider when working with an influencer: 

  • Engagement Rate:  Likes, comments, shares, etc. You can also track the speed at which a post is engaged with, to see if an influencer is using bots. Impactana can help with this, because it tracks all kinds of engagement. 
  • Quality Control: ensures than an influencer isn’t ‘baiting’ their followers with #likeforlike posts. To track this, tools like HypeAuditor can ensure that your potential influencer isn’t using bots or paying for fake engagement. 
  • Cognitive computing: assesses tone, interests, and passions of an influencer to see if they align with the message of your brand. 

These metrics help businesses gauge the growth of their brand through their influencer marketing strategy. 

Maarten Vissers: Turning Business Strategies into Influencer Marketing Strategies 

Maarten Vissers is passionate about how businesses have integrated influencer marketing into their global branding, and judging from his experience as Ex Global Partnership Manager for 9024MEDIA, he certainly knows his way around the block. 

In the past, he worked with several well-known companies like Netflix, Wish.com, and Redbull, and used his experience with these brands as case studies for his take on influencer marketing.  

His approach to influencer marketing is simple, yet makes an impact in a successful campaign: Extraordinary people doing ordinary things. His example with Wish.com exemplifies this idea to the T. 

As a huge company that sells billions of revenue products directly from the Chinese factory to the consumer, Wish.com faced the challenge of targeting a subset of their audience. They were already pretty successful, but had a hard time generating Brand Awareness in Europe. Considering the interests of their key demographic, 90/24 set to work on an influencer marketing campaign involving famous football players that was centered around the WorldCup, but specifically highlighted players who wouldn’t be participating with a hashtag #TimeOnYourHands. 

For instance, one of the videos featured 2014 Cup winner Robert Van Persie watching the game on his smartphone at home. With all his new found ‘time on his hands’ he then decides to go on Wish.com and take up gardening. In a flurry of snipping and clipping, the audience is as immersed in Persie’s newfound hobby as he is. The impact of this campaign was immediate, as it was relatable, relevant, and resonated with the audience. This resulted in double the ROI within a week. 

To break it down, this example allowed us to see how 90/24 has used simple, relatable messages to impact their audiences. Thus, the ethos of Visser’s take on this is that the campaign needs to be real. A lot of companies struggle with reaching a new demographic, but Instead of using normal advertisements, 90/24 created campaigns that presented their influencers in an ordinary light. 

Panel Discussion with Sophie vander Schaft, Ilaria Severi, and Daan sip

Sophie van der Shaft is the co-founder of &.agency, where she primarily develops and executes influencer and social media marketing strategies for major brands, while Daan Sip is the founder of Social1nfluencers, the first in the Netherlands to help YouTube influencers grow their business and connect them to brands. Along with Ilaria, they used their expertise to answer the top questions from the audience. 

When asked about shifts in influencer marketing, as well as implementing an influencer marketing campaign with smaller budgets, an emphasis on relationship building came up. It was important for the panelists that brands who can’t afford to work with top-tier celebrities prioritize building a relationship with people who align with the brand’s message. 

This would build trust between the brand and their target audience, especially in our current climate, when consumers want to know that there is a reason why influencers and brands are working together. Long-term relationship building between brands and influencers is more important for establishing relevant connections than short-term partnerships; The relationship, then, isn’t a gimmick for a quick sale, but a tangible partnership that consumers can recognize. 

Another popular topic was metrics and ROI, especially in terms of using it to show the value of your campaign to influencers. Ilaria mentioned that knowing the CPM, which is cost per mille (or cost per 1,000 impressions) is useful because it allows you to see how much it would cost per 1,000 views of your ad, as well as allow you to tailor the content to what would be most beneficial to the influencer and the brand. A CPM Calculator can help you track this.

But you also have to consider the platform you’re using; for example, YouTube is more qualitative, so it would be more expensive than an Instagram post, while Instagram stories are more engaging. With this tool, you can see what’s more beneficial for your campaign. 

Ultimately, the most important rule we learned is that, if your influencer marketing strategy is true to the purpose and mission of your brand, you’ll be able to connect with your audience in a meaningful, yet pointed way. 

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