It emerged from our recent research, that measurement standards, together with fixes for fake followers and content control, remain at the top of marketers’ wish lists. Always curious, we decided to dig into these topics a little further with industry expert Yenan Wang, Content & Influencer Director at PHD Media. Yenan shares her views with us below.
Tell us something about yourself and what you do. What was the career path you took to specialising in Influencer Marketing?
I’m the Content & Influencer Director at PHD Media, heading up the Influencer Marketing and Content team.
My passion for writing and social media began when I was at University, and today I love managing my personal blog (on MySpace back then!). I started my career in Digital Marketing and soon moved into Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing. It feels very natural to combine content creation and social media, which by its extension allowed me to embrace and explore the fascinating world of Influencer Marketing.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the Influencer Marketing space at the moment?
It’s clear that Influencer Marketing works, but the question of measurement remains our industry’s single biggest challenge to increasing influencer investment. Unless brands can make meaningful comparisons between their investment in Influencer Marketing and other media, the industry will fail to move from test-and-learn to a firm line item on a media plan. For me, one of the key measures continues to be viewability i.e. what % of an influencer’s followers have actually seen the content.
Unless brands can make meaningful comparisons between their investment in Influencer Marketing and other media, the industry will fail to move from test-and-learn to a firm line item on a media plan.
What steps are you as an individual or organisation taking to counter this challenge?
We use Influencer Marketing platforms to both find and connect with the right influencers for our clients, using their advanced reporting and true reach data to enhance our performance reports.
What are some of the common objectives from across the brands that you work with?
They usually want three main things: increase brand awareness, drive conversions (e.g. download the app) and/or product trial.
What are some of the best practices that you follow when it comes to running an Influencer Marketing campaign?
Influencer Marketing should be given a seat at the table alongside the other marketing disciplines early on. Taking an integrated approach and garnering a full understanding of the goals and objectives is critical for influencer marketing success.
Influencer Marketing should be given a seat at the table alongside the other marketing disciplines early on.
What type of content works best for influencer marketing in your experience?
Content that demonstrates both authenticity and creativity.
Can you provide some insight into the current state of the industry?
What we consider the ‘power-middle’ influencers are the sweet spot for brands to work with. They are becoming trusted sources of recommendations for followers. These influencers may not have the massive reach or impression numbers of a social media “star”, but they also have a more intimate and personal relationship with their community, generating engagement rates in the range of 5-25%.
Is there anything that you feel brands still haven’t quite understood about influencer marketing?
Influencer Marketing as a paid media isn’t like other traditional media in which brands (or their agencies) exert total control over the creative, where it goes and how consumers will engage with it. Authenticity is critical in Influencer Marketing and brands should recognise that the influencers they work with will generally have a better understanding than they do about what will resonate with their followers.
Of course, marketers need to maintain oversight of influencer campaigns to ensure they’re following all applicable regulations, but they should invite influencers to exercise creativity and avoid trying to micromanage them.
Yenan Wang – Content & Influencer Director, PHD Media
Content & Influencer Marketing professional with a diverse background and comprehensive practice in multiple facets including Influencer Strategy and Development, Social Media Advertising, and Digital PR outreach.
This post is also available in: Italian