Buzzoole has launched a new content series that tackles the changing themes and challenges governing the Influencer Marketing space. Authored by the individuals facing these on a daily basis we will gather together a set of voices that address every aspect of this unique ecosystem.
Our ‘Ask the Experts’ series builds upon our belief that Influencer Marketing can grow only by taking into account the needs and wants of all the major stakeholders involved. As such, we want to tap into relevant voices and host thought leadership from across the industry in the hope that by talking about its future direction, issues and requirements we can take a step closer to finding the right solutions.
We are delighted to introduce our first piece authored by Ana Thorsdottir, Head of Influencer Strategy, MediaCom.
Every client that has invested in this has seen the huge value of influencers in comparison to other channels and increased their budgets with us.
Tell us something about yourself and what you do. What was the career path you took to specialising in influencer marketing?
I worked in PR for eight years before joining MediaCom. My career path started in film at DDA PR, and since then I’ve worked on a huge variety of brands and campaigns ranging from FMCG and fashion, to agriculture. My experience and the types of campaigns I was doing enabled me to naturally weave Influencer Marketing where I felt it was right, and so I opened the floodgates of this exciting space for myself! I was always pushing for influencers to be used in projects, and justifying this as part of strategies to my clients who believed in my teams and took the plunge early on.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the Influencer Marketing space at the moment?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge right now is the oversaturation of the market. Too many players result in lower quality of work, but that won’t last long. The other challenge is continuing to prove the value of Influencer Marketing but I feel we’ve already made strides here and that we’ll continue to progress which will open more doors.
What steps are you as an individual or organisation taking to counter this challenge?
Personally, I am restlessly analysing every method of measurement and challenging everything that is being ‘sold’ to me. I’m open to all types of solutions, and having looked at the market, I believe MediaCom are way ahead of everyone else here with their bespoke econometrics modelling for clients. Every client that has invested in this has seen the huge value of influencers in comparison to other channels and increased their budgets with us. We hold our suppliers to the same standards and expect progressive measurement solutions. I believe Buzzoole are the only platform that has partnered with Nielsen for a brand uplift study fitted to this market.
Is there anything that you feel brands still haven’t quite understood about influencer marketing?
Something that seems to be getting lost in the excitement and speed of growth here is the fact that we must not forget we are working with PEOPLE. They have passions, feelings and creativity that is very subjective and cannot always be treated as a number. They are not just another ‘media buy’, but creatives and production power houses which give us access to incredibly engaged audiences. We need to remember why we started doing Influencer Marketing in the first place and embrace it exactly for what it is (because we know it works!).
What are some of the best practices that you follow when it comes to running an influencer marketing campaign?
Number one has to be to pick the right influencers, and treat them like partners and not media channels. It’s also important to disclose and adhere to the law, but if the former is done right your consumers will not care if that influencer has been paid to deliver the message. It’s also crucial to measure as much as you can, but have faith and patience for a long term investment and success delivered in this space. Finally, my ultimate ambition with my industry colleagues is to make Influencer Marketing an essential part of the planning and marketing process, and not just a ‘nice to have’.
There really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ for Influencer Marketing.
What type of content works best for influencer marketing in your experience?
There really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ for Influencer Marketing. Everything depends on the brief, and long-term business objectives. Every solution should be bespoke to your brand, and so the content produced should be a collaborative process between the influencer and your team. The content that gets the most engagement is the content that is the most authentic, so selecting the right people to deliver your message is crucial. If you can nail that part, their followers won’t care if it’s an advert and success and positive engagement is guaranteed.
What are some of the most effective Influencer Marketing strategies that you’ve seen this year? Which brands are killing it?
I always talk about this but a brand that has really impressed me is US-based Revolve (#RevolveAroundTheWorld). They were clever to heavily invest in Influencer Marketing while everyone else was sceptical. This has resulted in an owned space that their consumers now expect and influencers desperately want to be a part of. According to WWD, up to “70 percent of current overall sales at revolve.com are driven by an influencer. And based on projections that Revolve was on track to surpass $1 billion in retail sales [in 2017], that means that content creators could be responsible for up to $700 million of ’s revenue.” From mini trips to the Hamptons to full on music festivals – I’m closely watching them to see what they do next!
What is the most enjoyable campaign you have worked on to date?
A 2018 campaign that we’re proud of is Boots Beauty Festival. It was a truly integrated multi agency approach and influencer strategy with PR, Media, Social, SEO and Experiential. We were able to measure sales and prove the success of Influencer Marketing. Another favourite of mine is our ‘Visit the USA’ campaign we’ve worked on for the last two years, collaborating with international influencers on road trips and awesome content.
You don’t need to name names, but tell us about a campaign that hasn’t gone quite to plan. Would you do anything differently if you had to run it again?
Honestly speaking, our production team are second to none and always find a solution before anything goes too far. We’ve therefore never had any major issues during campaigns other than maybe time constraints that restrict some creative development. We wish we had more time to develop the campaigns we work on, and I’m sure the influencers do, too but that’s nothing new!
Ana Thorsdottir – Head of Influencer Strategy, MediaCom
Ana is the Influencer Marketing specialist at MediaCom, and is responsible for strategic activation of influencers across all MediaCom planning, new business pitching and content briefs. Her role includes working with the agency’s Business Science and planning teams to determine the best way of measuring Influencer Marketing ROI for clients, often with bespoke solutions. Ana is an Associate Director with over 10 years PR and Marketing experience, and continues to work with some of the world’s most recognised brands.
This post is also available in: Italian