Influencer Marketing Tools & Campaign Tips

This post is an excerpt from our Digital Marketing Conference in Los Angeles. The conference was a rich environment for digital marketers to openly discuss tactics for building a better online presence and tracking results. All of the content from the Digital Marketing Conference is available as Digital Marketing Videos

Here are some key takeaways from the Influencer Marketing Tools & Campaign Tips panel:

  • Influencer marketing doesn’t need to be complex
    Influencer marketing is interacting and engaging bloggers and influencers. You don’t need software, expensive tools or a huge network in order to be successful with influencer marketing.
  • Trust influencers to build brand perception
    Brands who develop authentic influencer relationships tend to boost community development and brand perception. Audiences respond to brand messaging when it doesn’t always come from the brand.
  • Think about how your brand can help influencers
    If you start your influencer campaign trying to determine what influencers can do for you then you will not get the best results. Consider how you can help influencers, like helping them build their audience or increase awareness in your industry.

How would you define influencer marketing?

I think with influencer marketing, everybody thinks that you need software, you need lots of connections with influencers and celebrities, and I don't think that's true at all. I got started in influencer marketing because I had an e-commerce site and we would simply email bloggers cold, ask them if they wanted to review our product for free, and without spending anything we got over $100,000 in sales from those bloggers. I would define influencer marketing as interacting and engaging with bloggers and influencers. It doesn't need to be any more complex than that. –Jesse Leimgruber, Neoreach

Influencer marketing is both a marketing channel and a brand building initiative. –Andrew Higgins

Influencer marketing is both a marketing channel (a way to reach your customers in an authentic way) and it's also a brand building initiative (the ability to enhance your brand through the different brands and audiences of different influencers). –Andrew Higgins, Pixlee

How is influencer marketing changing?

I think we are in a transitional phase right now, especially for consumer brands where we are getting a little over saturated and our audience is starting to be able to figure out that there isn't real intent or affinity behind a lot of influencer marketing. So, what brands are really starting to do is the community development and that is because brand perception is not really controlled by the brand anymore. Influencer marketing is transitioning into, "How do I really build relationships and where is the best place to start?" –Andrew Higgins, Pixlee

How can you develop influencer relationships?

Maintain your influencer relationships by having conversations with them. –Pegah Kamal

Start with a handshake and end with a hug. Maintain your influencer relationships by having conversations with them and sending them cool products from time to time. –Pegah Kamal, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

If you start thinking, "What can the influencer do for me?" then you have already lost that battle. It's too late. You've lost it. It's too late. It doesn't matter how you approach the campaign, your results will be disappointing. –Pierre Loic Assayag, Traackr

If you are not being authentic, things will not work. –Jesse Leimgruber

It's all about relationships. If you are not being authentic, things will not work. That being said, I would be lying if I would say we didn't see campaigns that saw ridiculously high ROIs, from $20,000 of investment yielding $1m+ in sales, that were fairly inauthentic. I don't think these will last forever and I think they are a short run game, but there are some tactical ways that you can create these types of campaigns. With this particular example, there was one thing that the brand did differently from a tactical perspective that made all the difference. They found bloggers that were really already advocates of the brand’s product by looking at their existing followers, but the tactic they used was asking these bloggers to write a review on their product vs. one of their competitors. This allowed the brand to siphon off a lot of the competitor’s traffic and it worked really well for them. –Jesse Leimgruber, Neoreach

One of the first questions I always ask influencers is, 'How do you like to engage with brands?' –Amisha Gandhi

One of the first questions I always ask influencers that I want to connect with is, “How do you like to engage with brands?” Then I ask, “What is it that I can offer you - is it access to our large ecosystem or awareness for yourself in the space?” Then we work together in our programs to help them get what they need and we get what we want. –Amisha Gandhi, SAP

What are some influencer marketing tools that you use?

Traakr has a free online course that is really informative so I would recommend going there first because it does so much explaining about what it is, how you divide up your audience, and how to get ROI. –Pegah Kamal, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

I would start with social listening because you understand your own brand and your own customer, but you have to figure out if you have adjacent topics, interests, and concepts that would be relevant to your audience and then find those influencers. Crimson Hexagon, Sprinklr, Hootsuite, Mention, and Google Trends are all great tools that you can use. –Andrew Higgins, Pixlee

Social Mention will also help you learn about the strength of your brand and where you stand in the marketplace. –Amisha Gandhi, SAP