The February #MeasurePR chat was hosted by Shonali Burke, with special guests Pierre-Loic Assayag of Traackr and Lee Odden of TopRank. The chat focused on influencer marketing: what it is, what the current trends are, and how to measure it. Below are some key takeaways from the chat:
- After introductions, Shonali posed the first question to the guests, asking how they got involved in influencer marketing. Pierre-Loic Assayag responded that he “happened to be there when it all started,” and Lee Oden said that his interest grew out of an interest in “collaborating with the experts.” Both are pros who have been active on social channels from the early days of Twitter—they are well known in the measurement community.
- Oden pointed out that co-creating content with experts builds relationships, which grow business and advocacy. It’s a cycle that perpetuates in a positive way.
- Pierre-Loic Assayag followed up with a statement that he believes influencer marketing has “become a forcing function” to better marketing practices overall.
- Shonali then asked a deceptively simple question: how do you define an “influencer?” Answers ranged from “someone who moves the needle,” to “one who shapes others’ opinions and can drive them to action,” to “a credible expert” who, through his or her network, “can create content and inspire action.” Another chat participant added an education angle, noting that an influencer is someone who “can inspire, relate, and educate.”
- The chat then moved on to talking about ideas that boost influencer engagement and—importantly—how to measure that engagement.
- There were a range of responses, some of which included suggestions like making sure that you determine what motivates the influencers, and then move toward identifying opportunities that match their goals, not just yours. Another pointed out that influencer engagement needs to be relevant and thoughtful; you can’t simply approach it from a brand-centric (or ego-centric!) position.
- Another participant suggested that another way to boost influencer engagement is to develop a community of influencers, an idea that met with approval from a number of other chat participants.
- The next question asked about recent trends in influencer measurement—and what those trends mean for social PR pros.
- One of the responses noted that more brands are moving to “always on” influencer marketing programs (which another participant noted makes sense, as consumers are “always on” too). Another noted that B2B companies were behind B2C in the area of “always on” programs.
- Pierre Loic-Assayag pointed to a trend/challenge. There are difficulties in executing influencer marketing programs for two reasons: the “cross-department nature” of the work, and the difficulty in measuring it.
- The measurement angle flowed nicely into the next question: “What, exactly are valid metrics to follow for influencer marketing?” Two that were quickly listed were “share of voice” and “share of engagement.”
- Lee Oden said that, for his work, making the connection between influencer marketing and business goals means benchmarking marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) and comparing that to progress in working with influencers.
- There was also considerable discussion on content and how it factors into influencer marketing, particularly into measuring effectiveness. Lee Oden boiled it down to a formula: “Content + Influence = ROI for influencer marketing.”
- Near to the end of the chat, participants were asked about what would make for an “ideal” or “perfect” influencer marketing success story. Pierre Loic-Assayag provided a three-part answer that covers a lot of territory:
- Always-on programs win over “one hit wonder” initiatives;
- Hard work and smarts (no “easy button”); and
- Employ technology “to scale and bring consistency” to your influencer marketing programs.
The next #MeasurePR chat is scheduled for Thursday, March 9, at noon Eastern time. Mark your calendars!