Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

9:35 — SocialMedia.org’s Jeff Casale introduces Nintendo’s Katie Cornish.

9:35 — Katie: I’m here to talk about celebrities, influencers, and bloggers and how to manage your relationship with them.

9:36 — Katie: Why influencer marketing? To reach consumers, where they are, speaking their language, from someone they trust.Consumers don’t want us to talk at them anymore, they want us to talk with them. Influencers are a way to reach your consumers in a creative way.

9:37 — Katie: It’s a huge universe of influencers that you can work with. I have five easy steps to create an influencer program.

9:38 — Katie: The first step is to determine your audience. Define your audience by demographics, age, and by what they do in their everyday social media activity. Are they on YouTube watching videos, posting beautiful photos on Instagram, or are they following celebrities?

9:40 — Katie: The second step is to identify your brand ambassadors, which I boil down to the three P’s: personality (does their personality mesh with your brand?), platform (are they on the same platform as your target audience? and think about the type of content that you have to offer — will it work on that platform?), and pertinence (is your message relevant to your target audience?).

9:42 — Katie: People will see right through your message if your influencer campaign is not relevant or authentic. Ask your influencer/celebrity about their opinion on your product so that you can create an authentic message based on their actual thoughts.

9:43 — Step three is to determine the value of your influencer program. Set KPIs, determine influence vs. paid placement campaigns, determine immediate worth or long-term potential, and finally, NEGOTIATE. A lot of these influencers and celebrities have managers so make sure you negotiate a deal that works for your brand. Ask for the moon, but be ready to compromise.

9:46 — Katie: Step four: Collaborate, collaborate, and comply! Your influencers know their audience better than you. Forced content doesn’t work (and it can ruin it for the rest of us). When you build accountability with the influencer, it creates better work. If you include informational sessions in your training, they will have a better idea of what they’re working with and that will result in better, more authentic campaigns.

9:49 — Katie: Make sure they follow FTC guidelines for paid partnerships. Disclosure and compliance is VERY important.

9:50 — Katie: Step five is execute and evaluate. Track their performance and measure your awareness before and after to demonstrate the effectiveness of the campaign.

Q&A:

Q: What’s the best way to measure awareness?

A: We measure awareness through surveys. We also use conversion rates, and ask our influencers to use specific hashtags so that you can track those conversations

Q: How do you hold the influencer accountable for engagement?

A: We build it into their contract. Their rate card has specifications about what the engagement numbers will look like. Also hold them accountable for giving you specific data from their back-end that you might not have access to.

Q: How do you know if your influencers’ followers are quality leads?

A: You have to have other metrics in place to measure to determine the quality of these new fans. You can look at your site traffic at the same time.

Q: Do you add paid support for your influencer programs?

A: Yes, sometimes it’s helpful for the extra boost. We don’t put paid social on their channels, but we do put paid support on our channels to boost their posts.

Q: Do you have anything else in place besides a contract to manage your relationship with them?

A: Sure. I think it’s great to have an additional relationship with your influencer to get their ideas and feedback on other products or campaigns. If you mention “no obligation,” then it’s more of a natural relationship.

Q: Do you use any tools to manage these relationships?

A: We don’t necessarily. Being Nintendo, it’s a little easier to identify influencers in the space because they’ll usually find us. But you can use social listening tools on your own to identify influencers for your brand. I’m sure other influencer-specific tools are useful too if you have a small team.

Q: Focus more on small blogger group with a more niche reach, or better to have more bloggers with a wider, more general reach?

A: I think it’s better to cast your net wide. It’s better to test the waters and see what works. You’ll get more for your money if you go for more people with less money and build those deeper relationships too see what works.

Q: Any tips for internal guardrails and governance for influencer marketing?

A: Define those guardrails from the very beginning. Also set a clear brand voice/tone so that everyone is on the same page. It also helps to have one person/dept as the influencer program hub so that everyone in the organization is held accountable to report to that person/dept on which influencers they are reaching out to.


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