How to Create a Viral Influence Marketing Campaign: The Blab Overview

Oct 19, 2015
Tina Courtney
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Dollar-for-dollar, the ROI on a viral influence marketing campaign can be far greater than on any other marketing campaign.  Many brands struggle with execution, however; in large part because the field is rapidly evolving and experienced influence marketers are few and far between. Recently, Fanatics Media CEO Mark Fidelman took to the live streaming platform Blab to discuss the ins and outs of creating successful campaigns with seasoned influence marketers and influencers Chelsea Krost, Sam Fiorella, and Justin Simon. Watch the entire experience below:

The Blab features:

Chelsea Krost is a 24-year-old TV and radio talk show host and millennial lifestyle expert whom the New York Observer called the “voice of a generation”.  She is also the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of digital marketing agency MPulse.

 Sam Fiorella is a bona-fide marketing rock star with almost 30 years of marketing experience.  He is the co-author of Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media and a partner at consulting and technology firm Sensei Marketing.

Justin Simon, Chief Social Strategist for Fanatics Media, is a social media and digital marketing guru who has been involved with numerous big brand influencer campaigns.

Here are some of the brilliant takeaways from their 9/30 Blab:

Identifying Influencers

75% of brands state targeting the right folks is the hardest part of the campaign. But not all influencers are the same; Mark breaks them down into three tiers:

  • Tier one influencers possess millions of followers that reach an extremely broad audience.
  • Tier two have more niche followers that are highly devoted to the influencer’s thoughts.
  • Tier three have a small audience (less than 10,000) who help amplify the campaign message.

Mark noted just how much work goes into identifying the actual engagement and reach of influencers. He stated, “…it takes us probably two to three weeks to find the right influencers for a campaign.”

Mark then asked his expert panel if they’ve ever found some shortcuts in finding ideal partners. Sam answered, “…in my mind there is no shortcut, and when you do use shortcuts that’s typically when you don’t get the right people that help deliver sales conversions.”

Efficiency comes in the form of proper tools. Chelsea Krost recommends using BuzzSumo for all such campaigns; by far her favorite tool for influencer acquisition and tracking.

In addition to BuzzSumo, our team’s research tools include preferred tools include Little Bird, GroupHigh, and Klear.

The bottom line here is that to find the right people, you will have to scour the social media channels using the latest tools to identify, qualify and track their performance.  Start with the acceptance that finding the perfect partners is no small task. Be patient and dig deep; this is by far the most critical step in any influencer campaign.

Engaging Influencers

You’ve identified your dream folks; now it’s time to get their attention.

To illustrate the importance of these connections, Chelsea stated, I think influencer marketing is just as much about relationships as it is about the content that you’re delivering: the relationships between the influencers and their audiences, the relationships between the marketer and the influencers, and the relationship with the content that’s being populated on behalf of the brand.”

Added Sam: “We take a look at what grows an influencer’s audience, and what is of value to them.”  In other words, compensation does not always need to be monetary.

The right compensation will largely depend on your niche and target influencers. Tier Two and Tier Three influencers in particular may be looking for brand amplification, or the opportunity to deliver something of particular value to their community.

You’ll Never Know Too Much About Your Audience

If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you won’t know which influencers to choose.  And yet a vast majority of brands and marketers aren’t intimately familiar with their audience’s needs and pain points.

Chelsea put it this way: “I think you need to know your brand, know your messaging, and know where your audience lives in the social sphere. Social listening is one of the most effective things that any marketer, advertiser, publicist, or new business owner can do in order to understand who their audience is, and where their audience is going in the social world.”

Managing the Influencers

What do the influencers need in order to feel incentivized and excited to contribute to your campaign? This is your next key focus as you prepare to launch your campaign.

Mark asked the panel this question: “How do you make sure [influencers] actually do what you want them to do, or they claimed they were going to do as part of the negotiation?”

Justin commented: “I think that one of the easiest things to do is to make their lives easy. You want to make as few asks as possible, while making sure they can deliver the most bang for your buck…”

It is paramount to always be in communication with the influencers participating in your campaign. Fulfill on every single deadline and promise. Lead with what you want to do for them, not what you want in return. Remember you are likely competing with loads of other brands for their attention; stand out by being honest and reliable. These core traits go a long, long way to creating longstanding and profitable relationships.

Campaign Measurement

Without measuring the campaign results, you can never be certain that it was truly a success. Mark’s closing question is this: “How do you measure the success or the ROI of influencer marketing?”

Sam measures “the effect on lifetime value of the customer, or in the shorter-term, moving the needle in terms of sales.”

Justin agreed. “I think that anytime you’re talking about success, it really depends on what the client is looking for, and if you hit their KPI’s and their marks, that’s a success.”

Influencer marketing is a beast to take on, yet the potential for unfathomable success is very real. If you want to dig deeper into the insights of this crew, check out the entire Blab conversation.

Think you are ready to dive into the world of influence marketing? Let us know; we’d be honored to help.


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