Over the past few decades, the growing popularity of the internet and later social media has made it so brands have to have a powerful online presence. With each new technology, marketers have had to be on the lookout for new, innovative ways to strengthen their brands’ reputation and acquire more customers. Most recently, there has been a new all-star tool: influencer marketing.

In this episode of the PRovoke Media Podcast, Megan Miller, head of content partnerships at PRovoke Media, speaks with Armando Triana, senior vice president of social media at Coyne PR, and Henry Langer, vice president of customer success at Julius Influencer Marketing, about the rise of influencer marketing and how to make it work for your business.

According to Triana, influencer marketing isn’t necessarily new. It’s a hybrid of old and new PR tools. At its core, it takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and makes that the center of a larger content-driven marketing campaign. But it’s more powerful than the old way of marketing because according to a Morning Consult report, millennials trust influencers 12% more on product recommendations than their favorite celebrities.

But, according to Triana and Langer, influencer marketing only works if there is a strong strategy in place.

“You never want a social campaign to live siloed,” Triana said. “And same thing with influencer. We don't want it to live siloed. You have to ask yourself, ‘how does this go across brand objectives?’”

Once the strategy is place, Langer said it’s important to make sure the campaign is authentic because social media users are ready to point out its flaws.

“Audiences are smarter than they’ve ever been,” he said. “They’re looking for and sniffing the BS factor every time. If they feel brands have copy-pasted and fed content to the influencer, it’s not going to work.”

Lastly, both encourage a strong metrics plan to make sure the right things are being measured and there’s a solid return on investment. This strategy doesn’t have to be that different from previous marketing ROI plans. At the end of the day, it’s still about earned media value. You simply have to make sure you’re tracking that the right way and counting what matters most. If you do this right, Langer said this is likely a cost-effective tool that can make a brand soar.

“When you think about what influencers cost versus what it costs to hire an actor and then pay a photographer and then set up a photo shoot, oftentimes it's really cost effective to have influencers create content for you,” he said.

Topics include:
1:40: Influencers are Natural for PR
5:25: Know Your Goals Before you Start
9:10: Integrate Influencers Into Your Strategy
11:05: Don’t Silo the Influencer
14:34: Ask Yourself the Right Questions
18:15: Create a Solid Brief
23:10: Let Influencers Speak Organically
24:52: A L’Oréal Influencer Example
28:02: How to Measure Influencer Success
32:05: TikTok’s Rise to Fame