When a brand buys an integration on a show like The Voice, it doesn’t expect the show to reorganize around the brand’s message. Instead, it fits into The Voice’s format. And yet, brands often don’t give online shows the same respect, expecting them to reformat for the brand.
Even now, brands still need to learn how to work with online influencers organically, said Reza Izad, CEO of Studio 71, speaking today on a DMEXCO 2017 panel called “The Golden Rules of Brand Whisperers.” The learning is where his company comes in. “We can marry the right brand with the right creator,” he said. That means determining the key metrics the brand is after and finding a way to work organically with influencers who can reach those goals.
Those target metrics typically vary by vertical. Beauty brands are often concerned with earned media value (EMV), so reach and scale are the determining factors. Online services like Audible (owned by Amazon) are more interested in gaining new subscribers. They’ll leave the influencer alone, but only renew the campaign if the influencer can deliver results. Studio 71 will handle over 1,000 engagements with brands this year. “We see that continuing to grow,” Izad said.
To Izad, working with influencers is a short cut to getting results. “You spend a lot of money making content which you hope will make an impact,” he explained. Influencers come with a built-in audience. Buy the right influencer and the brand’s message automatically goes in front of the right eyeballs.
“This is a one-to-one communication, but at scale,” Izad said.
While influencer success isn’t just about total views, Izad notes that influencers with bigger audiences typically deliver bigger impacts. Going with a major online talent might be a big expense, but he sees it as a more efficient buy. “The most scale drives the most opportunity for brands to have successful outcomes.” Smaller influencers can play niche roles, but don’t have the impact of bigger online stars.