Influencer marketing can be tricky, especially for a B2B organization. Identifying people who hold sway with your target audience and winning them to your side takes research, strategy, and patience. Once you've cultivated relationships with those influencers, the real work starts: establishing goals for your outreach efforts and choosing some key performance indicators to measure.
One smart way to implement influencer marketing is to tie your outreach campaign to a company event, as Adobe has. Each year, the company's flagship event, Adobe Summit, is bigger and better. To achieve maximum reach among the company's tech-savvy and socially connected audience, Joe Martin and Mark Booth of Adobe recruit a select group of influencers—Adobe Insiders—to share their summit experiences through social media, blog posts, and other digital channels. Then they keep the momentum going all year long through their weekly Twitter chat (#AdobeChat) on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM, Pacific.
I invited Joe and Mark to Marketing Smarts to discuss how they started the Adobe Insiders group, how they know an influencer is a good match for the brand, how they measure the success of their influencer marketing efforts, and how they maintain a relationship with their influencer group all year round.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
To track the success of your influencer marketing, look at content consumption (but don't stop there) (06:40): [Mark] "Obviously, we're big into content consumption. We want people to go in and download a report or read a report or visit a blog post or share it. We look a lot at engagement. Engagement is probably the biggest metric we look at on my team: How are we getting people to engage with content over the year? We're also looking at video views. We drove a pretty significant amount of those this year, over two million video views from [Adobe] Summit-related content. So we're really big into content creation, both our team at Adobe [and] the influencers we work with, and how do we reach out broadly to the marketing community."
[Joe] "My team did a lot of support with research. We tracked all the mentions around Adobe Summit...and we looked for insights that we could pull from that. Who were the most influential people at the conference, who were the biggest names that we brought in. We had Peyton Manning and Kate McKinnon, Nick Drake from T-Mobile, and lots of heads of different companies...just tracking which ones had the greatest spikes with the audience what the sentiment was around it, and comparative analysis to previous years to see if it was better or worse—where was the engagement. We really used that to help [plan] next year's [Summit], and also just as an insight into how well our activations did and what we should invest more in next time."
Don't just recruit influencers with large followings; look for people who can drive engagement (12:26): [Mark] "I'm really into influencer marketing that isn't 'let's see you for a few days in Vegas and then we won't talk to you for the rest of the year.' I don't think that's super-beneficial. So we built a really great relationship with a lot of these influencers... people that have really great followings, but more than that, people who can drive a lot of engagement.
"We looked at the number of [Adobe Summit] Insiders we brought out this year. It was significantly up from last year, but then you get into even more important metrics—engagements was way up, mentions was way up. We helped these people help us, essentially. We had a good opportunity for them to help share our messages, and they had a great time doing it. We have ongoing conversations with a good chunk of these people, and really just built a relationship where they've become great brand ambassadors for us."
Joe, Mark, and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by FullContact:
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Joe Martin and Mark Boothe of Adobe. Both play a key role in the success of the Adobe Insiders influencer marketing campaign for Adobe Summit. Joe is head of social insights at Adobe. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeDMarti. Mark leads social media for Adobe Marketing Cloud. You can follow Mark on Twitter @markboothe.