Performance Influencer Marketing : AI & Content DNA

This week on THE 414, it’s about performance influencer marketing, using AI to help set up campaigns , and content DNA to increase recall and effectiveness.

James Rostance speaks with Stevie Johnson, Head of Talent at Open Influence.

Content Covered:

  • Content DNA – explained in detail
  • The benefits of a well implemented content DNA strategy
  • The latest latest development of AI within influencer marketing
  • Secrets of the most successful performance influencer marketing campaigns

– This week on The 414 it’s about performance influencer marketing using AI to help set up campaigns and content DNA to increase recall and effectiveness. Hi, I’m James Rostance and welcome to The 414 each week with some of the greatest minds in marketing and joining me today is a man with a unique perspective and handle on influencer marketing with experience in being a well-followed television star and now agency director. Welcome, Stevie Johnson.

– James.

– So, Stevie, for those already familiar with influencer marketing, I’d like to jump straight into the more advanced area of content DNA. Could you tell me about that and what that involves?

– Content DNA is the correlation or consistency amongst pieces of content that influence, produced during a campaign. For example, a brand might be working with 10 different influencers but each piece of content that’s produced while staying true to the influencer’s audience and their style of work has that DNA aligned across it and consistency throughout. To the naked eye, if you like, it might seem as though all pieces of content have been produced by one influencer whereas in reality, it’s been produced by multiple influencers working to a specific brief on a certain campaign.

– So, what would you say are the benefits of establishing and implementing a content DNA strategy?

– Each campaign is different but implementing a strategy of content DNA can beneficial because it means that the audience viewing this type of content it’s constantly reminded of the campaign and the brand. Now, we don’t wanna see the exact same 10 posts from different influencers during a campaign but we do want to see that consistency and similarity throughout and that’s what makes a campaign recognisable and that for me is something that can be really key in campaign effectiveness and recall.

– One thing I’m following very closely is the development of AI in marketing and I’d love to know what you’re doing with the technology and how it’s likely to change influencer marketing.

– One of the suggest challenges we faced early on was categorising influencers and the way we would categorise them would be through hashtags, keywords and what they’re talking about. Now, hashtags and so on can do a pretty good job of that. They don’t do an amazing job because there’s so much more behind an image or a piece of content that a hashtag can’t describe. If you like, a picture’s worth 1,000 words. So, when we search for influencers and what we’re talking about, say, fitness, for example, we like to see how engaged that audience is with that topic and what we found is that a lot of influencers now aren’t actually using these hashtags and keywords. So, if the influencer’s isn’t talking about fitness, we thought how interesting could it be through AI that we can determine that an influencer actually is talking about fitness and exercise, even though it’s not in the words, is it in the picture. So, we partnered with Amazon’s Image Rekognition team whereby we can now on our platform search via tags and labels through thousands of images and what we can do is we can pull that data for our clients and basically determine with them the right influencer to work with on a specific campaign. And what’s really exciting about that as well is we moving that into video as well, especially while video gets a lot more popular within this industry as we’ve seen over the last few months and as the technology continues to develop, we’ll be able to get a more and more granular with this which is gonna be really fascinating for brands.

– So, back in the present moment, what else do you see as being key for marketers realising even greater results with their influencer marketing campaigns?

– Well, James, that’s the golden question. For me personally, I think it’s vital that marketers know exactly where this content is being seen, so tapping into audience demographics to know exactly who they’re targeting. I also think it’s really important to stay on top of trends and not be afraid to take risks as social media features continue to roll out. If you look at Instagram Stories, two years ago it didn’t exist. Now it has 200 million daily users. So, that along with more transparent reporting has become a really key strategy for some of our clients. I also think it’ll be interesting with the launch of IGTV how that develops and how brands can look to monetize that ’cause that’s gonna be an incredibly powerful tool in influencer marketing moving forward.

– Stevie, thank you very much for joining me today.

– Thanks for having me, James.

– If you would like to learn more about advanced strategies and considerations for influencer marketing, then visit teh414.net to watch extended content in The 414 Extra. I’m James Rostance, thank you for watching.

The 414 EXTRA

This is where we get the chance to look a little deeper into the most interesting elements of the content that we’ve just covered in the main show

  • Successful content DNA case studies
  • When to implement content DNA
  • Audience demographics
  • The incredibly important area of compliance for influencer marketing

– Hi, I’m James Rostance and welcome to The 414 Extra. So this is where we get to deep dive and look further into the content we’ve just covered in the main show and joining me still here is Stevie Johnson from Open Influence.

– James.

– So Stevie, in the main show, we talked about content DNA and we didn’t really get time to really get into some examples of content DNA done well and some case studies. So could you show me some of your favourite case studies and what they resulted in.

– Definitely, again I’ll reiterate, I keep saying every campaign that we do is different but quite often we’ll have clients coming to us with very much an idea of the creative they wanna see. Whereas other times, we’ll have people come to us with a blank canvas. We did this great campaign with San Pellegrino a few years ago and their brief to us that just had one word in it which was colour. Now, normally if you go out the model of influencers and give them one word to go away with, that can cause a little bit of mayhem. But we sat down with our creative team and we all put our heads together and we could see at the time that flat lay imagery was trending which is basically taking photos of tables and all the nice stuff on it. You might have seen influencers doing a lot of that. And so we then briefed all these influencers to use flat lay imagery with the San Pellegrino can and of course lots of colour which was what the client really wanted. And the result of that was amazing because we had all this beautiful imagery that again looked like it had been taken by one person because it was all quite similar, had that DNA throughout all of it. And we ended up winning Social Media Campaign of the Year award for 2016.

– So, should all influencers set about creating content DNA in their campaigns?

– Not necessarily. It’s more up to the brand and what they really want to achieve. I think it’s a great element to have in it because as I touched upon in the main show, it’s about making a campaign recognisable so that every time you’re scrolling through your phone and you see an image, you’re like, I’ve seen something like that before and it brings you back to it. It’s not a set strategy that works with necessarily every single campaign, but for a lot of them we’ve seen some great results with it. And generally with influencers, when you are briefing them, as long as we can let them continue to be as authentic as possible to their audience and have their creative spin on it, then they’re normally very happy if they like the brand to go ahead and work with them.

– So the other thing we needed to talk about was audience demographics. Now, as I understand it, that’s incredibly important for all brands right now. Can you explain more about that?

– Yeah, definitely, I think on the surface with influencer marketing especially a year ago people would look at influencers with a large following and a good engagement rate and think that’s exactly who I wanna work with. Whereas now with brands becoming a little bit more discerning and the data that is available to us is vital to really look into that audience demographic because to give you an example, if you’re launching a product that’s only in the UK and you go and look at a certain influencer that you think might be perfect for this campaign but you deep dive into their demographics and you can see that actually they’re originally Australian, 80% of their followers are based in Australia. Then it becomes a bit of a blind investment for the brand. So it’s very important now. We’ve been doing it for a while and I think the industry’s starting to catch up a bit with it as well that when a brand is choosing what influencer to work with, they have this data available so they know exactly where their money’s going.

– Right, it sounds similar to the old adage of 50% of my marketing budget worked but I don’t know which one.

– Exactly, exactly.

– So something that’s a little less sexy in all of this is compliance. But as I understand it, it’s also incredibly important and trending a lot in influencer marketing right now. Could you talk to us about that?

– Yeah, you’re spot on, it is one of the less sexy things what we do in influencer marketing, but incredibly important. Now there’s been a real crackdown from both the ASA over here and the FTC in America which are the governing bodies that make sure that every single piece of paid-for content is disclosed that it is paid for. So when you look through Instagram you’ll see things like hashtag-ad or hashtag-spon or a paid partnership with. Whereas now, not all of those things are accepted anymore. There are certain rules that influencers need to follow and if they don’t both the brand and the influencer themselves can get fined. So something that we try and do here at Open Influence is take all of that indemnification off both the influencer and the brand and contract influencers to make sure that they’re fully within the rules in terms of disclosing what’s going on.

– Stevie, thank you very much for joining us again today.

– Thanks a lot, James.



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