Every fashion brands wants to execute a killer influencer outreach campaign, yet for many, determining what that actually means in practice presents a challenge. After all, what exactly makes someone an influencer? What are the compensation considerations? What is the ROI (or ROO, ROEI), of this type of project? As a result, lifestyle brands (and in cases their publicists) look to partner with companies that specialize in running these types of campaigns. Tribe Dynamics, where I work, is one such company. I asked one of Tribe's founders, as well as the founders of two additional companies in the space, to weigh in on this concept of influence, and explain exactly what it is they offer brands and bloggers.
Run by Roch Tong and James Nord, Fohr Card focuses on the problem of discovery - with so darn many blogs out there - how does a brand you hone in on the right ones - connecting bloggers and brands through their service. Billed as "The Fashion Blog Directory," each blogger receives an all-inclusive Fohr Card that displays their follower counts by social media channel, traffic numbers in real time, and other pertinent information for brands searching for content-developers and partners. I chatted with James Nord to learn a little more about the platform.
What services does your company provide: “Fohr Card provides brands with a verified directory of over 2,600 fashion bloggers, which they can filter, search, and use to contact photographers, writers, illustrators and bloggers working in fashion.”
Who are your target clients? “We work with mostly luxury fashion clients and the PR companies who represent them. That said any brand that wants to find new bloggers to work with can use Fohr Card.”
How do you measure and evaluate influence? “We get real time follower counts and traffic from Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Google Analytics, Facebook and Youtube. We add up all of these numbers and rank bloggers off of their cumulative reach.”
Why is understanding influence valuable? “More and more brands will look to leverage personalities online to grow their influence. As this process becomes more common it will become more important for those brands to understand what they are getting for their marketing dollars.”
SCX Influencer Exchange
Created in 2008 by Yuli Ziv, entrepreneur and online media expert, Style Coalition helps independent online publishers monetize their influence and reach. In January, PR Couture covered the launch of SCX, Style Coalition's influencer marketing platform. Through SCX the company work with a range of luxury brands on hundreds of influencer-driven campaigns ranging from branded video series to photo shoots, events and interactive rich media ads. Yuli Ziv shared the following information about the platform and her thoughts on influence.
What services does your company provide? “Style Coalition provides brands access to top lifestyle influencers via its proprietary platform (SCX), which helps create and execute a variety of campaigns and deliver detailed analytics on the overall impact. Our network's reach is currently 18MM uniques across the blogs and another 10MM across social platforms. We have a 5 year track record of executing large scale 360 campaigns that range from branded blog content series to video episodes, display media, print advertorials, social activations, events, international trips and photo shoots. Through our newly developed technology tools brands are able to find the right influencers via advanced search including demographic, reach and categories filtering. They can easily engage them in campaigns and get live analytics portal making reporting as easy as a click of a button. On the influencer side - our main goal is to bring as many exciting campaign opportunities as possible, for many of them Style Coalition is the main source of revenue (and bragging rights!).”
Who are your target clients? “We focus mostly on Fortune 500 companies who are looking to engage influencers in scaled campaigns, usually running across multiple social platforms and blogs. Since the inception in 2008 we've been lucky to work with amazing brands across all lifestyle categories, from P&G to Microsoft and HP, Starbucks, Macy's, L'Oreal, Smirnoff and many more. We also partnered up with Hearst to serve as their influencer network extension and collaborate on campaigns together.”
How do you measure and evaluate influence? Social influence is complex because of the multitude of platforms it measures. Today an average influencer publishes content on their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and many other platforms. The challenge is to measure the overall impact they can provide for a typical campaign. We came up with our own complex formula (SC Index) that takes into account all of the above and ranks our influencers accordingly.”
Why is understanding influence valuable? “Understanding all the ingredients of influencer's ‘score’ gives brands the ability to make informed decisions - is this influencer right for a particular campaign? Do they have the highest reach or their following is small but very engaged? We are seeing influencers with a huge Pinterest following, whose blog isn't necessarily as big, or vise versa. So if brand's strategy is centered around a certain platform or a goal, they may not be the right choice. Some brands make decisions purely on the buzz a certain influencer is generating in press or among their peers and don't look at the stats as much as others. The decision process is individual, [and] our goal is to present our clients as much information as possible to help their decision and justify the spend on influencer marketing.”
On the premise that about 8% of your customers are influencers, Tribe Dynamics utilizes internal customer purchase data, as well as proprietary social influence data to help fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands to identify influential brand advocates and build out strategies to maintain relationships with influential customers. A big hit with beauty brands like Bobbi Brown and L'Oreal, Co-founder Conor Begley is quoted below.
Who are your target clients? “Our clients are primarily fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands, as well as the agencies that work with those industries. Although we like making friends with others!”
How do you evaluate influence? “We believe that influence really should not be boiled down to just one number, so we look at a little over a dozen different metrics: earned media value generated, estimated impressions, per channel engagement rates, total audience size, the variety and breadth of publishing channels...to name a few.”
Why is understanding influence valuable? “With the seemingly unlimited number of options available to consumers, it’s more important than ever for brands to find new ways to differentiate themselves and focus their marketing efforts on clients with whom they can build lasting and profitable relationships. Advocate marketing does just that, emphasizing a brand’s engagement with its unique target community of influential advocates while amplifying the internal brand messaging through their community, online and offline. ”
What's your take on partnering with a third-party to help execute influencer marketing?
Photo Credit: Idhren
Disclosure: PR Couture has a content partnership with Tribe Dynamics