by SocialChorus on October 2, 2012
In July of 2011, SocialChorus teamed up with a Fortune 100 technology brand to execute a yearlong social content program. The goal was to drive brand awareness, association and relevance in a young, tech-savvy, lifestyle target – an audience the brand notoriously had trouble engaging. The success metric would be the number of social actions generated by the content.
To solve for this, we identified top social influencers for the client’s consumer target within the verticals of Design, Fashion, Men’s Lifestyle, Food, and Travel. These influencers were invited to tell stories in their own voice about the ways in which technology has enhanced their lives.
After one year and nearly 140 pieces of original influencer created content, we walked away with a few key learnings:
1. Influencers make all the difference.
Obvious, we know, but after working with influencers across all verticals and changing lengths, formats, and topics in an attempt to find the proverbial “content secret sauce”, the indispensible ingredient ended up being the influencer. A good influencer can create content with reach, relevance, and resonance that both engages their audience and drives social actions.
What does it take to be the best? To us, an influencer must be a social content creator who boasts the following attributes:
- Has an engaged community that likes to socialize
- Has previously created ‘sponsored content’
- Has an audience that responds well to sponsored content
- Promotes sponsored content across all their social channels – more than once
- Is a good partner to the brand and to the agency – that means easy to work with, reasonable with rates, understanding of the process, and a desire to bring something new and innovative to the table
2. Snackable doesn’t always mean social.
Quality content is social content regardless of format, length, and topic. Think videos had to be less than 90 seconds? Think infographics should focus on aesthetics and not data? Think articles had to be less than 400 words? We did too, but we were proven wrong.
Videos over 2 minutes performed an average of 2.3 times better than shorter videos. Infographics with a high volume of data, info, and stats with a length equivalent to over 1000 words performed an average of 2.0 times better than shorter, simpler infographics. Articles with over 900 words performed an average of 2.4 times better than the shorter pieces.
We’re not saying you should adjust your marketing strategy to only produce heavy-weight social content, we’re just saying that quality comes in all shapes and sizes and when you achieve quality, you will drive social actions and engagements.
3. Relationships are everything.
Partnering with brands and influencers alike should be about collaboration. When it comes to working with influencers and brands to develop social content, the most important thing to focus on is the relationship. If you’ve worked to connect influencers and brands to create content, you know that achieving collaboration is a challenge. The reality is, brands and influencers have different goals: a brand wants an influencer to use their marketing script, while the influencer wants to maintain editorial control. The best way to get these two groups to collaborate is through both sides demonstrating how they are mutually invested in the other.
Through partnerships, the content is no longer a standard “sponsored post”. The closer you can get to collaboration, the more relevant and interesting the influencers’ content and the more influencers genuinely wants to create and share this content. Engaging, authentic content drives audience social actions and helps to elevate the brand.
What did we see when we achieved collaboration between brands and influencers?
- Content that drove up to 10 times the amount of social actions when compared to other standard “sponsored posts”
- Influencers going a step beyond immediate socialization and using their own personal relationships to earn a greater distribution of their content through syndication
- Influencers truly standing behind their work with a brand
- A brand supporting the influencers through distributing created content across their owned platforms
This post was written by Leah Tsang, Senior Manager of Strategic Accounts