Last week, She Runs It hosted its "What’s Hot in Media 2018" event at The Art Institute of Chicago. The event brought together women from across the industry to discuss the future of media, new forms of communication and influencer marketing. Specific discussion points included the future of technology and brands stemming from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and how brands are constantly evolving their role in their consumers' lives. The influencer marketing panel wrapped up the event and included speakers from The Everygirl, BuzzFeed, eDrop-Off and Edelman’s very own Crystal Duncan, senior account supervisor of Influencer Marketing in Chicago.

These are the key takeaways from the influencer marketing panel:

Developing program key performance indicators (KPI) and setting specific campaign goals are a must at the very beginning of every influencer program.

  • Every aspect of influencer programs relies on the strong KPIs set at the upfront of a branded campaign. Creating shared goals helps brands and influencers collaborate better and create content that will deliver a strong return on investment (ROI).
  • Setting KPIs early on also allows brands and influencers to track and optimize content throughout the campaign and allows everyone to adjust campaign goals, if needed.

Influencers are more empowered than ever to only work with brands that fit their personal style, values and audience.

  • It’s no secret some fans get upset when they see their favorite influencer promoting a brand. To ensure fans are getting content they want, influencers are working hard to ensure their branded partnerships align to their true values and tone of voice. A good gut check is to ask: “would this influencer create this content without a brand sponsor?” If the answer is “no,” it’s probably not going to be a good fit.
  • Ultimately, having influencers and brands hyper-collaborate on initiatives will make for engaging content that followers love, and delivers on the program KPIs.

Influencer campaigns should always have a connected owned, earned and paid media approach.

  • With increasingly complex social algorithms, and audiences using more platforms to consume content, having a strong owned, earned and paid media strategy allows brands to share messages wherever their target is.
  • Amplifying influencer content across these channels increases the distribution, reach and awareness. It also gives followers a seamless integration between the brand and influencer, which leads to long-lasting relationships.

Kelsey Abell is senior account executive, Influencer Marketing, Chicago.

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