Under the Influencers: Top 8 Takeaways from VMG Symposium
April 18, 2017
Influencers have proven to be valuable resources for companies around the world, but is there a strategy to finding the right digital marketing partner? Are you a small business and experiencing sticker shock when you approach an influencer? Do they even like being called influencers?
ImageThink was a proud creative partner with VMG at their recent Symposium in San Francisco, which gathered thought leaders and influencers from various industries to talk about marketing. We were there to create visual stories of the content discussed, it was one of the most inspiring events we’ve ever attended. Here are our top 8 takeaways…
1) Advertising has Evolved into Storytizing
Bob Pearson (W2O Group, author) kicked off the day with an engaging overview of how marketers must become experts in “audience architecture” in order to see alignment with our customers. We found his perspective interesting because it has a strong human element, captivating the attendees right away.
2) Immerse Your Audience with Moment Marketing
When it comes to defining your strategy, legacy builder Martin Morse opened with Walt Disney’s vision about creating experiences. He gave a nice timeline of how far we’ve come in the realm of sponsored endorsements (including a hilarious cookie-cutter tweet from Justin Bieber). He talked about having a tribe of influence and how it’s all about the moment you tell your story.
Stefania Pomponi (Clever) took us through her process of building an influencer campaign by picking the right match for your brand and audience. What we found most interesting was that after vetting, you do not need to control everything they post. They will create the magic for you!
5) Go to the Professionals and They Will Match an Influencer to You
Beca Alexander (Socialyte) presented something that we found very unique and interesting at her company. They have a collective of influencers that provide unique authentic content to specific industries and themes. Their InstaBomb is also an extraordinary way to make a huge impact in a very short amount of time.
6) Digital Earned Media is Key
Conor Begley (Tribe Dynamics) discussed third party/user generated content: why it matters and how you should track it. His perspective is that organic beats out paid marketing every time. Start with a great product (a must in this day and age!), let your audience tell your story, and track their engagement to see results. His talk was referenced by other speakers throughout the event – very interesting!
7) What Influencers Really Want
This panel moderated by the great Alexia Tsotsis, featured Leandra Medine (ManRepeller), Matt Segal (Pro Climber), and Sarah Dussault (SarahFit). It was so entertaining and informative because every question you’ve ever wanted to ask an influencer was brought up.
The following is a bunch of takeaways rolled into one… The term “influencer” can be a little loathsome, Leandra suggested calling them a “person with a large following.” Sarah talked about the differences between a celebrity and an influencer: “we aren’t celebrities or actors, though our journey might be similar. We are also more approachable.” Matt talked about how brands need to trust them, “we know our own followers, don’t be too controlling or make assumptions.” They all emphasized the importance of collaboration. There was a lot of laughter throughout this talk, we loved it.
8) Be Invested in Your Influencers
Mehdi Mehdi (NYX) talked about his company’s journey and their dedication to the people they work with. He discussed the mutual value that comes out of their collaborations, and how a small business can grow using simple methods. We really appreciated his passion for the creativity of his audience.
Would you like to see more? Here’s a gallery link to all the images.