Mobile Gaming Evolves Its Content Marketing Approach

A recent study from Liftoff found that more money is spent on gaming than any other form of entertainment, driven largely by free-to-play titles that offer in-app purchases (IAP) and in-game ads. But to stand out in a heavily saturated market, developers rely heavily on influencers, social word-of-mouth marketing and targeted rewarded videos in addition to key placement on app stores to acquire users. That trend is growing, and it will likely continue as the foundation for mobile game marketing for the foreseeable future. However, some companies are experimenting with other channels to acquire and engage with users, particularly when it comes to content marketing.

“I think the big shift is that a year ago, everything was performance and classic user acquisition driven. Now people need to find us on always-on media, and we’re seeing a trend of going back to some traditional forms of media in addition to your Facebook and Google buy,” Philip Hickey, EVP of brand and marketing at Seriously Digital Entertainment, told AList.

Seriously makes the Best Fiends mobile game franchise, but it transitioned into being an all-around media company last year starting with a series of animated digital shorts that are tied to in-game events. This form of content marketing, which will soon be joined by branded consumer products, continues to boost engagement with the game while encouraging audience loyalty.

According to Hickey, the mobile gaming space is starting to see fewer new titles this year. With more publishers treating their games as services, there has been increasing investment in features, engagement and retention. For this, the company also produces a digital program called “The Best Best Fiends Show,” which lets audiences know what’s new with the game and the brand overall. Each episode usually concludes with a contest and community-driven content such as shout-outs to players.

Hickey said more people have been updating their games to the latest version since the show began, which he describes as one of the best indicators of its success. Each of Seriously’s videos can be viewed from within the game in addition to YouTube, which makes it easier for players to return to playing.

For Seriously, content marketing plays a critical role in brand engagement by giving its community the opportunity to talk about their experiences. At the same time, it still relies on influencers and social media to acquire new users. However, the company is also experimenting with different channels, including radio, television, podcasts and OTT services.

“One of the keys is having a mix of media that works together and hopefully adds impressions, and that eventually brings down the cost of each acquisition by being in multiple places,” said Hickey. “It’s not as easy as doing direct, classic user acquisition, but I think the value of having all these channels and being able to reach a wide audience is well worth figuring it out. Our hope is that every one of those channels will work to some degree and we’ll be able to use them as always on marketing channels to supplement everything we do.”

Aurora Berg, co-founder and COO of the Megacool GIF sharing platform, told AList that micro-influencers are beginning to have a major impact on mobile gaming through user-generated content. In the past, sharing content from a mobile game was a difficult process, but that’s changing as devices become more powerful. Mobile gaming is taking cues from the PC gaming space, which grew significantly over the past year thanks largely to content sharing coupled with the popularity of the battle royale genre.

As a case study, Megacool was integrated into the ZeptoLab game CATS so that users could share their game footage using messenger applications such as iMessage and Whatsapp. Each GIF they shared linked to the game, which encouraged friends to join. The result was an 80 percent increase in user content activity, which led to 1.7x higher conversion rate compared to organic users. These new users also spent 2.3x more than organic users, while the game’s 14-day retention rate was 65 percent higher.

“When friends play new games because their friends are already there, retention is much higher, and with it, monetization increases,” Berg explained.

Getting one or two friends to join through recommendations has worked for services such as Spotify, which similarly lets its users share song clips on social media that link back to the platform. But game publishers can better leverage user-generated content by incentivizing its creation. For example, CATS offers users special in-game rewards for every five friends that sign up, which encourages its players to share more content with a larger group of people. Sharing content also has the added benefit of giving new users a preview of the game before they sign up, unlike CGI-based trailers.

Additionally, more games are finding ways to leverage cross-media content. Tencent purchased a stake in Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) developer Bluehole earlier this year. At around the same time, it acquired a minority stake in Skydance Media. It then brought the two together in August by hosting a Mission Impossible: Fallout-themed event in PUBG Mobile, with a deep collaboration that switched out the game’s background music with the movie’s while offering themed parachutes, outfits and other in-game rewards.

Hickey said that, in the end, the upside lies in the positive brand conversation with the consumers, “Part of the future of content marketing is treating it as something you want it to evolve into, treating it big and letting the community know that they can be involved in both the content and interaction. That content leads to a great conversation, which makes our game and brand better.”

New York Media Festival Returns To Manhattan with 15+ Events And 200+ Speakers, October 4-5

New York Media Festival, an innovative two-day event for the digital, games, music, television and video industries, will take place Thursday, October 4, through Friday, October 5, 2018. The Festival provides an intimate environment for deal-making, partnership building and networking for executives, brands, investors, content creators and technology startups.

The Festival hosts more than 200 top speakers who highlight innovations, trends and best practices in their respective industries.


Keynotes And Fireside Chats:

NY Games Conference
Nick Earl, CEO and president, Glu Mobile
Simon Sim, president, Netmarble US
Dr. Songyee Yoon, president, NCSOFT West
Interviewed by: Mike Vorhaus, president, Magid Advisors

Digital Music Forum
Shahendra Ohneswere, SVP content development, Columbia Records

Future Of Television
David Gandler, CEO & co-founder, FuboTV

Rights Tech Summit
Merck Mercuriadis, CEO, Hipgnosis Music Ltd.
Nile Rodgers, Grammy-winning composer, producer and guitarist /co-founder, CHIC

Panelists And Presenters
Marcie Allen, president, MAC Presents
Sheryl Allen, director, next big sound, Pandora
Jon Bahr, VP, creator services, CD Baby
Allen Bargfrede, managing partner, PDX Media Partners
Jonathan Barzilay, chief operating officer, PBS
David Beck, EVP, corporate strategy and operations, Turner
Noah Becker, president, AdRev
Dwayne Benefield, VP & GM, PS Vue, PlayStation
Virginie Berger, CEO, Armonia Online
David Berkowitz, head of marketing, Storyhunter
Dae Bogan, CEO, TuneRegistry
Hale Boggs, chairman, Manatt Venture Fund
Susan Borst, vice president, mobile, IAB
Jordan Bromley, partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
Jeff Bronikowski, SVP, business development, head of innovation & emerging tech, Warner Music Group
Josh Brooks, SVP, brand strategy & marketing, Jam City
Alex Bulkin, co-founder & chief alchemist, CoinFund
Ina Burke, vice president, original content, iHeartMedia
Tom Christie, chief operating officer, Showtime Networks
Cédric Cobban, president and founder, PeerTracks Inc.
Jeff Clyburn, managing director, Mass Appeal Records
Richard Conlon, chief external affairs officer, SoundExchange
Emma Cooper, global president, nonfiction, Pulse Films
Russ Crupnick, managing partner, MusicWatch
Jarrod Dicker, CEO,
Domenic DiMeglio, SVP of distribution and operations, digital media, CBS Interactive
Colin Dixon, chief analyst & founder, nScreenMedia
Chris Donohue, senior director, strategic alliances, AMD
Craig Donato, chief business officer, Roblox
Bernarda Duarte, director, content acquisition, Roku
Matt Edelman, chief commercial officer, Super League Gaming
Ahmed Elgammal, CEO, Artrendex
Lori Feldman, EVP of strategic marketing, Warner Bros. Records
Tim Fields, CEO, Kabam
Kristen Finney, EVP, EMEA, television distribution, 20th Century Fox
Chuck Fletcher, chief technology officer, Barbarian
Taishi Fukuyama, co-founder & COO, Amadeus Code
Seth Geiger, president, SmithGeiger LLC
Sean Gibbons, SVP product and UX, SiriusXM
Michael Gold, co-founder and CEO, Holojam
Allison Goldberg, group managing director & senior vice president, Time Warner Investments
Eric Goldberg, managing director, Crossover Technologies
Harold Goldberg, founder, The New York Videogame Critics Circle
Jesse Grushack, co-founder, UJO
Nader Hamda, CEO, Ozobot
Rick Heitzmann, founder & managing director, FirstMark Capital
Brian Anthony Hernandez, senior editor of music & culture,
Gabrielle Heyman, head of global brand partners, Zynga
Ian Howe, CEO, Skybound Games
Rick Howe, the iTV doctor, Interactive TV Today
Grace James, vice president, marketing, Atlantic Records
Mike Jbara, CEO, MQA
Jesse Kirshbaum, CEO, Nue
Todd Klein, partner, Revolution
Paul Kontonis, CMO, WHOSAY
Keith Kupferschmid, president, Copyright Alliance
John Lasker, vice president of digital media programming, ESPN
Damon Lau, head of esports, United Talent Agency
Craig Levine, global chief strategy officer, ESL
Jason Lipshutz, editorial director, Billboard
Mitch Liu, CEO and co-founder, Theta
Stephanie Llamas, head of XR, SuperData Research
Amir Lotan, creative director and head of production, FTX Games
Jennifer MacArthur, SVP, global marketing and strategic partnerships, Treeti
Jim Mahoney, general manager, US, MERLIN
Damian Manning, founder, CEO, Hifi
Brandon Martinez, VP, Live Nation video network, Live Nation Entertainment
Paul Martino, general partner, Bullpen Capital
Curt Marvis, CEO & co-founder, QYOU Media
Nari Matsuura, partner, Massarsky Consulting
Richard McBeath, VP, marketing,
Ben McEwen, commercial director, ICE (London)
Andrew McInnes, founder, TMWRK
Vaughn McKenzie-Landell, CEO and co-founder,  JAAK
Marty Moe, president, Vox Media
Soniya Monga, global agency partnerships, Snap
Eugene Mopsik, CEO, American Society for Collective Rights Licensing
Dan Murray, president, Skybound Interactive
Vida Myslon, senior director, brand sales and marketing, Electronic Arts
Jacob Pace, CEO, Flighthouse
Sahil Patel, senior reporter, Digiday
Mario Pena, product manager,  Safe Creative
Cheryl M. Potts, founder & CEO, Cleerkut
Jennifer Prenner, global head of marketing, growth & engagement, Amazon Fire TV
Erick Opeka, executive vice president, digital networks, Cinedigm
William Quigley, CEO, WAX and OPSkins
Jon Radoff, CEO, Disruptor Beam
Shane Rahmani, EVP & GM, Electus Digital Networks
Jeff Ratner, chief media officer, iCrossing
Benji Rogers, chief strategy officer, Dot Blockchain Media
Raymond Roker, vice president, AEG Studios
John Rosso, president, market development, Triton Digital
Scott Ryan, global VP music, Gracenote
Zihla Salinas, CEO, Trailer Park Group
Seth Schachner, managing director, Strat Americas
Fabrice Sergent, co-founder and managing partner, BandsinTown
Evan Shapiro, founder, eshapTV
Ned Sherman, counsel & director, Manatt Digital / founder, Digital Media Wire
Jeff Shultz, chief business officer, Pluto TV
Julie Shumaker, VP, business development, Unity Technologies
Lee Simpson, head of TV & entertainment, ustwo
Howie Singer, special technology advisor, Universal Music Group
Jason Sklar, managing director, Shamrock Capital
Jonathan Skogmo, CEO, Jukin Media
Pete Soldinger, senior director of strategy, Fullscreen
Todd Spangler, New York digital editor, Variety
Bart Spriester, VP and general manager of the video platform, Comcast Technology Solutions
Christopher Sprigman, professor, New York University School of Law
Brad Spychalski, creative strategy lead, Pinterest
Sarah Stringer, SVP, head of innovation, Carat USA
Jonathan Stringfield, global head of business marketing, measurement, and insights, Activision Blizzard
Christy Tanner, executive vice president and general manager, CBS News Digital
Erin Taylor, CEO, Musiconomi
Daniel Tibbets, president & GM, El Rey Network
Rasty Turek, CEO, Pex
Benoit Vatere, CEO & co-founder, Mammoth Media
Christoffer Wallin, Founder & CEO, Pindify
Matthew Wang, managing director / deputy COO, U.S. Investment Banking, Evercore
Andy Weissman, managing partner, USV
Megan West, VP, content relations, Soundcloud
Mark Willis, co-founder and chief design officer, Texel
Dick Wingate, principal, DEV Advisors
Matthew Yazge, head of brand partnerships, music & film, Nielsen Entertainment

Support for the 2018 New York Media Festival is provided by TribalScale, Tivo, Sheppard Mullin, Jukin Media, Jam City, Digital ReLab, Manatt, SoundExchange, Variety, WITI, IAEL, NYWIFT, AListDaily, MEA, XLive, EventBrowse, All That Matters, IGDA, Parks Associates, NATPE, Canadian Music Week, Fusicology and G.A.N.G.


About NYME

The New York Media Festival (NYME) is an event designed to bring together experienced influencers and digital leaders to learn more about their respective fields and to network across New York City. The 2-day event includes industry leadership lunches, conferences, summits and open houses for the gaming, video and music industries. NYME’s founding team includes seasoned conference and event producers Ned and Tinzar Sherman. Over the past 15 years, the team has produced more than 200 events including some of the biggest and most impactful entertainment, tech and digital industry conferences, concerts, launch parties, intimate VIP dinners and networking events. Click here for more information.

CMO Council Says GDPR Readiness Directly Related To CX Commitment

A brand’s attitude toward GDPR compliance is directly linked to a commitment to customer experience, the CMO Council found in a white paper released on Wednesday.

GDPR: Impact and Opportunity—How Marketing Leaders Addressed GDPR Readiness and Compliance” is based on an online survey of over 227 senior marketing executives during March, April and the beginning of May.

The survey discovered two schools of thought, which the CMO Council divided into “leaders” and “laggards.” While Leaders see the opportunity to secure trust, loyalty and experience, Laggards assume GDPR is someone else’s problem. In fact, 39 percent of this group did not feel GDPR applied to them.

Among those deemed Leaders, however, 55 percent had already initiated some form of data audit to fully understand how customer data was stored and collected.

“There was an overwhelming commitment that the organization needed to or had already conducted a data audit to understand where data was coming from, how they were aggregating and collecting that data and how they were securing and using that data in a responsible manner,” Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing at the CMO Council told AList. “In a world where you have to know all those things in order to be GDPR compliant, the fact that there were marketers who had yet to engage in any of those audits was a bit startling.”

Some marketers assume GDPR doesn’t apply to their job, Miller speculated, but what other data the company has gathered would actually be beneficial.

“The reality of today’s business ecosystem is that far too often, marketing looks at data in its own silo,” said Miller. “Yet when it comes to customer experience, customer data is actually being aggregated, stored and utilized for the purposes of customer engagement in a multitude of different places [finance, marketing, etc.]. When marketing only looking at marketing data, not only is the richness of the customer experience sacrificed, that’s often where you are going to miss the mark if you try to comply with something as broad as GDPR.”

While it may come as a surprise that so many marketers avoided GDPR wherever possible, Miller doesn’t blame them. After all, she noted, the marketing stack is far more complicated than it was when she began her career.

“We are in this age where our jobs have gotten exponentially more complex,” she noted, “because the way our customer expects to engage with us in order to have a useful relationship demands that we are in charge—knowing how the tech stack relates to engagement and the rest of the organization.”

It may be understandable why so many respondents choose to avoid GDPR compliance and hope for the best, but Miller noticed a direct connection between this attitude and a commitment to customer experience.

“If you have an organization that [creates a task force around GDPR], you will also get an organization that firmly believes and is committed to the idea that customer experience isn’t just a marketing, sales and service deployment,” said Miller. “Customer experience is something that everyone in the organization has to be committed to—it’s not just a marketing scenario.”

Pizza Hut Kicks Off NFL Partnership By Launching Digital Platform

The NFL has named Pizza Hut its new official pizza sponsor. In addition to football star-filled TV ads, the Pizza Hut is launching a new digital platform called Game Plan, which offers users deals, kickoff reminders for their favorite teams and weekly football-themed giveaways. Prizes will include Super Bowl LIII tickets, Bose speakers, New Era caps, Pizza Hut gift cards and more. Each order placed using a corresponding Hut Rewards account will count as an additional entry to win prizes, with a limit of one per day.

But Pizza Hut’s most engaging activation is on its boxes. The company is releasing special edition pizza boxes featuring all 32 NFL team logos, which will only be available during the regular season. In addition to feeding fans while helping them back their favorite teams, the boxes offer something extra—an augmented reality experience.

To play, users need to download the Beanbag Blitz app, which recreates the classic tailgate game Cornhole. It can be played as an ordinary mobile game, but in order to unlock the augmented reality feature, players point their smartphone’s camera to at the special edition pizza box. Once done, players can take turns with friends tossing virtual bean bags into a mixed reality hole.

“Our first national NFL campaign is all about delivering new and innovative experiences to football fans’ living rooms all season long,” said Zipporah Allen, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut US, speaking with AList. “The new ‘Hut, Hut, Hut’ boxes, compatible with our newly launched Beanbag Blitz augmented reality game, serve as an interactive platform to immerse fans directly into some friendly game day competition.”

Pizza Hut is promoting the game through email banners, the company’s own social channels and public relations.

In a related announcement, Allen said, “We tapped into technology to deliver a truly immersive gameday experience to fans—specifically combining what they’re most passionate about: their team, the spirit of competition, and of course, pizza. Incorporating this AR component into our lineup of new experiences is broadening our digital portfolio and engaging fans in a completely new way.”

Offline, Pizza Hut will also tap into the energy of local fanbases through partnerships with the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. Fans will be treated to local activations, social impact initiatives and player partnerships throughout the season.

Nielsen Acquires SuperData, Expands Video Game Data Offerings

Digital games market intelligence provider SuperData has been acquired by Nielsen Holdings, the companies announced Wednesday, allowing Nielsen clients access to additional insights about gamer behavior, video games and esports.

The acquisition of SuperData continues Nielsen’s ongoing efforts to gather marketing intelligence on the $109 billion video game industry. Nielsen already has its own divisions—Nielsen Games and the newly added Nielsen Esports—that report this information. However, according to the press release, the addition of SuperData will allow Nielsen to offer greater access to global market intelligence around digital video gaming use, sales, and audiences.

“SuperData’s measurement of digital game sales is definitely that compliments what our Nielsen Games business currently offers our clients,” Nicole Pike, managing director of Nielsen Esports told AList. “Even though we may be working in some of the same areas, there are a lot of unique data sets and types of analogies and products that we each have. It’s a good combination of products that compliment each other. Services may have some overlap but at the end of the day, are just going to bring more and different types of intelligence to our clients under one roof.”

Nielsen has shown growing interest in the gaming community over the last few years, partnering with Activision-Blizzard in April to provide metrics across several esports tournaments for Overwatch and Call of Duty. The partnership will expand to other titles in 2019. Nielsen Games tracks consumer behavior in terms of console and mobile gaming that analyzes purchase funnels, software, brand affinity and sales opportunities.

SuperData, meanwhile, offers the spending of over 160 million paying digital gamers worldwide. The company offers revenue data for all platforms including VR, console, mobile and PC, releasing reports on a monthly and yearly basis.

Pike noted that Nielsen and Superdata have clients in common and could gain access to new ones through this acquisition.

“Depending on the client, we’re going to see different opportunities to integrate the businesses together or offer products across both entities,” said Pike. “It’s going to look a little different depending on [which client] you’re talking about, but we see opportunities for our clients to take advantage of [the acquisition.”

Going forward, SuperData will be known as “SuperData, a Nielsen company.”

SodaStream Creates ‘Drowning Liberty’ Installation To Reduce Plastic Waste

As more companies take a stand against single-use plastic straws and cups, at-home beverage device maker SodaStream is highlighting the threat that disposable plastic bottles present with the launch of its “Drowning Liberty” installation at New York City’s Flatiron Plaza.

Created in partnership with the Oceanic Society, the installation is a 20-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty, “drowning” inside a steel cage that is filled with plastic bottles. The art installation will make its way to other locations, and it is designed to make people aware of the high rates of plastic pollution around the world.

SodaStream, which is in the process of being acquired by PepsiCo, is supplementing the campaign by creating a limited edition “Be the Change” bottle featuring drawings of Earth. It fits into its home carbonated beverage making machine and reminds users to love the world, reduce their ecological footprint and reuse.

Additionally, both partners created a sustainability pledge for people to sign, which commits them to switch to reusable bottles and reducing their plastic pollution. Free “Be the Change” bottles will be given to the first 10,000 people who take the pledge, and a percentage of sales during the event will be donated to the Oceanic Society.

“SodaStream stands up for what’s right and will always tell the truth,” said SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum in an announcement. “We’ve launched our pledge as a rallying cry. Together, we will liberate America from plastic straws, bags, cups and of course single-use plastic bottles—to significantly reduce the global plastic pollution epidemic.”

Drowning Liberty will be on display in New York City until September 5 before traveling to additional cities across the US.

SodaStream is in good company with its call to reduce plastic waste. Coca-Cola launched a similar sustainability campaign by releasing specially microchipped reusable bottles for its Freestyle dispensers. Meanwhile, its “World Without Waste” initiative aims to collect or recycle one bottle or can for each one sold by 2030. McDonald’s is also partnered with Starbucks in July to find alternatives to disposable plastic cups.

Reactions To Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ‘Just Do It’ Ad

Nike gained an enormous amount of brand attention this weekend when it named Colin Kaepernick the face of its 30th Anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. The ad spawned passionate responses from fans and critics alike but as history shows, Nike knows and accepts the risk of such partnerships.

On Labor Day, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted the new Nike ad that shows his face and the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick recently sued the NFL for collusion—alleging that he was prevented from being signed to a team after he began kneeling during the National Anthem.

Just as Kaepernick’s choice to take a knee spurred outcries support and criticism alike, Nike’s choice to make him the face of its campaign definitely sparked conversation online.

A number of social media users posted photos or videos of them burning Nike products or cutting the “swoosh” logo off. Others called for an immediate boycott. Hashtags began trending on Tuesday morning, including #JustBurnIt and #BoycottNike.

Several military veterans came to the defense of Kaepernick, however, saying that they fought for his right to protest peacefully. Many more fans, veterans and civilians alike, praised the football star for continuing to protest despite pressure from the NFL, whose viewership has since declined 10 percent.

Nike shares dropped three percent on Tuesday following social media backlash, but the brand undoubtedly knew the risks when it chose Kaepernick.

“We believe Colin [Kaepernick] is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.

Sports journalist Jemele Hill reminded her followers that money is a great motivator for Nike’s choice of spokesman. “I’m just here to remind folks that last year Colin Kaepernick was in the top 50 in NFL jersey sales, despite not being on a roster,” she tweeted. “Nike made a business move.”

According to Apex Marketing Group, the divisive Nike campaign has generated over $43 million in media exposure within its first 19 hours.

Always-On Influencers: Sourcing, Securing And Deploying Enough Content To Engage Audiences

Written by Vincent Juarez

Influencers are the ultimate form of people-powered, word-of-mouth marketing. An influencer’s ability to create and share brand stories, engage audiences, provide recommendations and ultimately motivate purchase decisions has redefined traditional marketing and created new channels for content.

In order to drive the most value from influencer based storytelling, brands must learn to go beyond the one-off approach that has dominated the industry. Ideally, brands take the best practices from “CRM” (customer relationship management) tools, and instead invest in an “IRM,” (influencer relationship management) where the emphasis is on the relationship, not the transaction. Those long-term relationships provide the content required to maintain visibility and motivate action.  

The relationship-based approach, however, has many challenges. It requires a skilled team of experts to manage the people and personalities behind the audience and engagement. It also requires an advanced toolset to discover influencers who are an authentic representation of a brand and are excited about long-term relationships.

As technology continues to evolve and provide marketing teams with a better understanding of their social audiences, it remains clear that leveraging data and insights are key components to launching initiatives that can establish emotional connections with large audiences. That combination of human expertise and social science allows brands to find their “influencer soulmates”.

Using Personality Clues To Find The Right Influencers

Technology, and specifically, artificial intelligence platforms are helping marketing teams review, digest and act on informed insights in ways previously impossible. Such technology is adding another dimension by helping savvy marketers look well beyond the standard demographics, reach and engagement of an influencer. By using AI to ‘read’ the social speech within a creator’s social feed, the process is further humanized and an influencer’s true character is revealed.

Unlike other solutions that apply a generic approach to consumer intelligence, marketing science platforms like’s Soulmates.AI are built to specifically understand, filter and recommend influencers based on expressed social speech. Widely accepted as a key indicator of persistent personality, understanding expressed speech can provide clear windows into the influencer’s motivations and interests. Soulmates.AI also uses a Knowledge Graph to provide context and minimize ambiguity for a better understanding of what influencers and their audiences are actually talking about. By seeking to understand an influencer’s personality, marketers will not only discover potential partners that will provide safe and valuable content, but could get to know them on a human level; creating a relationship as if the brand and influencers were soulmates from the start.

Cultivating Long-Term, Exclusive Relationships

Once brands have invested in humanizing influencer discovery and can see beyond the transactional nature of followers and reach, they’ll be able to engage in long-term influencer relationships. A ‘man and machine’ approach enables brands to feel the heart behind a story and the use the brains of data to fuel business decisions. With an understanding of both important elements, brands can nurture loyal audiences by securing persistent visibility alongside that influencer.   

Building Always-On Influencer Campaigns

Regardless of budgets, brands should look beyond quick initiatives and consider campaigns that build a narrative that provides product visibility over a course of months or even years. Ideally, marketers engage with a partner whose expertise is in building custom, multi-tiered influencer channel networks for a scaled, ‘always on’ content marketing strategy. In an ideal situation, the tiered structure includes hundreds of influencers that range from emerging micro to upper tiered “social celebrity-grade” talent.

While the “one and done” approach to influencer marketing can be effective, it often lacks the impact and authenticity of a longer term, relationship-based engagement. Consider Tinder vs eHarmony and the type of relationships that typically result from each.

Creating The Ideal Content Ecosystem

The most effective large-scale campaigns are built on a tiered approach of “Hero, Hub and Hygiene” content across multiple video and social platforms. While influencer content can effectively breakthrough ad clutter, the reality is that their audiences are distracted and inundated with brand messaging. The “always on” approach is the foundation for overcoming ad clutter and reinforcing authenticity. The next step is to determine the ideal mix of “Hero” premium, “go-big” agency-produced content starring influencers, “Hub” custom, brand-sponsored content or “Hygiene” native, grassroots type content. Once the ideal mix is determined, the content can be syndicated and even amplified through all relevant social platforms.

Calibrating Campaign With Actionable Insights

Data and insights are key to upfront discovery and backend campaign optimization. While standard view, impressions and engagement metrics are important, it’s key to take a multi-dimensional approach to evaluating the health of a campaign. Additional metrics are based on a combination of Natural Language Processing and human insights to gauge sentiment and Earned Media Value (EMV). EMV helps brands understand the dollar value of the content’s exposure based on views and all measurable engagements. Since EMV is grounded in actual media costs, it provides tangible, verifiable ROI estimates to quantify the true value of a campaign.

Conclusion And Takeaways

The digital, influencer and content marketing landscape are constantly evolving. The rules of engagement constantly change and competition for consumer mindshare is at an all-time high. While the thirst for constant stories has required data-driven insights, marketing science and technology, the ideal approach combines these tools with a high degree of human interaction and expertise.

After all, persistently engaging audiences will always require a good storyteller.  


About Vincent Juarez

As a partner at, one of California’s largest independent advertising collectives, Vincent is an expert communication executive who leads social and influencer campaigns for ION, the network’s social media agency. Most recently, he helped deploy an international influencer campaign for Intel Corporation, drove a social activation with Netflix and is leveraging powerful partnerships with top gaming creators to introduce Facebook’s virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift to mainstream audiences.