Whole Brand Thinking™ on Influencers.

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What trends, themes, surprises, or disruptions have impacted Influencer Strategy in the last 12 months? 

Influencer marketing demands confidence and prowess — with boundless trust to put your potential success (and money) into an influencer partnership.

Barkley’s most successful influencer campaigns were built on a simple belief: “Trust the Creator.” Influencers have a unique ability to cultivate a community of loyal followers. That, paired with data-based proof of engaging your target audience, means real potential impact. By loosening the reins, you allow an influencer to co-create content with you, leveraging their platform expertise to generate better content and, therefore, better results. 

“Trust the Creator” means instead of scripting a concept, the brand (or agency) and influencer become one team. The concept ideas together and talk through execution opportunities. Then, they give the influencer the time and creative space to work. Instead of piling on mandatories, they provide the necessary brand tools and allow the influencer to build with the tools they decide to use. 

Authenticity is key to success in influencer marketing. When work is crafted together, you strategically build a creative box for an influencer to curate genuinely authentic content that accomplishes business results.

What does this mean for aspiring whole brands?

Influencers are a unique communication channel that directly serves your brand endorsement to your target audience via someone they already love and love to engage with. Considering the full spectrum of a campaign, your influencer approach should work toward business objectives in partnership with other channels.

To maximize integration, and the partnership investment, consider how your influencer approach pairs with each stop on the spectrum to move beyond just a pretty picture on Instagram.

Remember, this is a mutual partnership within a brand-focused, strategic foundation. Influencers seek authentic collaborations that benefit themselves, the brand, and their followers. Please educate the influencer on your objectives and desires for the partnership; then, be prepared to listen and learn. 

What advice do you have for whole brand thinkers as a result?

  • Be purposeful in your work. Like every stop on the spectrum, influencer marketing should start with a clear goal that ladders to larger business objectives. 

  • Be open with your influencers on those objectives and co-create the amplification needed to drive success. Influencer marketing has the unique opportunity to make an impact on your brand. Even bigger, it can massively impact the world around you. 

  • Consider who you are supporting with your marketing dollars, and what message you’re sending to the influencers you propose to work with. As you seek your newest brand partner, lay the cursing restrictions aside and consider the person you are working with.

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