Ketchum Influencer: A more evolved global approach to influencer relations

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As companies everywhere embrace influencer relations, many face the same question – how do you combine the art of co-creating brand storytelling with the science of delivering hard data to select influencers and measure real business results?

As the industry grapples with this ROI conundrum, our years of experience in working with the broad mix of people who can influence purchase decisions and incite behavior change has shown that it’s critical to have a deeply integrated global approach. That’s why Ketchum Influencer now extends our expertise throughout the agency and around the world with a uniquely joined-up offer including:

  1. Several global partnerships, including one with Tubular Labs, the only cross-platform video analytics & intelligence software that provides insights on more than 400m viewers and growing. This provides the analytics behind Ketchum’s ScreenGrabbers campaigns which align brands with top video creators.
  2. A state-of-the-art influencer database management tool that optimizes the agency’s ability to identify influencers, manage our deep relationships in a seamless way, execute influencer programs and measure their effectiveness in real-time.
  3. StoryWorks, a Ketchum proprietary approach that tracks and leverages the real-time conversations of influencers across the social web.
  4. Access to our existing communities first launched over the past three years such as Ketchum FIT which connects clients with fitness and wellness influencers, Marketing to Moms, Ketchum 50+ which brings together baby boomers, Food & Nutrition Experts, Millennials, GenZ, Automotive, Technology, Healthcare and many more areas.
  5. A worldwide training program to ensure every Ketchum employee is versed in cutting-edge paid, owned and hybrid influencer relations and full assimilation with Ketchum’s global research and analytics team, the largest research group in the PR industry.

Working with influencers has always been core to PR. In fact some say our industry’s DNA is structured to work with those who speak directly to our clients’ prospective consumers. But with the market maturing and influencers commanding ever higher fees, not to mention a glut of influencer database companies flooding the market, our evolved thinking is that this discipline requires more (not less) big picture thinking, dedicated training and in-depth understanding. That’s why we’ve committed to sharing the knowledge of Ketchum’s established influencer experts with all Ketchum colleagues. Here’s how our CEO Rob Flaherty describes Ketchum Influencer:

“We believe so deeply that influencer relations is at the center of today’s integrated communications that we’ve committed to providing state-of-the-art training to our entire global workforce. If you look beyond today’s gold rush mentality around influencers, there is still a trust deficit at the heart of this discipline. Brands want assurances they are working with the right people to give them ROI and influencers desperately want to retain the credibility they trade on.  Recognizing this, I want every Ketchum employee to benefit from the experience of our industry experts and know-how to get the best out of them.  That means having an in-depth knowledge of the best influencer platforms and the algorithms that drive them, and being very clear about the value exchange between clients and creators.”

One important dimension of influencer relations is the continuing rise in fame of YouTubers like Logan Paul who have become mega-stars appearing in TV and movie productions.  At the same time, the tidal wave of “traditional” celebrities crossing over to social media to reveal their authentic selves to their fans is not slowing down. Speaking at an Advertising Week panel Ketchum hosted yesterday, Logan Paul said, “From my first brand deal to the deals I’m doing now, the world is slowly starting to understand how easy it is to make great content with creators that will get seen. When I work with brands, they have to align with my goals as an entertainer and my voice. As long as a brand trusts me and lets me do my thing, you’ll get the views/exposure, I promise you!”

Ketchum’s knowledge of influencer relations spans years of experience in a wide range of geographies and genres. It has resulted in numerous standout campaigns for clients including:

  • The Ballinger Family, That Reyes Family, Our Family Nest, Growing Up On a Shoestring and Gabe Babe TV with Scott 1000 – Popular YouTube families took on the Scott 1000 Road Trip, traversing I-90 from Boston to Seattle to see how far the families could #KeepOnGoing with just one roll each! The campaign delivered more than 176,000 engagements, 1.4 million video views and 187 million media impressions with more than 77 percent key message inclusion.
  • Kiyong Maeng, Gwanpil Byun and Sobong Kim for Blue Diamond’s in Korea – Here three influential chefs developed unique recipes, video clips, blogger engagement programs and other materials to showcase a new type of almond milk called Almond Breeze. This achieved over 20k Facebook fans and resulted in 1,334 blog posts.
  • Melissa Koh, Peggy Chang and Jemma Wei for #ChangiBarepackers – To remind travelers about Changi Airport’s expansive retail offering, three prominent Singapore fashion and travel bloggers showed up with empty suitcases to head to unknown destinations, and found everything they needed at Changi Airport before their flight. Sharing content with their legions of fans, the program generated significant public interest.
  • For A1, Austria’s biggest telecomm provider, 15 local Instagrammers connected with two thirds of all Instagram users in Austria with heavily branded messaging about the company’s innovative and relevant new functions in iconic phone booths. Precisely the 20 –29 year old demographic A1 needed to impress were engaged in content from key influencers such as Philipp Kurz.
  • Kid President with ConAgra Foods – SoulPancake’s Kid President declared that #ChildHungerEndsHere and shared the staggering fact that one-in-five kids in the U.S. don’t know where their next meal is coming from. This multi-year partnership has resulted in more than 1.5 million video views, 232 million daily media impressions and the monetary equivalent of more than 1M meals donated to Feeding America.

The parameters of influencer relations may be shifting daily, but Ketchum is seeking to support clients in a way that is bold and different – by ensuring that we bring global solutions that don’t just work for today or tomorrow, but can evolve as the marketplace changes. It’s exciting to be involved because although our experience of working in influencer relations spans the last decade, now is the time that every single client needs more efficiency, rigor and results in this space – and working with opinion leaders, experts, ambassadors, creators, celebrities, activists and health care professionals, we’re primed and ready to deliver.

About AnnWool

Ann Wool is a Partner and President of Ketchum Sports & Entertainment. Based in New York, she consults with teams and clients around the Ketchum network to develop strategies that leverage sports and sponsorship investments. Prior to joining Ketchum, Ann spent 10 years at Edelman Worldwide where she played an instrumental role in establishing a sports and sponsorship marketing practice, and worked with a wide range of companies across many business sectors. She has received several industry awards for her work including a PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, a CIPRA from industry publication Inside PR, a Golden World Award from the IPRA and a Big Apple Award from the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

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