Partnering Brands With Influencers


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Making Influencer Marketing Work For Your Brand

As discussed in our last interview highlight blog post, we truly cannot emphasize the importance of Influencer Marketing enough in today's digital climate. How does a brand prepare for a flawless campaign executed to success?

Doing so without having a digital marketing team or an outside agency would be nothing short of a miracle. Brands need to have an understanding of both how the process works and also what the full scope of your contract entails. Recently, our CEO Stacy Jones sat down to chat with a marketing expert to help shed some light on the topic. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded examines how brands are partnering brands with influencers through an agency from the expertise and experience of Susanna Yee of Digital Everything.

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A Little Background On Susanna

Susanna Yee is a marketing expert who works for Digital Everything, a Los Angeles based digital marketing consulting firm that serves a global clientele. Susanna is a pioneer in the field of social media and influencer marketing, and helps companies and brands learn how to create effective strategy driven influencer marketing campaigns that result in our line.

Over the last 11 years, Susanna has worked with clients including Guess Jeans, Kate Spade, One Coconut Water, and Lucky Magazine. Her team's Guess Color Meanings Inspired campaign went viral, with Mashable naming it as one of their Five Interesting Pinterest Marketing Campaigns. Additionally, Susanna has been featured in E-Help, Bloomberg, and Business Wire.

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Question: Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your background and what got you to where you are doing what you do today?

Answer: Yeah, so, I actually started off working in business development in 2000. And that's when I actually entered the space of startups and you know, technology and the Internet and the whole thing. And I ended up in business development for a few years and then sort of migrated to digital marketing. And then found my way to social media marketing, which I really enjoyed.

In 2010, I actually started my own consulting agency, and, for a few years I partnered with a bigger firm that offered a lot of things, you know? Development, web development, SCO, SCM, graphic design. And, also on my part, I brought in the social media and the PR. And then, I did that for a few years, but then I went back on my own again. So, that's kind of the story.

I also had a personal blog on the side that has grown with popularity, people really enjoyed it, and brands started calling me to do certain collaborations. When they came to town, they found us some bloggers to do an event. And then that kind of started my HSC career.


Question: So, why do you think influencer marketing is one of the best marketing tactics out there?

Answer: I just think that it is amazing because of the costs involved, how cost effective it is. For example, if you were just to put together a Google ad, you have to have a copywriter, you have to have a graphic designer, you have to have a photographer or a videographer. And then you have to have somebody who's going to do the digital ad, you know, the paid ad person.

But when you hire a person who's an influencer slash blogger, they are an all-in-one person, and they come with an audience. So, I mean, there you have a content creator, you have a videographer, a photographer, you have a content creator, you have a person who's already a marketer of themselves.

And then on top of that, you have a model. They're modeling the inside photos so you don't have to hire a model and you don't have to hire a copywriter to write the copy. So, I think it's a great deal. And then they have an audience that's waiting to listen to what they're saying.

Question: Do you think a lot of brands forget about the value of that content that's being created that is just so killer and it involves so much time for someone to actually create?

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Answer: Yeah. And it's been a whole education process throughout all my brands, clients, partnerships with collaborators. And even today, you see a lot of white papers out there and comments all over on LinkedIn and every where else about how people, I don't think they appreciate what the legit influencers do. And of course, you know, the sad thing is, like any market, there are some people who aren't legit influencers. And so that kind of ruins it for a lot of people.

Question: Where do you think influencer marketing makes big wins for brand partnerships?

Answer: I think influencer marketing is a big win for, you know, b to c of course. That whole industry. But in terms of bringing people to just brand recognition, I think, they're not seeing the value of that. I think a lot of times, people are thinking, in terms of ROI, they're always thinking, if I didn't make a sale on it or I didn't get an email, I didn't win. But, I mean, how many times do you drive by a billboard before you even decide you're going to watch that Netflix show? At least 20, 30 times. You know? And these brand partners, these influencer marketers, usually when you do something with them, they put it everywhere. They're putting a billboard on every street corner in terms of their audience. When you do a partnership with them, you get a lot of value from them.


Question: When you're doing influencer marketing, how long do you, since I just said that, how long do you usually try to have a brand do a campaign? Do you usually do projects? Or do you usually do like a longer term plan of 36, 12 months at a time of partnerships? What do you suggest people do?

Answer: I suggest that if you can do a three months at least partnership per campaign per influencer, that you will start seeing results probably in the third month. I mean, some influencers, you see results right away. But usually when they're posting the first time and talking about it on their blogs and on video and in their stories, their audience is saying, "Hmm, let me know how that goes." You know, it's sort of like your friends. Like, when your friend tries something new, let me know how that goes. And then like a month later, you go, hey, how's that going? You know? So, I think that's what we have to think about. We're having basically a dialogue. These people are having a dialogue for the brand to their friends, basically. And so, yeah, three months from now, how's that diet pill working for you? Okay, that's really what it means. Right? Or how's that teeth whitener working for you three months later? So, that's what they have to think about. 

To hear the rest of the interview, check out the full episode on our podcast.

The Next Steps

Want to further your knowledge about best marketing practices for influencer marketing? We've written plenty of other blog posts on the topics as well for you to check out!

Interested in learning more from experts across various walks of the marketing landscape? Subscribe to our Marketing Mistakes Podcast and learn tips, strategies and suggestions from the pros!

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