Influencer Marketing Is Not Programmatic - And That's Just Fine

Entertainment marketers have been savvy adopters of influencer marketing to build buzz, drive tune-in, and entice consumers to make a pre-release purchase. There are many factors that have led marketers to embrace influencer marketing, but the one I think is primary is creativity. Influencer marketing, at its very essence, is about going “outside the box” and creatively engaging with consumers in environments that matter to them. The influencer marketing space is a blank canvas for a brand to construct a consumer experience around any kind of content – whether a preview, movie trailer, out-takes, interviews, reviews, game sneak-peek … the list is endless.

In a smart and effective influencer marketing campaign, brands align themselves with trusted bloggers, vloggers and social media personalities, whose followers are eager to jump into the conversation and spread the brand’s messages throughout their own networks. There are few areas in digital marketing where marketers can be so imaginative and implement so many variations on a brand’s message. This is important for the entertainment industry, where messages should be suitably imaginative and engaging. 



The challenge, though, is that there is not a standard for measurement of influencer marketing program success. While the amplification (earned media) aspects of these programs are measurable, it can be tempting for brands to fall back on traditional display advertising, where the metrics for determining ROI can feel more immediate and readily quantifiable. That’s part of the reason why programmatic has developed so much traction among brands and marketers in the past few years. Reach, viewability and clicks are easy to quantify, and brands that are intelligent with programmatic are seeing fitting results in their campaigns’ KPIs. But focusing on one single digital channel to engage with consumers is a shortsighted concept, particularly so for entertainment marketers. 

Influencers have, by definition, social clout, shareable content, expertise, consumer recognition, and the respect of their communities. Display might have some of those characteristics — sometimes. When it does, it often happens in spite of its standardized formats. For the entertainment industry, the influencer space is a richer field to engage with consumers and distribute content that really represents entertainment properties.

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