Commentary

With Influencer Marketing, It All Comes Down To Vetting

In the end, the vetting of a potential influencer may be the most important aspect of using one to market a car. 

Jon Pearce, global chief creative officer at Hudson Rouge, said client Lincoln staged a salon-style dinner in Los Angeles for the brand’s influencers to meet each other and from which they have formed lasting relationships and “good feelings toward Lincoln.”

Among the luxury automobile’s star influencers are Matthew McConaghey and Serena Williams. About the actor, Pearce said, “He provides a certain swagger.” The brand puts paid behind him and Williams, who owns several Navigators. Hudson Rouge uses her in social and in broadcast. “She’s a powerful successful mom and comeback queen,” he said of the tennis star.

To the contrary, Anne McGraw, senior manager, social media marketing, Nissan NA, admits her opinion is not popular as she prefers using micro-influencers such as Nissan Titan owners. “They are passionate and they have social circles we can’t break into,” she said. ”Their word is gold. Turning those types of people into advocates is what we all should be doing full time. It’s a heavy lift to do that in the right way. Taking the money that we’re spending on flash-in-the-pans turn micro-influences into bigger influencers and that helps everybody. 

”The whole influencer game has so much gamesmanship, it’s hard to know what you’re really going to get,” said McGraw. “There’s a huge degree of tests and learning. The really cool thing is you get to test drive them. If it works, great. Analysis is really a gut feel. It’s helps to have an organization that supports risk tolerance to test and learn.” 

Pearce called influencer marketing a “new and viable marketing tactic that is unfolding before our eyes. If [influencers] come across as disingenuous, you feel scorned and burned. After vetting people, Lincoln does little things like leave notes in their hotel rooms and over time it becomes an authentic relationship.

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