Influencer marketing and ad tech collide: ‘It’s hard to make people programmatic’

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It has never been easier for brands to find celebrities, or so-called influencers, to promote their products. And it has never been more complicated.

“It’s just legwork. It’s not hard work. It’s just time-consuming work,” said Dave Snyder, senior VP and executive creative director at Firstborn.

Earlier this year, Adidas tasked the Dentsu Aegis Network-owned digital agency with arranging an influencer-driven Instagram Stories campaign to promote its latest sneaker. Because the shoe was designed to appeal to the type of cultural curator whose Instagram feed could double as a coffee table book published by Vice, the brand wanted to work with photographers who had substantial street cred and sizable social followings. Specifically, Adidas wanted photographers who were older than 22 years old but younger than 30, had at least 20,000 Instagram followers but fewer than 100,000 and were street photographers who shoot using film.

“That allowed us to really narrow in on who we wanted to feature. We created this big list. But it was a lot of legwork,” said Snyder.

That may sound surprising given the two biggest trends in influencer marketing: the rise of micro-influencers and the ad-tech-ification of influencer campaigns. Conceivably, these trends should have meant that Snyder could have found a pair of photographers for Adidas during his lunch break. But based on interviews with seven agency execs, thanks to technology’s growing role in influencer marketing, managing an influencer campaign may never have required more of a human touch.

To learn more, read the full article on MarTech Today.

About The Author

Tim Peterson, Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat’s ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar’s attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon’s ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube’s programming strategy, Facebook’s ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking’s rise; and documented digital video’s biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed’s branded video production process and Snapchat Discover’s ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands’ early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo’s and Google’s search designs and examine the NFL’s YouTube and Facebook video strategies.


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