Running an Influencer Campaign With Klout Perks? Here’s How to Mess It Up.

Shelly Kramer, co-founder and CEO, V3 Integrated Marketing

This is part of a series of posts based on excerpts from The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools.

Too often, brands sign up to run promotional programs targeted to influencers using tools such as Klout or Kred—but forget all about the basics of what makes a marketing campaign work.  If you’re using a personal influence measurement tool to identify and deliver product samples or special offers to high-ranking online individuals, make sure you think through the details of how you plan to engage with them.

Shelly Kramer is a marketing and digital strategist, and the founder and CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing, a full service integrated marketing, digital communications and social media agency. According to Kramer, Klout, Kred and other personal influence measurement tools are providing a service that brands want and need. But one problem she sees is that they rush to market without their platforms (or their strategies) being fully developed. For instance, Klout went to market and began charging brands for access to influencers before the tool, and the best practices for how to use it, were really thought out. That made it easy for influential people in the digital space to poke holes in just about everything Klout was doing.

She has seen many examples of brands creating perks programs without really thinking through the strategy.  As a result, some influencer campaigns she has seen miss the mark when it comes to key best practices.

For example, one impressively-designed Klout Perks package was created to promote the premiere of a cable TV show—and Kramer signed up to participate in the promotion in order to see how it was executed. The concept was that recipients would plan a “viewing party” for the premiere, and the perk contained items designed to help them plan the party.

A huge box arrived via express shipping a day or two before the premiere.  Inside were tee shirts, plastic glasses, corkscrews and some propaganda about the series. Missing from the package: a call to action or instructions to participants on exactly what they should do.  Should they tweet about the premiere event? If so, was there a hashtag? Would it be great if they took photos and posted them on Twitter or Facebook? Should they write a blog post about the premiere?  Klout and its brand marketing partner missed an opportunity to fuel the engagement that they were looking for from the influencers that were participating. (The new TV series? It bombed.)

Another example of a poorly executed Klout perk program was the luxury car brand that invited influencers to participate in a test drive. The company identified “influencers” by way of the number of Twitter followers they had, but did not look at which individuals might be car enthusiasts, and many did not have the demographic attributes of potential purchasers of a luxury vehicle. Just because an “influencer” has a lot of Twitter followers does not mean that he (or she) is the right target demographic and able to inspire consumer interest in a particular product or brand.  The Klout platform, unfortunately, doesn’t take those additional targeting criteria into consideration.  “Technology is a tool, but it does not substitute for experience and good marketing strategy,” says Kramer.

There are no short cuts.  Kramer looks at the data from all of the influence measurement tools, and especially pays attention to trend lines, as well as to context.

“You should always gut-check the data before using it to drive decisions. And you need humans to do that (with brains) – not just measurement tools.”

What Klout Perks influencer marketing campaigns have you seen that were effective — or maybe not so effective?
The Realtime Report's Guide to Influence Measurement Tools


To learn more about influence measurement and best practices in influencer marketing, check out The Realtime Report’s Guide to Influence Measurement Tools, our detailed analysis of personal and contextual influence measurement tools.