IAB Presents Influencer Marketing Successes, Strategies & Pitfalls

As influencer marketing reaches a “professional cruising altitude,” it’s become even more imperative for brands to figure out how to build and maintain a relationship with new and existing customers on a six-inch screen.

For Steve Ellis, the answer is not banners, pop-up or pre-roll ads. The WHOSAY CEO, now a Viacom company, believes the solution is a great and creative idea as well as professional talent aligned with the brand’s business objectives.

“There is a misconception that influencer marketing performance is based primarily upon organic reach,” says Ellis. “In our experience, we have found that the organic reach of sponsored posts continues to decline and the best way to maximize campaign performance is through paid media.”

Ellis will be discussing the organic and paid media in influencer marketing topic during The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Influence Marketing Day on Wednesday, July 18 at Viacom in New York City.

He'll moderate the panel "Inside Influencer Marketing– Success Strategies & Pitfalls to Avoid" with Alysha Yuille, Director of Content at Carat, Adam Puchalsky, Managing Director at UM Studios and Casey De Palma, Director of Digital Engagement and Public Relations at Unilever. You can register and attend for free here.   

Ellis will lead the discussion on the current state of organic reach on each major social platform and how that impacts the performance of sponsored social posts. The role of paid social media will be highlighted from dark posts, “buying views," audience targeting (including lookalikes), and how paid media can take a campaign from "post and pray" to guaranteed performance.

This IAB event will commence with a networking breakfast followed by a half-day of programming panel with everything you need to leverage the power of influence marketing for your brand, including a discussion with the FTC about disclosure best practices. You'll walk away with actionable insights you can put to use today and in the future.

Qualified brands and agencies can ask for an invite here

Steve Ellis is CEO and Co-Founder of WHOSAY, the largest and most trusted influence marketer in the world. He co-founded the company with CAA in 2010 and currently oversees its strategy and operations. WHOSAY is a Viacom company.

WHOSAY powers influence marketing campaigns for brands across all verticals and utilizes every level of celebrity and influencer to deliver measurably superior results compared to other social and mobile advertising solutions.

Ellis has a history of helping talent to participate directly in the value they create with their content via the use of technology and digital platforms.

Previously, he was founder and CEO of Pump Audio, a music licensing marketplace that connected production and agency buyers in television and advertising with a community of independent musicians. Musicians earned money from the use of their music in TV and advertising but remained owner of all the rights to their work. Pump Audio was sold to Getty Images in 2007 and is now the Getty Images Music Division.

Prior to starting Pump, Ellis was a full-time musician who signed recording contracts with independent and major labels. He came to the US from the UK in 1988 to attend the Wharton School of Business, where he earned a BSC in Economics and Management.

Connect with Steve on LinkedIn & Twitter.


The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical standards and best practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. There are 43 IABs licensed to operate in nations around the world and one regional IAB, in Europe. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.

For a complete list of IAB Members as well as the Councils, Committees and Working Groups who are actively shaping the interactive industry, please visit the IAB Member Center.