5 Influencer Marketing Truth Bombs by WHOSAY CEO Steve Ellis

Influencer marketing is constantly in the news. From non-FTC-compliant posts, influencer fraud and brand unsafe practices to a complete misunderstanding of what influencer marketing is. The wild wide west was created by the explosive growth of this relatively new industry and now only real knowledge and expertise will lead the way.

Fortunately, WHOSAY CEO Steve Ellis wrote “An Open Letter to Brands (and Agency-Co-Conspirators).” Published on Mobile Marketing Watch, an experienced missive containing five truth bombs that’ll make you feel as though everything you thought you knew about influencer marketing was just not enough...  


1. Everything is media:

Ellis got candid by admitting, “I’m still surprised when clients we work with get distracted by the human aspects of partnering with talent.” Naturally, following, engagement and affinity are critical aspects to consider when it comes to casting the right talent. However, the WHOSAY CEO wants you to know that “in the end, everything is media” (more of that below).  

2. Is it an ad or a story? Who cares!

Good content is king, period. It doesn’t matter if you decide to call it a “story,” “video” or “ad,” or whether your content is “organic” or “sponsored.” As Ellis wrote, “Is it content, is it branded content, is it an ad? Yes, Yes and Yes – it’s all ads. It’s all content.” And it should be good content because “the recipient doesn’t care what you call it!”

3. Stop counting likes and comments:

When running an influence marketing campaign, it is tempting to rejoice on video views, shares and comments. However, according to Ellis, that’s the wrong approach. “A well thought out influencer driven campaign is the combination of creativity, personality and audience – that collectively create an initial marketing advantage,” said Ellis, adding that marketers and brands should take advantage of this opportunity by treating it just like an ad. Namely, it has to be scaled and measured as media (CPMs, CPCs, CPEs, CTRs, etc. and not likes, shares or comments).

4. Performance can be guaranteed:

Ellis assures us that it’s “more than possible” to achieve engagement rates at twice the industry norm (4-7%). “This is where a quality partner comes in, to make sure your goals matter to you — and your business,” he explained. The WHOSAY CEO also warned against treating influencer marketing “like you used to treat special projects.” “There is no non-working media in influence. It’s all working and it can all be measured,” he added.

5. Influencer marketing slays:

When done right, like we do at WHOSAY, influencer marketing “outperforms in all these traditional media measurement categories  – and not by a little, but by a lot.” Ellis concluded by reminding us that even though there’s nothing wrong in enjoying the process of selecting influencer talent… “but don’t get too emotional about it.” Why? Yes you guessed it: “everything is media and everything can be measured...even influence!”

Let’s all reinforce the message. Influence marketing must be measured like media. BOOM!