Companies sometimes form advisory boards to enhance their prestige and gather input from subject matter experts and business leaders. Local non-profit organizations form advisory boards to receive guidance from community leaders. Some organizations now form advisory boards composed of social media influencers.
They hope their advisory group will help them craft influencer marketing policies, establish best practices, and create content that resonates with audiences. The goal is to create an on-going and mutually beneficial partnership between the company and influencers.
Hand-Picked Influencers Visit California
Visit California says it launched the first influencer advisory board in late 2017. It selected about half a dozen North American digital influencers and invited the group to meet to help refine best practices for working with influencers, set benchmarks for tracking ROI, and create long-term partnerships with influencers.
Its input, incorporated into Visit California’s Digital Influencer Strategy Document, has guided the organization’s influencer marketing strategy. The board was instrumental in Visit California’s crisis response strategy following natural disasters and in promoting California’s business image.
In 2019, Visit California created a Global Influencer Advisory Board. The organization picked nine influencers, including bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers and podcasters, with experience in the culinary arts, outdoor travel and other niches. Half reside in the U.S; others are from Italy, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK.
The group met in January, 2019, in Lake Tahoe to discuss best practices for hosting influencers, responsible travel, and improving partnerships with influencers. They met again in October in Palm Springs to talk about consumer engagement, pros and cons of live content, leveraging brand partnerships, and SEO. After both gatherings, they did what influencers do best – document their experiences online, whether on the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe, the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park and other California locations.
Clorox Cleans up its Digital Marketing
The Clorox Company is creating an influencer advisory council of hundreds of influencers, Digiday reports. Rather than create slick, traditional advertising, Clorox will work with popular YouTubers to create videos that seem like the type of content YouTubers typically post, in other words, more authentic content. In one initiative, YouTubers compete in a “one-wipe challenge” to see who can clean the most with a single Clorox wipe.
The campaign focuses on branding rather than boosting ecommerce sales immediately and directly. That means measuring its effectiveness may be more difficult than counting clicks and sales.
Engagement is the Key Metric
“Since the value for a business is in creating connections with consumers who trust the influencer’s content, we look at engagement with the post and on social as the most important metric in influencer marketing,” writes Rita Gorenberg, Clorox associate director, brand engagement, in the company blog.
Brian Honigman, a digital marketing strategist and CEO of Honigman Media, recommends that strategy for nonprofits and businesses of all sizes.
“A takeaway here is that Clorox identified a way to work with influencers on an ongoing basis where both sides benefit, beyond just exchanging payment for promotion,” Honigman says.
Bottom Line: While there’s no clear pattern for influencer advisory boards, organizations typically solicit both creative and business input from a small group of hand-picked influencers. Besides producing attractive photos and videos on behalf of a brand, influencers can provide valuable advice on developing business partnerships, understanding customers, and implementing best practices.
William J. Comcowich founded and served as CEO of CyberAlert LLC, the predecessor of Glean.info. He is currently serving as Interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors. Glean.info provides customized media monitoring, media measurement and analytics solutions across all types of traditional and social media.