To spearhead an effective influencer marketing program, it helps to be an influencer oneself. One executive who walks and talks in this way is Kelly Tirman; Kelly not only runs Wells Fargo‘s influencer marketing operations as its Enterprise Social Marketing Strategist, but she’s also a prominent Mom Blogger. The insights she’s gained from being a Mom Blogger helped guide her efforts while at Walmart and more recently in the development of an interesting new program for Wells Fargo. In preparation for a recent panel discussion on the topic of Influencer Marketing, Kelly and I had an informative conversation on the subject leaving little doubt in mind that just talking the talk won’t cut it.
Since you’re on a panel about “influencer marketing” with me, can I assume that your role covers influencer marketing for Wells Fargo and if so, can you tell me a bit about what you’re doing in that area?
Influencer Marketing is relatively new for Wells Fargo. However I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with a handful of influencers to roll out an amazing campaign for Wells Fargo that honors the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
In this campaign we collaborated with several bloggers to share their own personal untold stories as part of a video series, an extension of the Untold Stories campaign. These videos are unlike anything I have even seen and I am extremely proud of this work.
Given the highly regulated nature of financial services marketing, do you have to approach influencer marketing differently than say a packaged goods brand?
Building great relationships with your legal and compliance partners are key. Other than that the same rules apply. Be honest, transparent and leverage people strengths (both internal and external partners).
How should influencer marketing fit into an overall marketing strategy?
If influencer marketing is done correctly it gives the brand a beautiful opportunity to reach an audience they might not normally reach by co-creating an experience for the customer with a network of trusted influencers. At the end of the day you need people inside your corporation that excel in vendor management, know how to collaborate and understand the value of building real relationships with influencers.
I am a bit fixated at the moment on the topic of Social ROI. What do you think are the right metrics to measure the success of an influencer program?
I understand the need for numbers. It is how we all justify and increase our budgets. I get that. But at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the customer. You need to be where your customer is and you need to make sure their experience is solid.
You are well established in the blog-her-sphere. How does this help you do your job at Wells Fargo?
I am a tactile learner. As I participate and collaborate with other bloggers my mind is able to use those experiences as a jumping off point for new ones.
How important do you think it is that social business marketers are active like you on social channels?
Depends on why you are doing it. I officially started blogging right after Walmart launched the Eleven Moms as a way to better understand how these women were running their businesses. As I blogged I formed friendships. It was actually those relationship that taught me what I needed to know. Technology changes fast, it is the power of your tribe that keeps you all ahead of the curve.
I have heard that many moms who blog don’t like the term “mommy bloggers.” What do you prefer?
I prefer the term Mom Blogger. Like, Jenny Lawson has said in the past, “no one should be calling me mommy that isn’t my kid.” For years I felt the need to constantly remind people of who I was and what I had done within my professional career outside of being a mom blogger. However, while attending Conversations with Coca-Cola last October with friends such as Andrea Fellman of Savvy Sassy Moms I had the honor and pleasure of hearing Catherine Conners talk in depth on this subject. And thanks to that conversation I decided to own the term. I am proud of this community and the changes we have made to mainstream advertising. We have not only created conversation, we have changed it for the better.