RIP Influencer Marketing: How to Revive It

Posted by Alex Ditty on Aug 23, 2016 11:30:00 AM

In Influencer Marketing

Barkley Adds Good to SXSW 2017: #RIPInfluencers


This is a guest post from Carolyn Cohen, Associate Content Director at Barkley. You can read more from the Barkley team on their blog

Influencer Marketing quickly became the buzzword of the year, appearing in headline after headline. It has popped up across social media platforms and blogs alike, and posts tagged with #spon or #ad have hit their peak. As with most trends, marketers tend to ruin things, and this is no exception. It didn’t take long before high-profile bloggers and Instagrammers were accepting payments to promote products and services- regardless of the authenticity of the brand-inspired relationship. You can easily find fans calling out their favorite influencer for just this. Many brands don’t seem to mind this controversy, but I think it’s time for Influencer Marketing 2.0.


A quick internet search will pull case studies from some of the world’s top brands like Adidas, NBC, and Red Bull and research proving success for Influencer Marketing. What isn’t featured is how these brands have found the winning formula. My SXSW Panel will help answer this question, and how brands can break out of the Influencer Marketing noise and create a program that has impact and has value for influencers, brands and consumers.


I’m drawn to this topic after working on many Influencer and Blogger programs during my time at Barkley. Plus, I can’t stand to see another article about “How Influencer Marketing is the Next Big Thing.” At Barkley, we know this is still a new frontier for some of our clients and we are driven to create, plan and foster influencer relationships that are a good fit for them. We’ve dedicated time to building an Influencer Program Guidebook to utilize across our Content Team, Paid Media Team, PR Team and Creative teams. This helps keep us aligned to our program goals and remain integrated throughout the process. Success with influencers does not happen overnight.

To help spread the learnings we’ve seen at Barkley and the many missteps we see happen every day, I built the panel “RIP Influencer Marketing: How to Revive It.” I’ve partnered with SEEN CEO Brian Zuercher to create an exciting (and maybe even a little controversial) panel. SEEN has been a trusted partner of Barkley’s as we navigate the world of Influencers, and their no BS attitude has helped Barkley’s clients find real success, not just vanity KPI’s. Brian and I will cover:

  1. How do I identify the right Influencer for my brand?
  2. What makes for a quality Influencer Marketing Program?
  3. What are the elements needed to build an evolved content strategy?

With your help (and your vote), we can bring this panel to SXSW Interactive 2017.  Please take a moment to register and vote at – and feel free to leave your feedback and comments about the panel!