What does it take to be an influencer?

Surely a question on every Instagram user’s mind. ‘Influencer culture’ is a huge part of Instagram’s brand, but has also made its way into the marketing world as well. Influencer marketing refers to using well known social media figures to promote products on their own accounts. By all accounts, influencer marketing is on the rise, but how do you become an influencer? How do you know if it’s right for your business?

Next week we’ll chat with a real-life influencer: Kiki Von Glinow from Toast Media Group all about influencer marketing and how to do it right. We chatted with Kiki about her background and what being an influencer means to her.

Who are you? What is your background?

I started my career as a journalist at The Huffington Post. I loved writing, but from day one was most fascinated with tracking my stats and learning everything I could about how our readers were finding and engaging with our content.

I followed that interest and founded HuffPost’s inaugural audience development team as well as an experimental Labs team working across the organization to develop new ways to connect with our readers. By the end of my time at HuffPost, I was the Head of Growth & Analytics, overseeing our social distribution, analytics, SEO and email marketing teams and getting to work directly with the folks at Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Apple on special projects to engage readers across platforms.

After 6 years at HuffPost, I left to start working directly with brands to help tell their stories digitally and that’s when Toast Media Group started!

How would you describe Toast?

We’re a digital marketing agency that does everything we can to not be an agency. We’re not about that big agency bloat. We’ve built our business on being super scrappy and doing our best work in a test and learn environment with quick pivots and long term sustainability — no cheap growth hacks here! We know what moves people digitally and how to build audiences that convert.

What does Toast Media do especially well? What is your speciality?

I’d say our special sauce is marrying storytelling and data. Coming from a journalism background, I know how important storytelling is to any brand. We work backwards from data to develop compelling brand narratives that aren’t just marketing but actually mean something to audiences or customers.

How do you describe an ‘influencer’ in your line of work?

I think an influencer is anyone who has trust within a community. They’re people who have a point of view and share it with an audience that is keenly interested. For us, it’s not about follower numbers or likes for the sake of it, it’s about true engagement and their ability to mobilize a mission-aligned tribe.

Want to learn more about influencer marketing?

Make sure you save a seat at our webinar next Wednesday, June 26th @ 2pm EST.

Join our webinar here!

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