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Can Influencer Marketing Be Done Right?

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Influencer Marketing Done Right

In a previous blog I shared a little about the basics of influencer marketing. If you do a quick google search for influencer marketing, you will find lots of examples. Some, where a brand got into a lot of trouble because of the influencer they chose. And sometimes, you will find celebrities getting into trouble for the brands they chose to endorse. While influencer marketing can be fun and inspiring, it can also go horribly wrong. Lack of due diligence before striking an agreement can be highly damaging.  For a few examples search for these key terms:

Kendall Jenner and FYRE festival” or “Pew Die Pie and Disney

But every now and then you will come across some really awesome ones, like

Hilton and Marriott Hotels in 2018

I also recently came across this #ad with my favorite Twitter account, @Dog_Rates. I would categorize this account as a macro influencer. He has amassed 7.5 million followers, and most of his tweets go viral within seconds with thousands of likes. After a couple of fail starts in 2018 with his influencer ads, but I think he really found his stride in November. He posted two ads in quick succession (within days of each other) with two independent brands.  I want to share both with you.


As you may have guessed @Dog_Rates is a Twitter account that aims to entertain by giving by-lines to photos of dogs, and rate them. He is funny and puny and the photos are always cute, heroic or simply heartwarming. It is no surprise therefore that @Dog_Rates found a perfect match when he was asked to post about dog accessories, such as leashes and collars. The original post was spot on:

  • Used humor
  • Excellent imagery
  • Tagged and named the brand
  • Left it open ended, so that the brand could counter with the Call to Action and link to the web-store.

Normally this would be the end of an influencer post. Now would be time for all the fans to jump in and give their feedback, engagement, clicks to the store, make some purchases, ask some questions.  The reason this exchange stood out for me because both the brand and the influencer continued the original thread beyond the “ad” and made it a funny exchange, a real conversation. Read the whole exchange for yourself, I promise you won’t regret spending the time.

This exchange let the original poster’s sense of humor shine through the entire conversation, which helped elevate the original post from advertisement level, to a genuine exchange and fun story to follow. All this happened within moments, so while you can argue that maybe both parties were ready and equipped with awesome gifs and maybe some of the posts were even scripted, the final product in the end was a spur of the moment. It can only be successful like this, if you truly found the right “partner” to do an influencer program with. How do I know this? Because @ForRover is a third party who jumped in the middle of the conversation. He added his own humor to the exchange, yet moving the story line forward. Which further validated in my eyes that this “ad” was a winning example of influencer marketing done right.


Shortly after the TenTree ad ran on Twitter, the same account also promoted the new Netflix series Dogs. Below are the screenshots. You can assume that the followers of @Dog_Rates are dog lovers; hence this seems to be a good match. And I think it was, but the execution fell a bit short. This exchange is a lot more scripted. The tone of voice of the brand and influencer is not quite on the same level. It’s a bit stiff. Nevertheless, thousands of people got to know that there is a new Netflix original series about puppers. And as a dog lover myself, I did the only thing reasonable. I went to my Netflix and downloaded all 6 episodes to watch. Netflix would probably call this “mission accomplished”

ROI of Influencer Campaigns

Knowing the true value and return on either of these ads is beholden to Netflix and TenTree. Without access to info on click through rates, downloads, average value per transaction, rate of completed transactions, sign ups etc.. we are mere onlookers from the outside. But just by observing the volume of engagement on these social media posts, we can deduce that it was for sure, not a waste of their money or time, even if it is just from a brand boost perspective.