Got Klout?: Why a Klout Perks Campaign Might Work for Your Brand

Social media turned traditional marketing on its head. Though many marketers have come to terms with this new world order, marketing within it can be tricky. Traditional channels now seem so much easier. You knew who and what was influential, be it a TV program everyone was watching or that reviewer who consumers implicitly trusted. Social media tore down those walls of influence, and now Klout is building them back up again.

If you aren’t familiar with Klout, here is the scoop. By measuring three pieces of data across various social media outlets, Klout assigns you a score that rates how influential you are within your online social sphere.

When the service started in 2008, it was an idle curiosity. Now that there are 85 million people registered with Klout, it might just be the key to your next marketing campaign.

How does this work? Klout Perks. This program promises to help brands leverage social media influence by giving influencers early or free access to products. Klout targets Perk participants to reach the ideal audience for your brand. You can target health-conscious trendsetters. You can recruit influential moms and dads. Though they aren’t required to talk about the products they get, it is assumed that most Perk participants will — they aren’t influential because they’ve kept their mouths shut.

Why does this work? Because social media has ushered in the era of peer-to-peer recommendations — on steroids. 90% of consumers trust a peer recommendation, compared to the 33% that trust advertising. Klout helps you find the people who that 90% is most likely to listen to.

Then again, why doesn’t this work? Measurement is fuzzy, as all word of mouth marketing is fuzzy. A brand may work with Klout to recruit 300 influencers, get 15,000 tweets, and 46 million impressions (as popchips did) but did that activity result in a significant rise in sales? What about an increase in brand recognition?

This doesn’t mean that brands should shy away from using Klout Perks or other word-of-mouth tactics. If the campaign is structured well, a brand should be able to measure impact. But fail to define markets or measurable outcomes from the get-go, and a Klout Perk campaign will likely seem meaningless.

Even with the fuzzy math inherent in WOM campaigns, this hasn’t stopped two major brands from signing on with Klout in the past few weeks. AXE has partnered with Klout and Funny or Die to create what could be a killer campaign. And Stephen King, who likely needs no marketing to see his books top the bestseller list, has also signed up for a Perks campaign.

Have you been part of a Klout Perk campaign? Do you think Klout Perks can deliver tangible results?

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