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Hilary Topper, Influencer Media

Influencer Marketing: Q & A with Hilary Topper

Hilary Topper, President of HJMT Public Relations and author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Social Media gives us the inside scoop on conducting successful influencer marketing campaigns. 

Along with her successful PR practice, Topper teaches Media Studies, Journalism, and Public Relations at Hofstra University. A prolific content marketer, she also curates  two successful blogs – NY Lifestyle and A Triathlete’s Diary – and records her podcast “Hilary Topper on Air”.

In the latest Wax Q&A, Hilary providers her insights on one of the hottest marketing trends right now: influencer marketing.

Wax: Why do you think influencer marketing has become so popular in the last couple of years?

HT: Influencer Marketing has always been popular. In recent years, the phrase has been coined but since the earliest public relations campaigns, PR professionals have used celebrities, experts, sports figures, etc. to build brand awareness. Just recently, the “average” person who has lots of followers have been targeted to help in the mission.

Wax: Many marketers struggle with influencer marketing. What’s your best advice for choosing influencers that are right for your brand? 

HT: Do your homework. Do a google search, look at how many people are following them and see if there is engagement and on what platform. Just because someone has 100,000+ followers on Instagram but has none on Facebook and Facebook is your target audience, then perhaps you should look for someone influential on Facebook.

Once you have done your homework, keep connecting with these folks. You need to build a relationship with them and bring them into your world. Give them a heads up on special offers and promotions. Tell them how they are doing in terms of ROI and offer them special incentives and discounts.

Wax: Can you point us to a really successful marketing campaign? Why did that work?

HT: We build influencer campaigns and we also participate in influencer campaigns. One of the campaigns I work on is with Balega Socks. From the outside, the campaign seems to be seamless. They have activation projects that ambassadors can participate in. I’ve done a number of them including giving away socks to beginner runners. As a result, these beginner runners have all purchased at least five pairs from local running stores.

Wax: What are the worst 3 mistakes you see brands making when working with influencers? 


  1. Bringing the influencer in and not following up.
  2. No accessibility from the marketer.
  3. Selling influencers short, for example, no payment or very little payment for an ambitious job.

Wax: How do you get an influencer to actually do what they’ve promised? So many don’t come through for brands. 

HT: Marketers need to guide influencers and follow up. It’s easier said than done, especially since marketers have their hand in lots of different projects. But, it’s important to make sure that they build a relationship that includes frequent touchpoints.

Wax: What are the 3-4 primary measurements of success for an influencer campaign? How would you report that data in terms of frequency, etc. ?

  1. How many people are seeing the post
  2. How many people are engaging with the post
  3. How many click-throughs you get on your website.

Reporting should be done quarterly as well if not monthly. Some major brand campaigns even report on a weekly or even a daily basis.

Wax: What are your top 3 tips for working with influencers? 

  1. Build relationships
  2. Treat influencers with respect
  3. Respond immediately to their needs

Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Click here.

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