Working with Clever

CLEVER is a full-service influencer marketing agency.

Influencer Video by @melindawatts_  for Pampers

Working With CLEVER

There are hundreds of ways to activate influencers. To find the 'right way' for your brand and see a return on your investment, you have to match the approach to your business goals.

CLEVER is a full-service influencer marketing agency. This means our approach is experienced, involved, and very hands-on. We handle all the work that goes into influencer programs, from start to finish, on behalf of our clients. We are the very opposite of “self-service!”

We offer a full range of programming options (if influencers can do it, we can manage it), but no matter what type of program we run, CLEVER does all the heavy lifting.

What we do

CLEVER (FULL-SERVICE) V. PLATFORMS (SELF-SERVICE)

Most platforms and tools claim that they make influencer marketing programs “easy” for marketers to run themselves. The reality is that, no matter what tools you’re using, influencer programs are complex, nuanced, and cannot be automated. So unless you’re experienced at influencer programs (or if because of your experience, you don’t want to manage programs alone anymore), we’re here to help.

TOP REASONS CLIENTS CHOOSE TO PARTNER WITH CLEVER

  • You have never tried influencer marketing, and want to make sure you test with the best
  • If your program is large (involving many influencers)
  • If you need to find very specific influencers (e.g.: influencers who are diabetic, influencers who have Hulu subscriptions, influencers with aging pets, etc.)
  • If you need to vet influencers carefully, not just for potential fraud (like fake followers), but also for brand-safe content
  • If your program is long-term (over several months)
  • If you need to integrate your influencer program with your overall marketing plan and/or digital strategy
  • If you need to dig deep into program metrics and understand what they mean
  • If you need to validate your expectations/results against benchmarked data
  • If you are looking for creative messaging ideas that will resonate 
  • If you want to ensure that you’re running diverse, inclusive, anti-racist programs

Working With An Agency: How Does CLEVER Compare?

Hooray! You’ve decided to work with an agency for your influencer programs! Only… now you have to figure out which agency to work with.  

Of course we think you should work with CLEVER, but let’s take a step back first. 

Here is a comprehensive outline of the factors you should take into consideration when evaluating an influencer marketing partner: Diving Deep: Questions To Ask Your Influencer Marketing Partner (BEFORE You Sign!)

Note: You can also check out an abbreviated version of this at Forbes

Once you have a sense of the varying levels of service and experience agencies offer, we believe you’ll see how CLEVER compares. Some top points for your consideration:

  • We were established in 2009, and have probably run more influencer marketing programs than any other agency. It’s all we do, and all we’ve ever done. 
  • We’ve worked with hundreds of the world’s best known brands. Here’s a sample of them
  • We have a near 90% client return rate. 
  • Our work is beautiful, consistent, and drives engagement.
  • We’ve won a bunch of awards and been featured in most major business publications: both for a) the client work we’ve done, and b) how we run our business in innovative and progessive ways.
  • We are vocal about our values, which means you receive thoughtful, high-quality service from a team that centers meaningful work, diverse voices, and social good.  

WHO ARE CLEVER CLIENTS?

If you take a look at our Client List, you’ll see that we’ve worked with hundreds of the best known and beloved brands in the world. 

Typically, our clients are in the mid-sized to large range. We also regularly partner with agencies to help them execute large and/or complex influencer programs on behalf of their clients.

Does CLEVER Specialize in any areas?

If anything, we specialize in “sensitive” and challenging brand and program work. What does this mean? Let’s look at WHO we work with.

Most of our brand work falls into these categories: 

  • Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Food & Drink
  • Wine & Spirits
  • Financial & Insurance Services
  • Home Goods
  • Pets
  • Babies & Children & Toys & Games
  • Personal & Healthcare
  • Pharma

WHAT INFLUENCERS DOES CLEVER WORK WITH?

CLEVER takes a unique, hybrid approach to managing our influencer relationships. Like platforms, we have data-backed access to thousands of influencers, especially micro-influencer and nano-influencers. Like talent agencies, we have relationships with our network of influencers, including micro-influencers, macro-influencers, and celebrities. We’ve figured out how to leverage the best of all worlds.

Closed, Curated Network

Influencers who want to work with us must apply to be part of our network. Their accounts are then reviewed by CLEVER staff members (not algorithms) to ensure that their content is quality, their voice is unique, their followers are real, and their posts aren’t overly sponsored. 

Data Is Authorized
Our influencers provide us with self-reported data and authorized access to their channels. Many (if not most) platforms scrape or infer influencer data, which — in addition to raising ethical concerns — can result in faulty information and fake performance data.
Influencer Data & Management

DASH: THE CLEVER PLATFORM

Learn more about the information we have about our influencers and how we select them.

Influencer List
We Can Get Specific... And Personal

Because of our strong relationship with our in-network influencers, we can find just about anyone you’re looking for, even (and especially) regarding sensitive topics. For example, we’ve sourced influencers who are:

  • Colorblind and live in Tennessee

  • Trying-to-conceive

  • Losing hair 

  • Audible subscribers

  • Elder pet owners

  • Willing to “go commando”

  • Struggling with mental health issues

  • Parents with children who have learning disabilities

…and many, many others!

Emphasis On Diversity and Inclusion

We work with our clients to ensure that programs are diverse and equitable, and elevate influencers of color. 

CLEVER is a progressive organization with these values. Our goal is to co-create a world with our influencer community where all people have what they need to be their most empowered, authentic, and exceptional selves. Please see our statements about our commitment to this work, and feel free to check on our progress towards our aggressive diversity goals for us and the influencer marketing industry.

WHAT DOES A CLEVER PROGRAM LOOK LIKE?

Building Blocks

After delivering thousands of programs to hundreds of clients, we can say with certainty: no two projects are exactly alike. Nor should they be! 

However, we can — and do! — apply the same building blocks to every program to ensure great results and happy clients.

Campaign Creative: Designing A Program

We work with our clients to determine: 

  • Do we need entirely fresh creative or are we supporting existing messaging?

  • What channels will perform best given the product, demo, and call-to-action?

  • What ideas haven’t been done before? What trends are we seeing right now? 

  • What will inspire influencers to produce the best content for this particular campaign?

  • What will success look like?

Influencer Profiling: How To Identify The Right Influencer Pool

Who, exactly, is your target demographic? What should your influencers look like? Who should their audiences be? We’ll find the right people based on your needs, or we can help you determine who you’re looking for.

Either way, we’ll leverage our relationship with our network and DASH, our proprietary platform, to find the best influencers for your specific program based on these criteria (amongst others!): 

  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation, HHI
  • Ethnicity
  • Affinities, affiliations
  • Channel performance (following, engagement)
  • Past program performance
  • Parental status
  • Buying habits 
  • Audience breakdowns
Influencer Selection: How We Choose & Contract Influencers
Once we understand who you’re looking for, our Client Services team goes to work. 
 
Our team uses both quantitative and qualitative data (not just algorithms!) to determine who will perform best for your program. This includes pre-negotiating rates and willingness to participate.
Influencer Selection Questions
(Note: Usually influencers come from our network, but we are always happy to recruit out-of-network influencers if/as needed or requested!)
 
We then provide you with a list of recommended influencers from which you select your program participants. 
Influencer Program Management: From Launch to Final Post
Now, it’s on us! From the moment you select your influencers, the program is in our hands. We: 
  • Contract with every influencer
  • Provide detailed instructions for each influencer, including content prompts, messaging requirements, hashtags, and due dates
  • Review every post to ensure they meet requirements
  • Send reminders as needed
  • Track progress
  • Ensure 100% completion
Reporting: “That’s a Wrap!”

In addition to providing you with basic performance data, our Client Services team goes above and beyond to offer comprehensive, thoughtful reporting: not just results, but what the results mean. In a beautiful, heavily visual report, we answer: 

  • How your program performed
  • How your program performed against benchmarks
  • Which facets of your program performed well and why
  • Recommendations for leveraging learnings in future programs
  • Future programming ideas

Beyond The Boost: CLEVER’s UNIQUE Targeted Social Ads, WITH Mobile ID Targeting & Conquesting

Working with our influencers ensures your brand will enjoy both excellent content and widespread reach.

We supplement organic reach with paid reach (sponsored posts and ads) — which can be done in conjunction with or entirely separately from your brand’s promotion of influencer content. Paid support ensures branded content reaches your target consumers and drives additional program impact.

Even better? 

CLEVER now offers Mobile ID Targeting and Conquesting. Granular mobile ID targeting ensures that great influencer content reaches active shoppers in brand and competitor-specific locations.

What Does It Cost To Work With CLEVER?

Our (agency) fees are structured on a per-project basis. The overall budget accounts for dozens of program variables, most notable of which are influencer payments (that vary by size, number of influencers, influencer ask/expectations/deliverables, etc.). We typically charge flat program fees — versus per-performance rates — because our results are guaranteed. 

We also offer “always-on” payment structures for clients who want to activate many programs over six or twelve months. 

SAMPLES OF CLEVER WORK

Please check out our case studies (only a small sample are here; dozens more available upon request!). We also showcase our current program highlights on our Instagram feed.

TOUCH

Influencer Image by @littleeatsandthings

TOUCH

Influencer Image by SimplyFalakSid

TOUCH

Influencer Image by @wolfgangchels

TOUCH

Influencer Image by @thehealthymouse

TOUCH

Influencer Image by @joshdixon

TOUCH

Influencer Image by Being Summer Shores