Online Influencer Relations with Emily Riley

Emily Riley (left) with 7-Eleven's Rita Bargerhuff at Forrester Marketing Forum.
Emily Riley (left) with 7-Eleven's Rita Bargerhuff at Forrester Marketing Forum.

In this candid interview with Emily Riley, CEO and Founder at Riley Strategic — which provides competitive positioning, marketing, product roadmap planning, thought leadership, analyst and public relations advisory services to client — she shares all kinds of details about working with social media influencers and social media marketing best practices

Emily Riley was an advertising analyst in Jupiter Research's New York City office where she covered advertiser and publisher trends and technologies including rich media, targeting, measurement and response.

Before that she worked at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. where she helped re-launch their web site as an advertising-based content site.


6:04 – Emily Riley talks about why she joined Jupiter Research and provides a background on the company.

6:40 – Riley discusses the top line findings of Jupiter Research’s social marketing report called, “Marketing to Influentials” and what their initial expectations were when they started the research, “We wanted to know if all the social marketing tools out there have essentially given these classic influentials a bigger voice, or if there is a different group of people that are taking advantage of social marketing tools that are influential in a different way.”

7:22 – Riley talks about what a combination influential is, how important they are, how they fit into the report, and how to market to them.

8:29 – Riley explains what a purchase funnel is, how it relates to the influentials described in her report and the impact influentials have on shaping people's opinions.

10:41 – Riley discusses combination and new influentials and how they relate to the ladder of influence and to purchase funnels, “At the top of your purchase funnel you are willing to listen to these combination and new influentials, they may not be the most trust worthy sources, but [they] may be the earliest sources…”

12:26 – Riley explains when an influential should be consulted, in place of, a more traditional, professional media outlet in order to help create an organic news trend.

13:48 – Riley talks about the PR process for launching a new product and the benefits of approaching a combination influential before approaching standard media channels. “Combination influentials are the Holy Grail, but at the same time they are a very small percentage of the population so you have to look at your ability to find them and reach them.”

15:22 – Riley talks about how to treat a combination influential, particularly how much access to information to give them, as well as how a relationship with a combination influential usually works.

16:16 – Riley discusses the benefits and drawbacks of social media versus conventional media channels in releasing a message, “Suddenly it is not necessarily a professional on the top of a mountain throwing an opinion down onto the masses; the masses are really involved and elevated.”

18:04 – Riley describes how social media marketing may boost the interest of analysts through the use of new media tools, such as blogs.

19:45 – Riley talks about how to understand where to draw the line on how much information you should give new social media users versus conventional media outlets. 

21:01 – Riley offers her opinion on the small crisis initiated about the right for transparency of methodology behind research by blogger Toby Bloomberg.

24:35 – Riley talks about whether marketing or public relations is better equipped to deal with social marketing, “Public relations are about starting relationships, causing a domino effect through relationships…marketing on the other hand…has been used to crafting a message and you put it out there and consumers only have one choice, they either look at it or look away.”

26:18 – End.

Photo by David Berkowitz

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