Best Practices: HP Partners with Influencers in Video Campaign

Lessons From HP and Collectively on How to Create Influencer Campaigns

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In an effort to drive brand engagement with millennials, HP has created a video series in which it collaborates with social influencers to demonstrate features of its newest notebook PCs.

The latest video, which launched last week, features Olympic medalist Samantha Peszek, who uses the HP Spectre x360 notebook to fine-tune her gymnastics routine. The campaign was created by influencer marketing agency Collectively, San Francisco.

Previous videos in the series feature dancer Chachi Gonzales, D.J. "LCAW" and New York City Ballet dancer Sara Mearns, professional dancer Allison Holker and urban dance duo The Power Peralta.

In each video, the artists use the latest HP notebooks to help them perfect their performances, from shooting high-definition video to rotating the screen 360 degrees so they can capture a variety of angles.

HP and Collectively partnered with each artist to allow them to share the videos and other content captured during the video shoots on their own social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

"We are resetting the bar on how we produce social content," said Samantha Bonamour, ā€ˇglobal marketing director, consumer personal systems at HP. "We want to make sure we are really engaging the millennial audience and developing content that resonates with them."

To do this, HP turned to Collectively, which helps brands partner with artists, sports figures, musicians, performers and other creative professionals to develop influencer marketing campaigns. "What we are looking for is marrying product features and messaging with social influencers to help drive the creative," said Ryan Stern, CEO and co-founder of Collectively.

"We look at all the different assets and pieces of content that are created at the video shoot to launch across multiple touchpoints -- from still photos to live Snapchat content showing 'behind the scenes,' so our collaborators can tell their story on social channels."

For the latest video, Collectively went to the UCLA gym where Ms. Peszek was practicing her workout, handed her an HP Spectre x360, and filmed her while she used different features of the laptop to help her develop her routine.

"Everything was authentic," said Terence Sullivan, group VP at Collectively. "With the product in hand, Samantha would say things like, 'I would use this functionality more if I were recording myself on the beam.' It's an actual collaboration when the influencer is more invested in the story."

In another video (below), electronic dance music D.J. "LCAW" and New York City Ballet dancer Sara Mearns use an HP x2 detachable PC to bring a new work of art to life.

So far, the campaign is proving successful, with an engagement rate that is seven times higher than the benchmark for average influencer campaigns, as measured by likes, shares, retweets and other social metrics, Ms. Stern said.

Here are some best practices from HP and Collectively on developing successful influencer marketing campaigns:

1. Focus on storytelling, not products. "The best videos do not rest on products, but storytelling," Ms. Bonamour said. "This needs to be done in a more engaging way to resonate with audiences, particularly millennials."

2. Maximize the content captured. "Give the creative process time to go deeper into how your influencers can impact the story," Ms. Stern said. "We capture as much content on set as we can, so the influencers can continue to tell the story after the shoot."

3. Let influencers be collaborators. "Look to your influencers to engage with your brand, because it gives them something to help them tell their own stories, instead of just collecting a check," Mr. Sullivan said. "With HP, the highest engaged influencers feel the brand has given them something to help their careers."