3 Tips for Launching a Successful Always-On Influencer Program

March 14, 2023

Brands everywhere create powerful content for their own social feeds daily. But to break through today, a steady stream of influencer content is often helpful to complement owned content. Increasingly, one-off activations aren’t enough and brands are looking for fresh strategies to partner with influencers for the long-term. But how? 

Lessons from a High-Profile Product Launch 

As Adobe’s influencer marketing partner, Golin was tasked with developing an always-on influencer program to launch Adobe Express, a powerful new product offering that gives everyday creators easy-to-use templates and tools to transform their ideas into reality. Influencers would be important partners in spreading the word about Express and showing real-world applications for the product.  

Our strategy needed to heighten awareness and encourage product use, provide ongoing social content, and support the development of new custom templates for Adobe Express.  

Throughout 2022, we partnered with 50+ influencers handpicked for their engaged audiences, strength in video creation and authentic connection to Adobe Express use cases. First, influencers were tapped to bring fresh templates into Adobe Express (resulting in more than 150 original Adobe Express templates). Then, influencers promoted these templates via engaging social content that encouraged their audiences to try Adobe Express and remix their own versions, reaching over 7.5M users and driving over 96% of all social-driven Adobe Express template usage in Q4. 

Three factors helped contribute to the success of the program which could be applied to other brands interested in always-on influencer programming: 


We worked with Adobe on a set of KPIs that would measure the true business impact of our always-on influencer cohort. Increasing product awareness was critical to success. Equally critical was showing active product usage as a result of our influencers and our challenge was figuring out how to successfully measure that. To do this, we set a unique KPI tied to Adobe Express remixes (remixes = the number of times someone takes an existing Adobe Express template and makes it their own). This metric showed us which templates were being used the most and more importantly, how our influencers were helping to increase overall product usage with key audiences. The takeaway here? Get creative with your KPIs by thinking beyond the standard to convey the true impact of your influencer program.   


Don’t discredit the power of capitalizing on timely moments. While the main point of focus for this program was “always-on” Adobe Express content, when the opportunity arose for Adobe Express to insert itself into cultural moments, we didn’t shy away. Timed to Pride Month, photographer Saunak Shah created powerful #CreatewithPride templates and social content that resulted in the highest template remix count we have seen from a single influencer to-date. Building on the success of these custom Pride Month templates, we launched another timely campaign around the 2022 Holiday season: Express Your Holiday. We worked with holiday-centric influencer Kiel James Patrick. KJP alone generated 6.4K link clicks and the overall campaign amassed over 6.5M social interactions (video views + social engagements). Now more than ever, brands can reap the benefits of leveraging timely moments. The first step is identifying what moments are most authentic for your brand to participate in.  


We continue to see the power of personalized affiliate links and discount codes within the fashion, beauty and lifestyle spaces, and wanted to bring this success to our digital-first brand. The plan? A first-of-its-kind influencer campaign for Adobe, where influencers encouraged their audiences to tap on their tracked links to enjoy a 3-month premium trial of Adobe Express. Spearheaded by real estate mogul Fredrik Eklund and entrepreneur Aja Dang, the pilot doubled the number of orders attributed to Adobe social comms activities in November. Our version of the original discount code can be used as a blueprint for any brand campaign to harness the power of influencers and help drive tangible sign-ups, product trials and beyond.  

Our always-on influencer strategy paid off, not just with measurable results but also with our influencer partners. In January 2023, Adobe was named the brand influencers like working with most, according to pay transparency platform F*** You Pay Me (FYPM). When you are thoughtful and intentional about how you build an influencer program, you will see both business impact and stronger influencer relationships come through.