CHICAGO—Current Marketing, an Interpublic Group agency, has launched Akela, an influencer marketing practice that uses real people and leading-edge technology to provide impactful results for clients. 

Akela combines Current's expertise in storytelling with high-profile influencers to tell brand stories through the lens of real people and real lives. Each program is customized, identifying influencers to work with the brands they love.

"People are what make influencer marketing successful, but technology is what makes it scalable and measurable," says Clint Bagley, senior vice president and head of influencer relations at Current. "By combining our team's strategic storytelling ability with a leading tech platform, our influencer programs deliver exceptional results in a fraction of the time and more cost effectively than ever before."

Current formed a strategic partnership with influencer platform TapInfluence in October 2015 to help automate and elevate the increasing number of requests for influencer work. 

In a survey of 1,422 influencers on the TapInfluence platform, 81 percent said they find inspiration from their daily, real life experiences and use that inspiration to create brand-sponsored content; 9 percent use social media to spark new content ideas; and 8 percent gain inspiration from fellow content creators.

The most important element for influencers when building long-lasting relationships with brand partners is open, two-way communication (46 percent), ongoing programs versus one-off projects (35 percent) and a strong creative brief that provides directional guidelines versus heavy scripting (19percent). 

More than half (55 percent) feel that authenticity is the most important element for successful influencer marketing content, followed by strong visuals at 35 percent.