Alongside experiential, influencer partnerships are recognised as growth areas in our industry. They’re helping brands to create meaningful connections and deepen relationships with their audience.
Influencers, both micro and established, are trusted voices producing conversation and content that people engage with and therefore are favoured by algorithms. They are key to helping a brand reach new and niche audiences on social where they don’t necessarily already have a strong presence. Many brands have no idea if they should be paying influencers. And some simply don’t want to. How do you create an influencer strategy that delivers a transparent return? Who do you choose? Does authentic conflict with strong sales messaging?
It can be baffling. But here’s our quick guide to how best approach influencer engagement:
1) What is your goal? Like any channel, there need to be specific goals attached to the partnership. Is it purely mass reach and awareness you’re after? Are there commercial objectives like sales to be considered? Or is there a positioning job to be done? For example, watch brand Daniel Wellington uses influencers to drive awareness and sales, partnering with an impressive number of micro and established influencers, offering unique money-off codes per influencer
2) Does your brand fit with the influencers existing content? This is an instant signal to know if this it’s a good fit for your brand and to see whether they can naturally integrate you into their conversation
3) Does the influencer have a strong community on a platform that fits your social channel mix? Look for influencers that align with your strategy, elevating the channels you are already investing in
4) How can you be authentic? Nurture the brand advocates in your social community for more genuine and authentic influence. Existing brand fans and purchasers that already advocate for your product or service can become influencers. Consider offering them exclusive access to your brand and in turn their content becomes more valuable
5) What if they don’t deliver? Manage expectation upfront: agreeing goals/outputs and leaving the campaign idea up to them. After all, the influencer has amassed such a great following because they know what their audience wants. This takes legwork from their side so expect to pay for this time
6) Who do I work with? Be prepared for influencers to say no. Influencers know they are ‘brands’ themselves and want to work with people that reflect their own proposition. They are seeking authenticity and this is why you must do a background check on what brands and influencer works with. Are they selective or are they working with multiple brands across all categories?
7) Is it a numbers game? Understand that bigger isn’t always better. As an influencer’s community grows, their engagement rates and ROI doesn’t move in the same trajectory. This is a compelling reason to work with micro-influencers (we define this as anyone with a following over 5,000 and under 100,000). And most importantly, determine that these influencers have a genuine following. The quickest way to identify ‘fake followers’ is by looking at the ratio between the number of followers and post likes
8) What type of content are you lacking? Influencers can extend your campaign and deliver content during shortfalls. This goes back to the goal of your partnership – the content your campaign requires can be negotiated from influencer to influencer. This is why agencies find it difficult to cost up influencer outputs before negotiations
While people are smartening up to paid influencer content, there is still the opportunity to engage the influencer’s community to create a positive interaction with the right content and approach. Major brands are now selectively working with big name influencers, investing in yearlong partnerships – no longer just a product endorsement relationship.
You need to identify where influencer marketing sits within your overall strategy, how influencers can work with existing campaigns and crucially identifying the right influencers that can meet your goals.
To find out more about how you can take your influencer marketing to the next level contact firstname.lastname@example.org