These simple tips will help brands make the most of influencer marketing and build value-based relationships with their consumers.
Influencer marketing is talked about as one of the most effective marketing practices today. Is it, indeed? Yes! If you know the game and follow certain rules. Influencer marketing can have tremendous results for your business, but you should be aware of some proven practices to achieve the highest ROI of your campaigns. As a common fact, businesses that spend $1 on influencer marketing receive $6.50 in earned media. However, this figure refers only to those who understand the entire mechanism of this strategy. Let’s consider six practices that will allow you to run your influencer marketing campaigns at the highest level.
Focus on the right platform
If you have ever tried to build an equally successful brand presence on all social media sites simultaneously you must know that every platform requires a different marketing approach and content format, and you must spend a lot of time and effort to prepare everything appropriately. For sure, you can repurpose a part of the content for several social networks. However, there still is a significant gap that needs to be filled with your brand’s content that is unique to this platform.
By marketing your brand on different platforms you most likely serve different segments of consumers. Now, think of what audience you intend to target and on which platform it’s the most active. Focus on that platform when launching influencer marketing. Whether you are a startup or an established business, choosing the right platform is an essential step.
Identify the influencers who you want to work with
Next, you have to clearly define what kind of person you’d like to introduce your brand to your target audience. It’s highly recommended to create an influencer persona, an imaginative portrait of an ideal thought leader that can potentially endorse your company to their community. What is the industry that your influencer has to be popular in? Define your type of influencer: must he or she provide valuable product reviews, write about cutting-edge news, or be a recognized expert in a specific space?
Look at if the influencer values match your brand values. Also, determine preferable demographic parameters: age, gender, and location. Calculate the rate by which your company is ready to pay for the influencer efforts. This set of parameters will make it easier for you to find the right creator, no matter if you search for influencers manually or use special influencer marketing automation tools to save time.
Find the right communication approach
When reaching out to influencers, keep in mind that their inboxes might be overfilled with hundreds of similar emails. Be respectful of their time by getting straight to the point in the first two or three sentences after a brief introduction of yourself and your brand. Try to drive the influencer’s curiosity about what your brand does and get them involved because you speak the same language. Suggest (and do so!) co-creation of really interesting and valuable content for the influencer’s audience, not simply advertising.
Let creators know that your company is up to pay for this collaboration, and it’s not shameful to ask about the influencer’s rate at the beginning of a conversation. It will save the time of both parties, as you’ll know the creator’s financial expectations and can define if your marketing budget can afford it. Always set a polite and respectful tone of communication.
Trust the influencer to tell your brand story
Leave influencers their creative freedom. You might have heard this tip many times, but it’s challenging to take your hands off a control panel when it comes to practice. You have performed good research and found the creator that fits your perfect influencer persona. It’s very likely the person that can help achieve your brand’s goals, but the main condition is not to interfere with the content ideation and production process. Of course, you can ask the influencer to make the necessary disclosures and express your brand’s wishes toward the content, but don’t be pushy. These people know what works out on this social media platform better than you and they do understand what resonates with their audience well. They have already succeeded there and can help your brand to do the same.
Make a proper disclosure
Don’t forget to make a proper disclosure. Contrary to what many may think, saying that the content is sponsored doesn’t make it less credible or authentic. Preparing a clear and well-thought-out disclosure will protect your brand from possible FTC violations and help you not to get into a legal mess. Influencers are only humans like we all, so they might not be aware of some new FTC guidelines. This part of the process requires the brand’s special attention and control to make sure both parties will be legally protected.
One of the most common influencer marketers’ mistakes is inconsistent disclosure in Stories. Sometimes, a sponsored post is properly disclosed as an advertisement, but a corresponding Story is not. Make sure that every post, Story (even every Story in a sequence of stories!), IGTV, or reel contains a clear disclosure, a well-visible ad label, and #ad hashtag.
Launch the product involving the influencer
For ages, companies have been collaborating with celebrities when launching their products first to the public. However, marketing has changed since that time. People trust influencers more than celebrities, especially if it goes about purchasing endorsed goods. Are you wondering why? Celebrities usually have a broad audience that covers too diverse interests. On the contrary, influencers’ audiences are narrower and more specific. Influencers are perceived as experts in their niches, so their advice might seem more credible to consumers.
Are You Ready to Expand Your Brand Influence?
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful practices allowing brands to gain a loyal audience and engage with future consumers. However, the success of this strategy mainly depends on the marketer’s understanding and awareness of all nuances and pitfalls of this approach. Here I have shared the six simple tips that can help you go this path more easily. So, are you ready to start expanding your brand’s social impact through influencer marketing? If yes, look through these several practices to navigate through the processes more efficiently.