Working with influencers is a great marketing strategy for many brands. As the name suggests, they have a lot of ‘influence’ over the opinions and buying behaviour of their followers.
There are many misconceptions about influencers, but if you do your research and select the right ones for your brand, they can help your business to become a success.
There are many types of influencer, not just the Instagrammer or YouTuber you might be thinking of. Typical types of influencer include:
- Thought leaders
According to Fusion Media, Gen Z spends over 15 hours per week on their mobile phone, a great deal of this time is spent interacting with content created by social influencers.
Here’s what to look out for when working with influencers.
Do Your Due Diligence
Aligning your brand to the right influencers is important. There have been a number of situations over the past few years when brands have rushed to distance themselves from influencers after they have posted something controversial.
While you can’t predict every situation, make sure that you do your research on any influencers you work with, especially if they are really well known. They need to align with your brand values perfectly. To get more info on their fit for your brand, review their past work and the types of products they’ve promoted. You want someone with a bit of editorial integrity, not a person who would sell anything for a few bucks.
Also, ensure that they follow any legal rules with regards to declaring advertising and sponsored posts.
Define Your Campaign Goals
If you don’t know what you want to achieve from an influencer marketing campaign, how can you tell that it has been a success? Before you begin to approach influencers, decide what your goal is. It’s not always sales based. It can be a change in brand perception or awareness of a particular topic.
Once you’ve decided upon this, put tools in place to measure engagement, sentiment, leads and sales.
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to influencer marketing. Your budget may not stretch to getting someone with a million followers to promote your brand. There are many smaller-scale influencers out there who have a core, engaged audience. Don’t overlook working with these people. It can make your budget go a lot further.
Influencers are becoming extremely experienced and professional. It’s not a case of just throwing them a few free products and expecting the world. Treat influencer marketing as you would any other channel. Influencers are bombarded every day with requests for free promotion so don’t become one of those companies. Professional influencers make their income from what the are doing, would you work for free?
Of course, professionalism runs both ways. You should expect the same level of quality and professionalism from the influencer. Any agreement that you enter into should clearly state what the expectations are.
Done well, influencer marketing is a great addition to your marketing campaign channels. As long as you do your research and pick your influencers carefully, then your brand and your bottom line, will benefit.