Marketing mix has changed. Maybe you're still resisting, but the change has come, and some new (well, not new to early adopters) players are taking more and more space in the advertising world. Influencers are taking a big bite of the cake, and the pandemic only cemented their status as a valuable marketing asset. Where brands struggled to produce content sensitive enough for what was going on in the world or struggled to produce any content whatsoever during the lockdown, influencers jumped in with their own creativity.
As someone with a passion for marketing, I believe that as strong as a certain pillar of marketing can be, it can never be as strong as all pillars put together. When you want to get your brand or business out there, you’ll need to figure out more than one channel to get your message across. And in this day and age, one of those channels is without a doubt influencer marketing. With social media driving enormous amount of purchase decisions, it’s unlikely that influencer marketing is going anywhere. It’s here not only to stay, but to take an even bigger role.
But don’t get it twisted. Not all influencer marketing campaigns prove to be of great success or of an exquisite ROI. Like with everything, there’s work to be done to ensure greater conversion, proper awareness increase and consequently ROI. Let me take you through some of the tactics that will make your influencer marketing campaigns almost bulletproof.
1) Not all influencers are worth it. Check who you’re working with
It’s a crowded influencer space out here. Millions of creators are entering influencer marketing field and making it a legitimate business for themselves. For advertisers it’s become more like a candy shop, with so many options to choose from. But how to find the perfect match?
- First of all, you know which category your product is in, so obviously you’d want someone in that field to speak about your product and its benefits, be it fashion, beauty, travel, fitness, gaming or else.
- Credibility has become a major currency. How many fake followers they have, how many mass follower accounts are following them? This is part of your brand safety criteria that you’ll definitely want to check before committing. You don’t want to be paying for eyeballs that do not exist.
- Why work with an influencer who promoted your direct competitor just days ago? It’s not credible nor authentic. The influencer’s audience will be confused and it’s clear it’s not a great match for you. There are of course exceptions to this rule, but let’s just say if they promoted one phone on Wednesday, and another on Friday, you’d probably buy neither of those phones.
Yes, you're probably wondering how to filter and select the best creators to work with, and where to find all this data. With proper technology in place, there are many platforms that offer the right tools and save you both time and money. At Post For Rent, our Discover tool gives you access to over 150 thousand influencers across the world and lets you filter out the right match for your business. But let’s make it clear, even with all the automation that exists today, some human intelligence checks should be made anyways, to finally confirm that the influencer and the content they post is something your brand wants to identify with.
2) Long-term always wins against short-term
As many influencers there are, there’s as many brands that want to be promoted by them. Most of the influencers get at least several weekly partnership offers. But with audience becoming pickier and more sensitive to inauthentic advertising, influencers need to find ways to earn money while staying true to themselves and their audience. And this is where long-term partnerships always win. Keep in mind that finding influencers is hard, as well as recruiting and briefing them. If this is not done properly, your campaign might be worthless. So why waste time with one-offs, when you can build proper relations and give your brand a consistent and credible spokesperson. Think of influencer marketing as an always-on strategy, and it will for sure pay you back.
3) If your brief is not good, don’t blame the influencer
We’ve seen it multiple times across multiple campaigns – brands don’t provide proper briefs but expect to be amazed by the result. You know what they say, “ask from others only as much as you can give”, or at least I always say it. Influencers primarily want to secure the bag and pay their bills. So, if you don’t care enough to provide a proper brief, they will not bother going an extra mile as they might think you don’t even care. At the end of the day, you need to hold yourself accountable for the success of the campaigns you’re running.
4) Micro is as good as macro, and maybe even better
The follower count is of course important, but it doesn’t get all the power. Micro influencers don’t have millions following their every move, but their voice could be maybe even more powerful. Their audiences are usually more specialized, therefore their engagement rates are often times much higher. And engagement leads to better conversion, and this is exactly what you want for your business. Mind the fact that micro influencers usually cost less, and if you find the right match whose audience interests fit your product, the ROI is guaranteed. Don’t be fooled by the numbers you see on their profiles. Dig deeper and check numbers that are even more important (such as engagement). There’s a tool that allows you to analyse any profile on the planet, and is aptly called X-Ray.
5) Keep control, but loosen up on creative control
If you’ve read this article carefully, you’ve already learned about the importance of a good brief. A brief gives an influencer an idea of what your key messages are, what you want to stress about your product and which direction you’d like to see. BUT, influencers are creators. If you’ve taken time to find the right persons to be your brand’s promotors, then give them some creative freedom. Today’s influencers are very savvy content creators, able to create pieces in different formats for different channels. If you give them creative control, they might take you out of your comfort zone and produce content which you wouldn’t be able to produce yourself. Also, you can always add a clause in the contract which gives you the right to use this content for your channel and further advertising afterwards (of course, in agreement with the influencer). And we all know that content is KING.
6) Share your objectives with influencers, they might help you accomplish them
Today’s strong influencers are true business people, and influencer marketing has become a legitimate business. As young as they might be, they are doing their best to run their own brands and show professional side behind their colorful Instagram grids. Don’t underestimate their power to turn your objectives into reality. Whether you’d like to sell more, increase brand awareness, promote one feature of your product or build any other aspect of your business, be transparent with your expectations and what you want to achieve. Good influencers will know how to adapt their content and make certain features stand out, keeping your business objectives in mind.
To sum it up, like everything worth investing in, influencer marketing takes time to be properly done and to generate a greater ROI for your business. Luckily, there are platforms and technology which make these processes seamless. Administration, contract preparation, analytics, campaign reporting, payments and much more is what platforms like Post For Rent offer to advertisers in order to help them save both time and money and allow for them to focus on what’s important.
With influencer marketing developing from something that was very little understood to a business projected to reach over 15 billion by 2022, it has seen changing trends and behaviours, and it’s crucial for brands and advertisers to dig into these trends and capitalize on the power of influencers. Even the birds on the trees already know how important storytelling is in any brand building business, allowing consumers to enter the brand’s world. Stories create emotions and emotions trigger their buying decision. But, in a world where so many brands are fighting for a piece of consumers’ attention, it has become as important as ever to tell your story from different angles and through different lenses. And to have them consumed through different channels. Well-rounded influencers, skilled in producing any content format, will play the exact role your brand needs for a successful growth.