- February 2, 2018
- by Lydia Green
- 6 minute read
Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept. After all, word of mouth has been a source of product recommendation for a very long time and influencer marketing works around the same principles.
We define influencer marketing as when a company works with influential people within their industry to produce content that allows for a wider audience reach.
Getting the right people excited and engaged with your brand is one of the best ways to boost brand recognition, grow your audience and drive more sales. So here are some of our top tips to help you succeed at influencer marketing.
1. Find the right influencers and do the groundwork
As reported by eMarketer, 75% of marketers agree that the first and often most challenging step in creating an influencer marketing strategy is identifying the right influencers to work with for each campaign.
The right influencers can make all the difference, from the quality of content to the time and money invested. Influencers are professionals in their own right and those who are a good fit for your brand, have an engaged audience and a great work ethic will create authentic content that is more likely to drive conversions to your website.
Once you’ve found the influencers you want to engage with, you need to do the groundwork and build a relationship with that influencer. You can identify relevant influencers to work with using tools such as Traacker and Whalar and then focus on building the relationship with them. Think about ways in which you can build a mutual relationship with the influencer. A very important part of outreach is proving that your opportunity or product is relevant to their audience.
2. Be authentic
The best way to grab the attention of an influencer is to interact with them authentically. Follow them on social media, read their content and share their content. When you do reach out, you will know more about them and come across far more genuine than simply choosing them for their follower count. Sometimes offering the influencer a lot of money isn’t always enough, they’re often busy and contacted by lots brands wanting to work with them, so make your brand stand out.
3. Communicate expectations
Once you start getting replies from influencers, don’t be afraid to communicate the ROI you want to achieve through a campaign. Be polite about it but don’t shy away from asking if they think your goals are achievable based on their past similar campaigns. This will also help you when the campaign ends, as you’ll be able to measure the results based on your targets.
During contact, also ask the influencer for his or her media kit so you can get a better insight into audience size, demographics, engagement and past campaign success. Use these statistics to assess whether they are truly in line with the audience you are trying to reach.
4. Make it effortless
When asking an influencer to get on board with you and your product, it’s a good idea for you to lay everything out on a plate for them. We’re all busy workers so the easier you can make it for an influencer to spread the word about your product, the better. However, try not to be too controlling over the content the influencer produces. Give them some creative freedom, after all, they have engaged and built their following and know what works best. The most important thing you can do is recognise that their time is valuable and build a relationship that acknowledges that.
5. Address social media compliance
In recent years, many regulations have been put in place regarding endorsements and it’s important that both you and the influencer comply with these. The FTC Endorsement Guides and the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements apply to social media posts to both celebrity and non-celebrity influencers. If an influencer posts about your product and it was the result of an incentive, this must be disclosed in the post. As stated by the FTC: “where there exists a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product that might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement, such connection must be fully disclosed.”
Incentivised posts need to inform the audience and this must be prominent, not buried in small print in the terms and conditions. If your chosen influencer fails to disclose the incentive you must take the reasonable steps to add the appropriate information. Paid promotions on Instagram frequently look like this:
6. Measure your results
Once your influencer campaign is up and running, you’ll want to analyse whether your campaign has been successful and helped you meet your initial goals. Think back to the KPIs that you defined in Step 1. Have you made progress with these metrics? What audience insights have you learned?
If you’re using an influencer marketing strategy to promote content, you may want to report on how much cheaper each influencer’s cost per engagement was compared to your other marketing channels. If you’re using your influencer marketing to widen brand reach, have a look at how many impressions you were able to generate with your influencers, and so forth.
7. After the campaign
One of the most common influencer marketing mistakes that often brands are unaware of, is the use of influencer content once the campaign has ended. Many brands are under the wrong impression that if an influencer posts an image of their product, then they own that image and can use it freely. Influencers content is owned by the content creator, regardless of the product or opportunity promoted. If you want to use it commercially in any way, it is considered a breach of copyright, which you can then be penalised for.
Best practice is to always ask an influencer for permission before using their content in any way. It is generally fine to regram, share or retweet influencer content through your own social media channels as long as your credit the original creator. The copyright of the content is always owned by the influencer unless discussed otherwise in your prior agreement. In saying that, influencers are open to selling, licensing, transferring or sharing copyright with brands for a cost. So if it is of interest, it needs to be discussed in detail at the beginning of the process.
Here are some of our clients succeeding at influencer marketing
Marketers are always looking for ways to connect with their audience, expand brand awareness, and hit the right note with today’s consumers. Today, social media plays a vital role in the customer journey. However, it’s not the social media channels themselves that are influencing purchases; it’s the peer-to-peer content. Even more, it’s the social proof that influencers and everyday consumers are creating that allow companies to reach and resonate with buyers in a more authentic way.
Lydia is one of our marketing experts at We Make Websites. After achieving her degree in Communications Studies at the University of Leeds she has gone on to write promotional and informative content for a London events company, and has now joined us to share her knowledge of marketing in social media. She is a keen traveller and lover of cats.