Influencer marketing helps brands bridge the gap between the suspicious and the familiar — but only if you do it right.
People may not trust brands, but they do trust other people.
The war against “fake news” is in full swing, and Singapore’s courts struck the latest blow. Under the new law, companies like Facebook and Google must issue immediate corrections to false stories published on their platforms and alert users who may have consumed bad media. In an era of confusion, audiences are wary to trust anything without a face — especially businesses.
Influencer marketing helps brands bridge the gap between the suspicious and the familiar. Whether you want to convince audiences of your sincerity, educate the masses about your company values or just make a few more impressions, influencer marketing has the answer.
To make the most of every influencer partnership, follow these helpful tips:
1. Skip the big names.
You don’t need a Kardashian to pitch your product. While influencers with big audiences make big impressions, those impressions don’t always last.
Our influencer management and marketing firm Two Pillar Management believes strongly in the power of microinfluencers. Not only do smaller influencers cost less, but their fans also tend to be more engaged — perfect for brands looking to build allure through authenticity.
2. Curate a collection of successful partners.
Not all influencer partnerships last forever, but great collaborations don’t have to end after the campaign. Carol Roth of Future File encourages brands to hire a variety of microinfluencers to cover more ground with less money.
Keep lines of communication open with influencers who successfully pitched a product or quickly grasped your brand’s voice. When you want to up your marketing push in the future, your handpicked network of influencers will be ready to help.
3. Look beyond Instagram.
Instagram is by far the most popular influencer channel, according to Influencer Marketing Hub’s The State of Influencer Marketing 2019. However, other channels offer plenty of value.
Look closer at channels that allow deeper dives into interesting topics. Target business-savvy folks on LinkedIn with original research and data. Work with professional gamers on Twitch to appeal to a geekier audience. Seek opportunities to create relationships, not sales, to get more from your influencer partnerships.
4. Pick your own metrics.
Don’t listen to what everyone else insists is important. Only you know what your business goals are. Establish and measure metrics that reflect your vision, not someone else’s.
Influencer DB provides an excellent resource of potential influencer marketing metrics to track. Brands looking to boost sales should look at conversion metrics, while those more interested in gaining recognition should focus on awareness criteria such as impressions and traffic.
5. Give as good as you get.
Influencers aren’t just after your money, but that doesn’t mean they work for free. Compensate influencers fairly to set the stage for a mutually beneficial partnership. If you only offer free products, don’t be surprised when influencers fail to roll out the social media red carpet for your brand.
Not sure how much is too much? CPC Strategy put together a guide on influencer pricing that covers everything from mega influencers to the most niche microinfluencers.
6. Acknowledge the influencer’s creative chops.
Influencers have audiences for good reasons. These are creative, engaging people who are beloved by their fans. To convince an influencer’s followers to love your brand, invite the influencer into the creative planning process.
Many marketers and small business owners hate the thought of allowing a third party to speak on their brand’s behalf. Remember, though, that most people prefer to hear about a brand from an influencer rather than a first-party channel. Ask for the influencer’s input, and be prepared to give up a little control.
7. Amplify the effect.
After influencers post content, jump on the opportunity to promote that content across your channels. Thank the influencer for the mention, link to the post on other websites and participate in the comment section.
Never spam content without a purpose. A cute product post might perform well on Instagram and Twitter, but the serious people on LinkedIn won’t appreciate it.SocialToaster recommends looking beyond traditional social media channels to reach smaller (but potentially more engaged) audiences on other sites. If you don’t yet have a presence on those channels, this could be the perfect opportunity to build one.
Participating in influencer marketing is no longer enough. Traackr’s 2018 State of Influence 2.0 found that companies are spending more money on influencer marketing, and most brands plan to spend even more in the future. Use these tips to go beyond the basics and earn the attention, respect and business of your target audience.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com
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