How to work with influencers in 2020 0 1031

Estimated to be worth over of $8 billion by the end of this year – and forecast to surpass a wealthy $10 billion in 2020 – influencers marketing is set to become a fundamental feature of any brand’s marketing strategy looking to tap into a wider variety of social demographics through the use of content creators and their powerful online communities.

However, it has never been more difficult to navigate the sea of independent creators and companies offering automated influencers marketing solutions.

Regardless of the size, here are the key steps a brand should take to increase their chances of working effectively with influencers in 2020.

Define your goal

Influencers don’t own a magic lamp ready to make all your wishes come true – even the genie in Aladin’s tale didn’t grant more than three wishes for those rubbing the oil-lamp. Avoid audiences that are too generic and make it clear whether your campaign aim is to build your brand’s reputation, increase awareness towards a new product/service, acquire a new demographic of potential customers, get better customer engagement, increase your number of followers, or your number of sales. Importantly, you can’t have a campaign goal that involves all of these benefits, so choose smartly.

 

Set a realistic budget

Having a clear number in mind, before even reaching out to content creators, will help you when it comes to making decisions regarding how many influencers you will be able to bring on board. Preferably, you will be wanting a mix of micro-influencers and content creators with a larger number of followers. Don’t be afraid of negotiating fees, especially if your campaign will have a long run, but be realistic when putting aside money to cover your influencer marketing strategy and don’t treat it as simply an occasional top-up of traditional marketing spending.

 

Do your homework

Once you have a very clear idea of what you want to promote and how much you can spend on it, it is time to find potential collaborators. Influencer marketing platforms will try to sell you the idea that you can find all content creators in one place at a click of a button. Don’t be influenced by that naïve solution because, like most things in marketing, one size doesn’t fit all; even two companies with similar products and target audiences can have completely different successful strategies when it comes to working with influencers. Checking who is talking, online and offline, about topics that matter to your brand is more effective than looking for creators with large amounts of followers or perfectly curated grids. Use hashtags to track keywords that lead you to influencers that are a close fit to your business and don’t ignore your own social graph because:

One of your influencers could be amongst your own network of friends or employees;

They could be people that don’t label themselves as an ‘influencer’, nor spend most of their waking hours posting pictures of lattes or smashed avocado on toast, but who are able to create great imagery and to get friends talking about real-life content.

 

Go beyond the post

As someone that has always worked with images, firstly photography and then cinematic videos, I truly believe the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. However, I also believe in thinking outside the box. Don’t limit your influencer collaboration to static posts. Tap into Instagram stories, get your creators to work on long-format content to be used as a blog entry, work with exclusive giveaways and promo codes, and always brainstorm with your influencers how your brand can creatively engage with their online communities.

Have a contract, not an agreement

You would be surprised by the number of companies that have a kind of ‘agreement’ between brands and content creators, instead of a contract binding both sides. They are not exactly the same. Agreements are often an arrangement reached between two or more parties (if a brand’s agency is involved, for example) and it usually features a lot of branding guidelines. A contract is a very specific type of document, legally binding and enforceable in a court of law, and where is featured how and where you will use content created by suppliers, as well for how long and any fees involved – a lot of brands miss out on this.

While hiring an influencer to help with your branding it is crucial that they grant you full content usage rights. This will be very handy when you decide to repurpose content into other forms of advertising like posts on other social media platforms, testimonials or ads, just to name a few, so you don’t have to go back and ask for the content creator’s permission over and over again.

 

Agree on clear deadlines

As well as communicating with influencers about the kind of content that you are expecting from them, you must give them very clear deadlines, including buffer time for reviews and amends. Keep in mind that content creators are independent professionals working with other brands, not only yours, so bring to the table at a very early stage of negotiations how long a creator will need to deliver a set of content. Sometimes, one of your favorite influencers will be busy or will require much longer to create desirable content than you can wait. In this instance, just let it go and move on to collaborators that can fit your deadline needs.

 

Measure, measure, measure

Although measuring is the last one listed here, it is something that needs to be discussed with your content creators during the hiring process, to make sure both sides are clear about how performance and success will be measured during and after your influencer marketing campaign. Engagement is likely to remain a strong measuring tool in 2020, but don’t ignore click-throughs, discount voucher redemptions, your own followers’ growth while partnering with a poll of influencers and, if you are lucky enough, you will even be able to track where some of the new sales are coming from.

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

Social committee proposes EU regulation on influencers 0 69

Perceived by consumers as closer, more authentic and more trustable than traditional advertising or celebrity endorsement, content creators are attracting more brand investment than ever: in 2022 alone, influencer marketing spend jumped from 3.69 billion to 4.14 billion in the U.S., according to data released by American inbound marketing platform Hubspot. The amount of cash trading hands pushed authorities to set standards for the Influencer marketing industry early on. So much so that, in the USA, influencer marketing is considered regulated since 2009, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published for the first time a set of endorsement guides on sponsored content posted by content creators on behalf of brands – including influencers being required to disclose their relationships with companies in a clear way.

Over to Europe, the rules are not as clear.

Unlike traditional advertising, which is subject to very strict rules, influencer advertising can fall through the cracks of ad disclosure. The commercial nature of influencer posts is not always identifiable, with ads featuring alongside similarly styled, but independent editorial content. Companies using influencers as ambassadors for their products and brands also have greater freedom than in conventional advertising.

Now the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union, is trying to reduce the lack of transparency often seen in influencer marketing by proposing that the EU should set specific obligations for both, the administrators of the video-sharing platforms and social media networks on which influencers operate, and for content creators and influencers themselves.

The basic principle of the proposal is that advertisers should leave consumers in no doubt that what they are engaging with is advertising. And they should not mislead consumers or cause serious offence.

“EU already has some mechanisms in place to deal with influencers, which are covered by legislation on both advertisers and sellers/traders. However, we think it would be desirable to have a comprehensive approach given the fast rise of this phenomenon.”, says Bernardo Hernández Bataller, a councilor of the European Economic and Social Committee since 1994. “We would need specific regulation to cover the rights and obligations of the people involved, so that all legal operators and consumers know exactly what is and what is not acceptable.”

Some Member States have gone it alone (France, Spain and the Belgian region of Flanders). But, accord to the recent proposal, a “hard core” of EU rules would be more effective. The EESC argues that it would leave no loopholes allowing different Member States to take a softer line.

The list of suggestions to be adopted by influencers in all 27 member states of the European Union includes it being mandatory for content creators to include a prominent label upfront to highlight that a post is a marketing communication. They would then be liable if they fail to make it sufficiently clear when they are being paid to endorse or promote a product or service.

The proposal highlights that platform administrators and social media networks should also be liable for content published by the content creators and influencers they host, as well as have an obligation to take down illegal content and report illegal activity.

Other issues surrounding influencer marketing featured throughout the report includes the frequent use of child influencers. Concerns regarding content creators as a trade and if their position should be covered by employment laws are also mentioned.

“What about the tax issues raised by influencer advertising? How should we tax influencer income and the profits influencers generate? How should we tax the added value they create?, asks Stefano Palmieri, co-rapporteur.

Even if approved, a new set of rules doesn’t necessary mean that brands and content creators will follow them. In France, in a study of 60 influencers and influencer agencies from January 2023, the French General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) showed that 60% did not respect the regulations on advertising and consumer rights.

And in the UK, compliance with labelling requirements when it comes to Influencer Marketing remains low. In 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published an analysis of more than 24,000 Instagram Stories. Of the 5,700 it considered to be marketing material, nearly two-thirds were not clearly identifiable as such.

How is Coronavirus affecting content creators’ income? 0 614

It is official: we are four months into 2020, and a lot has changed since the last time content creators ventured out of their houses for a photoshoot, or to create a branded campaign from scratch.

From Asia to the USA, from Europe to Latin America, current travel restrictions and self-isolation recommendations mean that more people than ever before are working indoors, across all corners of the world, helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

So, how are influencers balancing life in quarantine, creativity restraints, and the loss of income generated by the global pandemic?

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Double Impact

“As a content creator and ski instructor, I have been doubly impacted because you need to be outdoors to carry out both activities, and, right now, it is not a possibility here in Italy.

It has been a month since the last time we were allowed out of the house properly, and the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is worrying.

We try to remain courageous and support each other, but the truth is, we don’t know when all this will end, and life will be back to normal. Hopefully, everything will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Leveraging the Engagement Spike

“It affected me directly as I had worked with brands canceled, as well as a work trip carefully planned to take place during Easter that has been canceled.

I am very practical, though, and as I suddenly found myself at home with lots of extra time, I have dedicated my time to creating content that can help my followers through their quarantine.

From tips to recipes, I am doing whatever I can to keep my Instagram active and useful, besides leveraging the increase of traffic and engagement I have noticed since this novel coronavirus started to change people’s online habits.”

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Fitness Routine Dropped

“Although I love my two dogs, staying full time indoors with them is also driving me insane. I miss going to the gym – and for once, my fitness routine has totally dropped.

I’ve been trying to keep a healthy diet but, I’m just at home watching movies all day. I haven’t been back to work in 2 weeks, and I truly miss it, even seeing my co-workers and just people in general. As an influencer and content creator, the virus has had a kind of up and down effect; for example, I haven’t had any new products for product placement, but I have learned a couple of new things for myself. I’ve learned to dance more, keep in touch more with my family and friends (over FaceTime, of course). In fact, lately, I have been putting together a lot of dance videos, and have even learned a couple of choreographies.

The virus itself is horrible, and I wish it can go away soon, so we can continue with our normal lives and normal living and rebuild a financial structure. Tons of businesses have closed down here in Las Vegas, and hotels and casinos are all boarded up to keep people away.”

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Negotiations On Hold

“I’m a stay at home mum, and I usually use the time when my son is at the nursery to create content for both my YouTube channel and my Instagram. However, right now, my son’s nursery is closed, so it is really difficult as he consumes most of my time.

It is not only affecting my creativity but my income, too. I had a few brands in which I was at an advanced stage of negotiations for an Influencer Marketing campaign before the lockdown. Unfortunately, they had to put everything on hold due to the unprecedented times.”

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

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