How to work with influencers in 2020 0 26

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.

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How to switch off from social media when your job is to be switched on? 0 2767

When was the last time you heard that, if you truly care about your mental health, you should stay off social media? With Instagram alone commanding 1 Billion users per month, it is easier said than done, of course. And for some people, like content creators, journalists, and digital campaign managers, being ‘in the loop’ is an extension of their daily jobs – even over the weekends – and we all have bills to pay, one way or another.

Take Instagram, for example. Since its launch in 2010 its picture-perfect grids have been linked to anxiety and depression, and the popularity of social networks, as a whole, have been questioned even by those that have a digital DNA. Last year a study conducted by marketing agency Hill Holiday found that 41% of generation Z, the most socially savvy generation made of those born in 1994 and later, were quitting major social media platforms because it is actually making them unhappy.

As a journalist and content creator myself, I have been working with brands and publicationsfor a while now and I have seen how unbalanced that relationship with social media can be. So, I went out there and asked professionals who make a living from being constantly connected and informed, how they find the balance between the content-thirsty online world and staying sane –  and how they manage to, eventually, switch off.

Get yourself organized

“I switch off by setting limits around how much time I am going to spend on my phone. That is not just for social media, but technology in general. I haven’t mindlessly scrolled in a while and I actually rarely engage with people’s accounts or follow them unless they are my closest friends. And yes, there have been times where it has been too much and I have forgotten to prioritize my mental health. That being said, I think social media has the potential to be an amazing platform to learn, to get information and be connected/inspired in ways I could not otherwise. I lacked role models growing up and many of the individuals I follow on social media have significantly impacted my life for the better. The key is just being mindful and aware of HOW and WHAT you engage with. I also switch off from social media and instead connect with REAL people; this will always be better than any online presence.

From a content creator’s perspective, the best thing to avoid social media burnout is to be efficient and produce many photos ahead of time, including shooting and editing, so that you don’t feel under pressure. I always have 25+ photos ready to go as backups so that way I can take breaks and still maintain a consistent presence on social media.”

Caleb Spiro – Influencer, Mental health advocate and creator of the #StrongerSelf podcast

Say bye to notifications

“I found myself getting too caught up in the numbers of likes, numbers, and followers. So sometimes I do take a little break. Right now, I’m not on Instagram too much on Fridays and Saturdays and I think a lot of people are starting to do the same! The weekend is usually centered around family and friends, so I want to be present rather than just staring at a screen. Of course, I have met so many wonderful people online and I love talking to them through IG — it can be such a great source to connect with like-minded people. However, you have to find that balance if you are finding yourself checking your notifications in your real-time.”

I switch off from social media by not allowing notifications to show on my phone — from Instagram to Facebook (which I actually deleted), and recently my email too! I used to have them on because I always felt the need to be “on” and respond right away, but I quickly got overwhelmed by the number of notifications and all the buzzing. The other major thing I do is that I set my phone to “do not disturb” starting at 10:30 pm and ending at 7:30 am! So, I take quite a few precautions because, over the years, I found myself just getting really distracted with my online life when there was an amazing real-life happening in front of me. It also kind of took my creativity and headspace away because I was so distracted.”

Hana Brannigan – Travel and mental health influencer

Put your phone away consciously

My Instagram account has been growing very fast since I started creating and posting content every day. Suddenly I got a lot of attention and, with it, external pressure increases. Because Instagram is almost like a full-time job, you always have to post and be active, so your numbers don’t drop. However, if you are not careful it can definitely influence you mentally. I found that taking time for yourself without your phone and putting it away consciously on a regular basis can be very helpful; enjoy moments with friends and family and have good conversations. The best thing to do is to not look at your phone in the morning, go for a workout and be productive offline first, instead.

Paul Pasytsch – Content creator and fitness model

Know your priorities

“When important deadlines approach academically, I naturally limit my time on social media however, never go cold turkey as I believe it will mess with the Instagram algorithm and stop your momentum. To find a balance I go to the gym and use that break as a time to be plugged only into my favorite music and focus on the present while going through my workout”.

Sergio Wynne – content creator

Be aware of who you follow

“My best tip to avoid social media burnout, especially if you use it as a platform for business growth and networking, is to make sure you set boundaries for when to be consuming and creating content, and to decide ahead of time how much time you will spend doing those activities. One rule I like to try to implement is to never spend more time consuming than I do create content. I also like to take one day off most weeks from creating and consuming content.

I have definitely had moments of feeling overwhelmed from social media. This past winter I deleted Instagram off of my phone for about a week and it was really refreshing. I honestly didn’t miss it and felt much more connected to my emotions and the people I was with. I think it’s an incredibly valuable platform, but it’s also addictive and it’s important to be conscious of that and take breaks when it becomes too much.

Another tip is to unfollow/mute anyone who is not adding positive value to your life. Once you “follow” someone, you really have very limited control of what and when they will pop up on your newsfeed and what emotions that might bring up for you. If you find yourself feeling bad, unhappy, upset, or like you are in a constant competition to someone you follow, it might be time to clean the house”.

Emily Louise – Online Entrepreneur, health and fitness expert.

Temporarily delete social apps

“To switch off from social media I just put my phone away and do something with my friends in the real world. I am studying to be a teacher and once when Instagram got to a point that became too much during my exams and it started to disrupt me, I made the decision to delete the app for a whole month. “

Florian Whitewalker – Model and content creator

Think before posting

“I don’t think I have ever got to a specific point where I have had to absolutely take a day or week off of Instagram or any social media channel. I realized I needed to make a change when I began attending events for bloggers/ influencers and I found myself scrolling through my own Instagram page to see how others were expecting me to be. This was a turning point for me. If I was having to look at my own social media pages to see how I should show up, I needed to make a change with how I used that platform.

So, rather than taking time off social media altogether, I decided to take more time to find myself. Instead of sitting on the couch scrolling, I would go for a walk or write. I needed to find a new way to show up online as myself – not with what would receive the most likes.

To most people’s surprise, I actually don’t spend much time on social media anymore. I always ask myself “why” every time I open an app. Am I posting something I am proud of? Am I getting on to look at content that will inspire and encourage me? If I find that I am only getting on because I am bored, or want to check the performance of a post, I step back.

I try not to check social media within the first hour of waking up. This helps to get my day started without distractions and to keep you focused on the tasks that are ahead. For me, spending that first hour planning out the day, connecting with myself, and easing into it all, truly helped my mental health for the better. And if social media is beginning to make me feel insecure, I immediately exit.”

Hannah Neese – Lifestyle Blogger

Conclusion: The key is to find a balance that works for you that helps clear up your headspace a bit for other things like being in the moment or being able to be creative.

#InfluencerMarketing #SocialMedia #ContentCreators

Why Influencer Marketing is here to stay 0 3120

Over the past months, you have probably heard arguments that Influencers are becoming ‘too much’ and that an invisible Influencer Marketing bubble is about to burst anytime soon.

The question though is, is it?

Well, unless your company doesn’t sell a product or service to humans, Influencer Marketing isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Way before Instagram was launched with perfectly curated social media feeds becoming synonymous with high achieving content creators – and many decades before companies partnered with digital celebrities to tap into their social spheres with branded content – movie stars, top models and footballers were using their own names and acquired audiences to endorse products in paid collaborations. People didn’t have any idea about algorithms or ‘likes’, but from the moment the audience could recognize the person fronting a campaign – instead of simply a random person playing a character – the ‘influencer’ factor was switched on.

The main reason influencer marketing has been questioned lately is due to its transparency, authenticity, and the quality of influencers chosen to help push a campaign – something that has more to do with the capacity of in-house marketers and agencies to select the right brand ambassadors rather than with the efficiency of influencer marketing as a valuable tool.

It hasn’t stopped brands and agencies from heavily investing in content creators, though. In fact, Influencer marketing has continued to grow over the last few years, shifting from a respectable $1.7 billion industry in 2016 to an astonishing $6.5 – 8 billion segments in 2019, as reported by the American Influencer Council and Business Insider, respectively.

The statistics surrounding the booming influencer industry probably explains why 8 out of 10 marketing teams have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing this year, as per the 2019 State of Influencer Marketing Report, a global study conducted by Relatable.

Here are the five key reasons that back their decision.

It is scalable

Influencer Marketing is easily adaptable to almost any budget size or region. A recent report by Influencer Marketing Hub, an established Influencer marketing resource for brands and agencies, revealed that 57% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is a scalable tactic in their marketing ecosystem because if a brand wants to create a bigger campaign and target different regions they can alter their approach accordingly. For example, they would need to mainly focus on working with a greater number of influencers with larger followings, as long as they remain relevant to the company’s niche.

It has a higher Return On Investment (ROI)

Because in-house marketers and all agencies need to justify the money spent on any campaign, the so-called ROI (return on investment) remains at the forefront of the minds of most marketing professionals in 2019. However, a 2019 survey of marketers by Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, shows that 89% of in-house marketers believe that the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to, or better than, other marketing channels.

It can help to keep the conversation always on

A long time ago, when customers had a preferred outlet to get their daily dose of entertainment and information, it was easy to plan a campaign, target the platforms where your audience would most likely be hanging around and simply sit and wait for the results to come in. That technique no longer applies to any sector, with one-off campaigns becoming a risk too high to bet marketing budgets on. Due to their low costs, as well as their flexibility, “always on” influencer marketing campaigns have proved an effective way of keeping brand values and key messages in constant motion, leveraging long-term brand ambassador partnerships to keep a continuous and fresh stream of branded content.

It is a popular B2C tool

A study by inbound web marketing analytics and optimization agency Blue Corona found that, from over 800 marketing professionals and brand representatives surveyed, 69% of marketing professionals focus their influencer marketing campaigns on the B2C sector, with Instagram and Facebook leading the choices of most used social media channels for campaigns.

Reach new audiences

Besides helping to spread the news about a new campaign through word-of-mouth, sparking conversations about your product or brand amongst fans, Influencer Marketing campaigns also offer brands the opportunity to tap into the new audiences of content creators. Although some products are much more specific than others and one size doesn’t fit all, reaching a new audience beyond a company’s own social media channels will, at least, increase brand awareness.

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