Influencer Marketing isn’t exactly something new and, even before the first ever social media post in online history landed, people with the power to influencer others were already getting paid to do exactly that. This is a point that Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO at USA marketing agency Mavens & Moguls, recalls.
“When I started my marketing career in 1990 there was no social media and brands had to pay a lot of money to celebrities to endorse their products. Today, small businesses can successfully advertise and promote their brands online without spending tons on traditional media by leveraging the internet and online marketing. Research shows that peers and influencers actually carry more weight today with consumers than paid endorsements.” – reveals Arnof-Fenn, a former VP of marketing at Zipcar.
“My best tip for a successful influencer marketing campaign is to utilize a mix of influencer types. Instead of just focusing on the most popular/branded individual influencers, you should include internal experts, micro-influencers, niche expert prospects, and customers in your influencer marketing mix. Receiving multiple perspectives and insights always enriches the discussion and generates more activity online. In the end, doing your homework is key to success.”
The good news is that, over the past year, the number of people with potential to land real influence to your campaign have increased exponentially, with more of us spending time online to consume content and share our views.
“A shift that happened during the 2020 pandemic is an influx in social media participation and a widening in scope of who is considered influential. With this increase in the number of people turning to social media to meet their needs, the opportunity to share brand awareness through everyday people, entrepreneurs, and even celebrities have increased. The trick is to find the right voices that fit your brand and goals, not the most popular ones. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have shared products with each other and all immediately invested. It is about trust at the end of the day.” – says Jessica Fonseca, SVP of Influencer Marketing at Los Angeles-based PR agency at Pink Shark PR.
“A trick I use to find the right content creators is to analyse a brand’s analytics, see who their typical buyers are, and then approach them with a mutually-beneficial offer. I cherry-pick the influencers who vibe with a brand and its initiatives by searching hashtags, demographics, and location. When you find the right voices, they’ll be willing to share your products or services because they truly love what you offer. You can also extend to using small commission-based opportunities for creators. This not only supports the creator but also provides them with an incentive to continue posting about your product.” – explains Jessica.
I spoke to seasoned content creators, marketeers, and business owners using influencer marketing to identify simple-to-follow tips when working with content creators for a campaign.
“To experience a successful influencer marketing campaign, you need customized content as per the influencer’s persona. I have been working on influencer marketing on Instagram for the last 3 years with good, average, and bad results depending on the period of time. During the last few campaigns I have noticed that the followers of the influencer don’t like advertisements in the content, so you need to integrate the offer in a subtle way. This subtle approach needs to also generate a good amount of engagement, clicks and impressions for the post and story.”
Nizar Ali Bachlani – Partnerships, influencers and affiliates at www.purevpn.com
Repost content from creators
“What people often forget to do with influencer marketing is repost the influencer’s content! An influencer is much more likely to tag you in future posts if they know you’ll always share the love back. Whenever they tag you, be sure to share that content to your story and profile. It’s a great way to show influencers you appreciate them!”
Liz Jeneault – VP of Marketing at www.faveable.com
Influencers need creative freedom
“We experienced success and ROI on a project after changing the way we briefed creators. We decided to give them a chance to do their own thing, that their audience will love.
When the creator has some creative freedom, your success boils down to having in-depth documentation on branding. This includes everything from logo placement, recommended slogans, talking points, and key unique value propositions.
This helps make sure that the production value of how your brand is presented shines.
Domantas Gudeliauskas – Marketing Manager at AI-powered website builder Zyro
Start with people around you
“I prefer to find influencers amongst our employees and our customers as opposed to working with strangers off the internet as content creators. The former already like our product and service, meaning they are oftentimes willing to work for store credit or free products instead of insisting on thousands of dollars for a social post. The characteristics of this partnership also mean the promotion is much more authentic because it’s organically driven.”
John Frigo – Influencer Marketing Manager at www.MySupplementStore.Com
Know what you want
“Specifying your exact requirements to an influencer is key. If you want text/tags/swipe ups/gifs/codes, then make sure you include these in your briefing. Detail if you want the influencer to add their creativity to it or if you will be providing all the content. Clarity is key for influencers when working with marketers. Otherwise, influencers will naturally have their own spin on the collaboration and might miss something you wanted but didn’t articulate to them.”
Kristie Bennett – Content creator and Winner of Australian Survivor
Start an authentic relationship before any campaign
“It’s important to speak with the influencer as if they are a new friend. Without asking for something right from the start, the best practice is to set up 4 touchpoints, spaced 1 week apart. This can be a comment, like, DM or repost. It’s only when the influencer has engaged, and the relationship has started to be built, that we approach the content creator. Authenticity is key.”
Myriah Castillo – Digital Marketing Manager at www.joybyte.com
Make it mutually beneficial
“We are a 100% female run e-commerce social enterprise founded in 2015. Based on our experience, it is important to remember that a successful influencer partnership is a two-way street. Take the time to brainstorm ways you can help the influencer build on their own brand through the partnership, such as by exposing them to your own audience. By making the relationship as mutually beneficial as possible, it is more likely that your influencer will be motivated to make the campaign a success for both of you.”
Jessica Rose – Chief Executive Officer at www.copperh2o.com
Check authentic engagement, not just your number of followers
“Since we’re in the sneaker & streetwear industry, the influencer marketing opportunities are endless. We have tried many different campaigns with influencers, and we found that the key to a profitable influencer marketing campaign is an authentic influencer with a loyal community. You need to spend time reviewing the influencer and his community. How loyal and engaged are these people? How authentic is the influencer while engaging with them? Spend some time learning about the “Like:Follower Ratio”, too, and never just look at the follower count of an influencer.
We found that the more loyal the community is and the more authentic the influencer is, the more expensive the campaigns with these people are…but the returns were always worth the cost.”
Edgar Suppes – Co-founder at www.grailify.com