Why Influencer Marketing is here to stay 0 1779

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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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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5 tips to work with Influencers 0 612

1. Long-term relationships are key

Forget the one post campaign. Social media is about an ongoing conversation and it includes working with creators on a regular basis, making it a successful partnership for both parties, the brand and the influencer. Ultimately, long-term relationships will also speed up the creative process over time, as you won’t have to go over your 186-page brand guidelines every time you brief a request to create a new batch of posts.

2. Avoid re-work

Be very clear and thorough when it comes to briefing the influencers, specially if it is someone new you are working with, or if you are briefing a completely new campaign for regular creators. Keep in mind that, more often than not, the same poll of influencers working with you will also be delivering content to other brands. Having to re-shoot or re-write pieces can cause massive delays for brands and content creators so there is no such thing as being too thorough. From my own experience, all the occasions in which I have had to request someone to amend content already delivered within the agreed brand guidelines it was because the new request was not very clear. Unless your briefing (and brand) allow total creative freedom for the influencer, make sure you don’t leave room for double interpretation.

3. Have well crafted contracts

Contracts exist for a reason: it is a black and white guideline between brands and creators, so make sure that you add every small detail to it. It is not about lengthy small prints that no one will care to read. It is about starting right, in the first place, then upon the eventuality that a brand and an influencer needs to go separate ways, it should be a seamless amicable process.

Important: if using a template that you found online, make sure to completely tailor it towards your brand, your campaign and each influencer you are working with. No template fits all.

4. Keep in touch

Good content takes time to be created. But sometimes, in between briefings, there are silent gaps when agencies, brands and influencers are not required to be in contact. Use this downtime to keep in touch with your collaborators to find out what they are up to and always leave an open door for influencers to suggest new things or new way to approach old topics. They know their audience. Your job is to find the best way to tap into it, together.

5. Share performance and success

Assuming you are doing all the previous things correctly, you will have plenty of reasons to celebrate the success of your new campaign. Also share the metrics: Did a post perform extremely well? Let the influencer know. The same applies for the opposite: if content is really lacking behind you have to let the creator knows about it and, together, you can fine tune it for better results.

 

Marcio Delgado is a Digital Influencer Manager and Global Content Producer of the award-winning series #LiveMoreShareMore powered by Western Union.

How to create content fast 0 411

1. MAKE SHORT NOTES

The month before content needs to be rolled out, write down bullet points of topics you find relevant for your audience. If you run an Instagram account about arts, keep an eye on free exhibitions. If you run a business selling cakes, make a series of short recipes with beautiful images to go with it, subsequently, people may even try baking at home. It is much easier to create a variety of content in one go when you surround yourself with notes to inspire the process and speed up production.

2. CHECK SEASONAL DATES

Every day, something is happening somewhere in the world, sometimes closer to you than you think. Besides the unmissable big dates (Thankgiving, Easter, Christmas etc) research other celebrations in line with your social channels or business. One site that can help you with this is www.daysoftheyear.com and you can also find valuable information signing up for your local council newsletter.

3. GATHER MEANINGFUL #TBTs

Four of your monthly posts can be related to the Throw Back Thursday tag (#tbt) sharing cool images of a past event, a previous trip, or something that you learned, either as a creator or as an entrepreneur. Save all these moments and turn them into content to save you time and also engage new individuals through a powerful hashtag.

4. START WITH IMAGES

If you have access to quality images, be it your company archive or a friend that is a photographer and would collaborate with your content calendar in exchange for a small fee, always reserve some time to go over these images and find the ones that inspire you to create meaningful and engaging stories. It could be an image to go with a quote or a #MondayMotivation post, for example. Don’t give up if you think an image doesn’t match your feed at first. An image worth a thousand words so use your creativity and create a template to make it work.

5. GATHER USER-GENERATED CONTENT

You can easily boost your monthly content calendar by gathering content generated by your followers, clients and employees as long as you have a community which is reasonably active.

Start small, asking easy to answer questions and progress from there.

You can also ask your fan-base to do things like submit pictures about a specific topic, send stories they find particularly pertinent, among many other forms of interactions.

Are you ready to roll back your sleeves and work on your new masterpiece calendar?

PHOTO: Bruce Mars

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