Gone are the days of brands relying solely on celebrity endorsement; instead, social media has given ‘normal’ people like you and me an opportunity to build their own personal brands by producing consistent and high-quality content. Consumers are turning to their favourite online personalities across Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for advice and will often buy products based on their recommendations.
So, what are things to keep in mind when planning your own influencer marketing campaign?
Influencer’s aren’t miracle workers. Your sales aren’t going to go through the roof as soon as an influencer has promoted your product. Setting realistic and measurable goals and targets is crucial to measure your end results against. Whether it’s increasing reach, increasing engagement or generating leads, setting these goals from the outset will enable you to understand the successes and downfalls of your campaign and how to adapt your strategy for the future.
Do your research
It’s all well and good finding an influencer with hundreds and thousands of followers who produce aesthetically appealing content. However, a lot of fake influencers are flocking to social media and trying to fool brands into thinking they have an authentic following. The harsh reality is, ‘influencers’ who buy a fake following are going to create ineffective sponsored content and ultimately waste your time as well as your budget. Doing your research beforehand and ensuring that their following correlates with their engagement will ensure that you’re not a victim of a fake influencer.
A great way to build relationships with influencers before your campaign has even begun is through social media engagement. It is also a great way of identifying influencers who you want to work with in the future. Liking and commenting on their posts, following them and interacting with their stories are all helpful ways to build rapport and not only get them to recognise you as a brand, but also to create a positive first impression of you from the get-go.
Don't discount micro-influencers
It’s a common misconception that a high follower count immediately means high engagement, however this isn’t always the case. Micro-influencers are not only equally as relatable, genuine and trustworthy as larger influencers, but they are also more cost effective and should therefore be a key part of a brands strategy. Starting a campaign with smaller budgets with influencers with a smaller following can create just as much buzz around your brand as using a handful of top-tier influencers.
Show your appreciation
You’ve found your influencer, they’ve created the desired content and you’ve sent the payment. Now what? It’s easy enough to fall off of the face of the earth and never interact with them again. However, keeping that ongoing relationship alive and kicking will only benefit you in the long term, especially with future campaigns. They may just tell fellow influencers about their positive experience working with you, post additional unpaid content involving your brand, mention your brand in their stories etc. A little kindness and appreciation can go a long way in cyber space.