Have you ever wondered how you can find an influencer to partner with for your brand? Perhaps you have thought about creating an influencer program from scratch, and are looking for some fresh ideas for a unique experience. Nowadays, partnering with an influencer goes far beyond the old school notion of swag in exchange for shoutouts on social media. And as personal branding becomes an integral part of everyone’s career, free swag isn’t enough to motivate influencers to connect with your brand. Today’s influencer programs have evolved from the celebrity found on every street corner handing out swag in exchange for social media shoutouts, to more detailed and branded experiences and partnerships.
Most people understand that influencers can help your brand reach a new audience and convert leads. Smart brands are looking for ways to connect with newer, younger audiences. By leveraging influencer marketing, you can create content that resonates with young consumers like millennials and Gen Z—both of which heavily rely on the opinion of popular influencers. It’s not surprising that influencer programs have evolved over the years. Consumers are much savvier these days, as they have grown accustomed to celebrity endorsements and social media shoutouts from internet influencers.
Influencer marketing is growing in popularity, and brands are dedicating more time and resources to it. It is no longer seen as a “nice to have” marketing tactic but rather it’s an essential part of any successful campaign. And while influencer marketing seems like a black box, we all can agree that it is effective when you know how it works. Whether you’re overwhelmed by the options or not sure what to do next, we have put together a list of the best influencer marketing practices.
Determine Your Goals
With influencer marketing becoming more and more popular, the likelihood that you’ll want to get started with influencer outreach is skyrocketing. Before you jump into the deep end, it’s important to have a strategy and align your goals and expectations since you will be working with content creators who have a large social media following and are recognized as authorities in their field. Different types of influencers have different goals and requirements, and problems occur when businesses either do not have the right expectations of what an influencer can deliver or they simply approach it incorrectly.
Conceptualize Your Campaign
There are a plethora of ways to promote your brand when it comes to engaging with consumers through influencer programs. Prior to deciding upon a strategy, you should answer one important question: what type of campaign makes the most sense for your brand? The identification of the themes and initiatives will enable influencers to create awesome content, and it will also inform a level of focus for each marketplace. While the influencers can definitely drive a bit of the strategy, as they are closer to our customers. Let them drive some of the review cycles for quality and innovation.
Share Valuable Information
Sharing your thoughts, no matter how unique the brand is, can go a long way in starting to form a strong relationship. It’s important to be transparent and authentic with the influencer you’re reaching out to because they are humans just like you. Remember that at the end of the day, they are an individual who has preferences and interests. Show them that you value their time by sending over some valuable information. You want to show that you have spent time thinking of what to send over so your outreach is not spammy.
Agencies and brands often forget that influencers are actual people. They contribute to making a client’s brand attractive through their authentic voice, creative approach, and in-depth knowledge of social media. Send them a list of questions and have them respond back to you, especially if they are influential in your market or niche. The answers to their questions will create organic content that is great for SEO and will give you a better idea of how their mind works, which can help inform when creating a strategy or developing methods of communication.
Explore the Influencer’s Feed
Just because an influencer has garnered thousands of followers and there is an existing audience it is of no relevance if that audience is not relevant to your brand or business. Once you have selected your key influencers, you will also need to do some research on them. This can include seeing what they are currently working on with brands and checking to see if there is anything they have done in the past that would also be interesting to view in terms of social content.
Trust the Influencer
Working with influencers means getting in touch with your creative side. As marketers, we want to increase our brand awareness, but oftentimes lose sight of the fact that influencers are naturally talented at creating authentic content. It’s an unfortunate reality: In the age of digital information, where there is more content than can fit in one lifetime, sometimes the very thing that helps you create a standout piece can instead, if taken too far, make your influencer feel alienated. You hired these influencers to connect with your audience in an authentic way, so give them that chance and trust them.
Analyze the Performance
When running an influencer marketing campaign, one of the most important checkpoints is to measure content performance. This checkpoint will show how well the content performed in terms of reach, impressions, and engagement. Make sure that you first establish your KPIs and metrics to measure the content performance. It’s important that you are able to analyze the data and extract insights based on the data. That will help you identify areas of improvement as well as learn from your past mistakes.
Influencer marketing is a powerful way to spread the word about your brand. When done correctly, you can target an audience that your brand has never been able to reach before. And that’s when influencer marketing becomes truly powerful.