Written by Charlotte Cahill
Influencer marketing isn’t just about tossing money towards someone and expecting that amazing things will happen for your brand overnight.
Influencer marketing is not synonymous with a “hands off” marketing approach. Marketers need to be just as involved as the influencers that they invest in if they want the best business results.
As long as you have consumers, there’s an opportunity to reach them with influencers.
Although brands with larger budgets can garner powerful influencers that have higher price tags, smaller brands can adopt a more creative approach to optimize the return on their investment. In fact, familiar figures, rather than celebrities, have the potential bonus of being more relatable to everyday shoppers and therefore more influential. You might try something once because the Kardashians did it, but you would probably go to a restaurant because your friend or mom said it was great.
Brand messaging is a reflection of participants, so participation is the goal. Brands lost control of their messaging a long time ago, but it hasn’t quite settled in. Their new role is to nurture relationships. For example, some brands have chosen to post all their reviews on their webpages since they know that customers would leave the site to see them anyway. Displaying them on their site motivates them to deliver a good experience.
Transparency is key here. Influencers are paid content creators but if they don’t disclose that they are a paid content creator, it can be misleading and cause consumers to become skeptical. It’s up to the brands to maintain a level of trust with their consumers.
Brand objectives should be set out in a contract with their influencers.
A recent controversy has risen involving Instagram star Essena O’Neill where she denounced her Instagram account for being ‘fake’ and ‘dishonest.’ While her story is influential and meaningful, there are some important takeaways for brands to implement for their influencer marketing strategy. Brands may want to consider treating their influencers like traditional celebrities and establish longer-term relationships that involve content co-creation.
4. The Bigger the Following, the Better
It’s important to have influencers that are right for the brand, and to establish a relationship with these influencers. There isn’t a “One Size Fits All” approach. Brands should strive to find influencers that fit their brand ethos in a way that is compelling and authentic. Influencers with a higher fan base could end up spamming their audiences, which diminishes their influence. The bottom line is that fit is far better than fan base.
5. Influencers are Easy to Find
Influencers are sometimes hard to identify, requiring more than a search from Google. Marketers should consider investing in a service that does the legwork to provide context for influencer selection.