The rise of social media has given consumers more power than ever before, arming them with a platform where they can engage brands in real time. This has created a shift in marketing. While traditional tactics involved pushing out brand content with little focus on creating conversations, new campaigns tap influencers to engage with consumers and create brand loyalty among them.
In spite of the positives, the rise of influencer marketing has also led to many questions, like how to select the right influencer agency or measure ROI. Here are the five most important things to know before you begin your first influencer campaign.
The first thing to consider is how you’re going to evaluate influencers. It is essential to examine bloggers’ social reach and other engagement metrics. These two critical factors determine how many eyeballs will see brand content.
Choosing geographic and demographically diverse influencers is also important; it’s essential to identify if certain personalities have micro-audiences centered around specific interests and passions. By taking a closer look, you’ll have a diverse arsenal of influencers available for a number of campaigns.
Think about it: Do you really have the bandwidth to DIY your campaign? You may be surprised by how much time and effort it takes to manage a campaign with scale. With a DIY solutions, you’ll sometimes only receive a database with a list of names and links to social channels. Measurement and specifics will be left up to you, and that’s not necessarily a good thing if you’re not versed in social media.
Additionally, if you choose to work with bloggers, you’ll quickly find out that they need guidance. They want high touch. They have questions. They are curious.
You’ll also need to draft written contracts and instructions for each campaign. In regards to the actual content, it’ll need to be reviewed to make sure it fits your criteria and that it’s FTC-compliant. This all takes more time than you might expect. Think long and hard about whether you’ll have a dedicated team to handle influencer relations in addition to managing social media distribution.
If you decide you don’t have the bandwidth to take on an influencer campaign on your own, choose an agency wisely. Influencer marketing is the Wild West right now. Standards for selection of influencers and measurement, for example, are paramount. Be mindful of agencies that are new to the space — they may not have the same track record as a company with a long history of delivering successful campaigns.
Before signing any contracts, ask to see both current work and older campaigns. A full scope will provide you with a complete picture of the types of engagement an influencer and an agency can generate.
Secondly, talk to the blogger community about the influencer company you’re considering — you may be surprised by what you hear. For example, I recently spoke with an influencer about her experience with a particular shopper marketing agency. Unfortunately she, along with other bloggers, had a less-than-positive experience. The happiness of a blogger who has worked with the company is a great testament.
Algorithm and feature changes on many social channels have affected brands, influencer measurement and engagement levels. The days of living off organic engagement are over. Paid support for amplification of content is necessary. For this reason, it’s key to consider the scalability of blogger campaigns and the influencer company’s ability to provide paid media support.
Identify your needs when it comes to reach. This will help inform the agency you select. Running a campaign for 20 influencers is very different than for 250 bloggers, so it’s imperative to ask the right questions to better understand scale.
Impressions and page views aren’t the only metrics that indicate quality content. Today, technology can provide a much deeper analysis.
If you’re considering running an influencer campaign, ask to review the agency’s dashboard. What does it look like? Is it simple to use? What does it measure? Is it comprehensive? Look for rich engagement metrics that track Total Media Value, earned vs. paid, organic social shares and true blog analytics.
Jumping into influencer marketing is very exciting, but it can also be scary. It’s essential to ask educated questions to help navigate the crowded landscape. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to effective influencer marketing, but there are questions you can ask to help ensure success.