Brands of nearly every category and size are looking to dip their feet in the influencer marketing pool. Yet, this pool is like the neighborhood swimming spot on the hottest day of summer and becoming overcrowded with influencer networks, automation platforms, ad firms with newly launched influencer marketing arms and more. With so many options for brands, it’s crucial to do some homework before making your selection. As one of the first influencer marketing companies to be established, we’ve learned a thing or two over the years. So, if you ever find yourself sitting with employees of an influencer marketing firm and hear any of the following statements, we recommend running away screaming.
From crafting campaign concepts that make sense for influencer campaigns, to vetting and selecting the right influencers, to reviewing content, to measuring the impact of the campaign, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes of an influencer marketing campaign. When looking for an influencer marketing company to partner with, it’s important to find one with the experience and infrastructure to scale any campaign size you need. Whether you need 20 bloggers or 200 bloggers, they should have the teams and processes in place to handle either. With so many checks and balances involved in ensuring campaign deliverables are high-quality, oversight is needed along the way.
A recent study found that one in four influencers were asked by a brand to not disclose they were paid for work mentioning said brand. The FTC is bringing the hammer down on brands that aren’t meeting mandates for clearly marked disclosures. Warner Brothers recently made headlines after the FTC accused them of paying YouTubers thousands of dollars to promote the video game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor without using proper disclosures. The influencer marketing company you partner with should have up-to-date requirements that ensure consumers are receiving quality sponsored content without any deception. If the content is actually meaningful and relevant, the influencers’ audiences will not care that it’s sponsored.
Today’s brands are finding the most success with story-driven marketing initiatives. Reviews are great if a consumer just wants to hear if a product/service is “good” or “bad”, but what about how the product works? How can a consumer fit the product into their lifestyle? Story-driven content provides so much more value to the reader than a typical review. People react and relate to personal experiences of how someone like them used a product to make their life easier or make their family’s new favorite dinner dish. Story-driven content also keeps the content from feeling like an ad. Stories allow for emotional and educational connections and between the influencer and the audience. After all, 30 percent of Millennials reported that they refuse to read content that doesn’t entertain or educate them. Don’t be the brand with boring reviews as your “content”.