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[ Ten Do’s And Don’ts For An Influencer Marketing Campaign ]Case Studies 09.11.2021
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing first became a “thing” about 15 years ago, when PayPerPost, in the US, started to pay bloggers for branded content. Scepticism abounded initially, fearful that it would appear inauthentic.
Today’s influencers still face the same doubts, some of it well-founded, however with a new generation of consumers unconvinced by traditional advertising methods, and with the rise of social media platforms in everyday life, the younger generation feels the need to align themselves with something more authentic than mere celebrity association. “People buy into people” is still as relevant today as ever, and with consumers bombarded from all sides with promotional messages, sifting out trustworthy and authentic messages is something more important than ever.
Influencer marketing, executed correctly, is a medium that brands can use to promote their products through endorsements or recommendations from influencers and content creators on the internet. Social media and blogs are the most popular mediums for the majority of influencers, and can result in huge uplifts in brand awareness and sales. Return on investment averages around six times more than the original cost, significantly higher than traditional advertising methods, and the industry in 2020 was worth over $7.5 billion. With over 70% of marketers now convinced that influencer marketing has a positive effect on their business, it would appear that it is a medium to stay for now. So, what are the things one should consider when planning an influencer marketing campaign?
1/ Define and set your goals early
It may seem obvious to say, but setting your objectives, and documenting your goals and KPIs before diving into an influencer marketing campaign is imperative. Is it brand awareness that is the aim? Is it straight sales? Is it attracting a new target market, or lead generation? When putting your goals together, set a budget, and a system to be able to track ROI.
2/ Never forget the customer
Again, this may seem obvious, however this will define your strategy. Social media plays a key role today with consumers’ buying decisions, whether through blogs, online reviews or other platforms. Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before building trust with a brand, and with fashion and beauty playing a key role in the influencer marketing world, it is no surprise that 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice, according to a recent survey in the UK. 82% of people follow recommendations of micro-influencers (small followings, but usually higher engagement rates), significantly more than macro-influencers (those with large followings)
3/ Choose the right platform for your campaign
Social media platforms, at first sight, may appear to deliver very similar audiences and needs for their consumers, however each one has its own strength, depending on your objectives. For instance, Facebook, the largest platform, is great for brand awareness, and also targeting older audiences. YouTube is a great delivery platform for educational content and research buying decisions. TikTok reaches out to the Gen Zs and under 35s. Twitter is a great platform for syndicating content and creating conversation. LinkedIn is ideal for the B2B community, and Twitch appeals to the gamer culture and can pair up well with some of the above platforms. It’s important to research all of the platforms to find your sweet point.
4/ Don’t follow the traditional rules of advertising
The traditional method of advertising has been to showcase your brand or product in the best light possible to create brand loyalty and consumption. This tenet no longer exists, with consumers increasingly bombarded with messaging, and the law of diminishing returns with the amount of messaging has been noticeable with consumers. The rise of Influencer marketing has been borne out due to a lack of belief in authenticity of traditional advertising, and younger consumers feel closer to “normal”, everyday people than the celebrity line which they feel detached from. If a consumer feels a genuine, attainable relation to a person, that becomes something genuine and authentic.
5/ Filter influencers
Influencers tend to be divided into 2 main groups…..macro- and micro-influencers. Very simply explained, macro-influencers are those with significant followings, and micro-influencers with smaller, tighter followings. Macro (which includes celebrities), may always seem like the go-to and more glamorous sector, however it can be fraught with issues, such as whether followers have been “bought” rather than organically grown, which in turn skews engagement. Remember, the key to the success of an influencer marketing campaign is around the value of authenticity, and genuine alignment. Micro-influencers may have smaller followings, but in the vast percentage of cases, they have a higher engagement with their audience. A variety of micro-influencers in a campaign can be significantly more successful than a single macro-influencer. Always look at the engagement rates of an influencer when filtering down to choose your ideal partner. Once you have narrowed down your preferred partner/s, it is then time to connect, and evaluate if their values match your brands, and vice versa. Influencer marketing is a two-way street, and the relationship has to fit both parties. Pre-arrange what kind of testimonial you want from the influencer. One can also offer them an incentive or commission as part of the collaboration.
6/ Don’t underestimate the power of brand ambassadors
About 84% of consumers have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation, Successful user-generated content with the right brand ambassador can also help to improve a company’s SEO through sharing of the content. Creating user-centric content, with an engaging story. Take advantage of using product reviews & testimonials, storytelling for your brand, tutorials/demos/how-to videos,
7/ Creating a brief
It is important to have a creative direction to the campaign, which the influencer can follow. Having a brief with boundaries, goals and measurable KPIs will be beneficial to the success of the campaign, and, of course, building an engaging story will maximise success. Create a user-generated content plan to maximise the effectiveness of product launches or promotions. It will also save time in the long run, in terms of maintaining the vision of the campaign, and also for future reference when looking back on past briefs. .
8/ Don’t be too controlling with the creative brief
The effectiveness of influencer marketing relies on the authenticity of the messaging to the audience. The relationship between influencer and followers is in the trust created, and therefore there has to be a two-way street in the partnership with influencer and the brand.
Imposing long guidelines on the messaging and creative execution is a turn-off for influencer and audience. Millennials trust social influencers more than celebrities. Naturally, it’s important to have a brief, however it should be flexible enough to allow the influencer to have some creative freedom in the process.
9/ Measuring success
Having the ability to be able to track and measure the campaign is vitally important. There may be a number of different reasons for the campaign, as noted above in the creator brief. Create a code or provide influencers with a link to your store, to track and measure ROI. There are a variety of calls-to-action that can be used within the campaign ie. CPM, CPC, reach, impressions. Also, discounted promotions can be used within individual campaigns to measure success.
10/ Learn from previous campaigns
As with any campaign, there will be an element of trial and error. Each social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses, and in most cases this will be a learning process. Try out new platforms, and creative executions. Done correctly, chosen influencers can become effective ambassadors for the brand.
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