Influencer Marketing 101
There are a few things that every marketer should be aware of before working with professional influencers. In this piece, we’ll dive into some of the key aspects of a strong and contemporary approach to activating influencers in your marketing.
First things first, it’s important yo contemplate whether your brand is ready for the traffic, interest, and publicity that the influencers will generate. Are your website, community, and other channels ready for new audiences meeting your brand for the first time? Remember that the whole point of using influencers is to reach a new and different segment who will experience a version of your product instead of your version of said product.
Less than 25% of brands using influencer marketing uses influencer agencies.
Should I use an agency?
Okay, so you’re ready for new consumer segments to be introduced to your brand, and now you need to find an influencer who can represent your brand and product. This is where you’ll be met with your first choice – are you going to use an agency or a platform?
The best part of using an agency is resource management. You won’t have to worry about contacting influencers or negotiate a deal and contract with them – this responsibility falls to a project manager at your influencer agency, and then you will simply have to collect your campaign post-report by the end of your collaboration. But be warned! Not all agencies deliver any form of data report after your campaign has ended, and you can end up with a simple “it went well” – which means you’ll have to gather the data yourself.
The other big challenge when dealing with influencer agencies is having to pay a middle-man. Influencer agencies are just that, middle-men, and you can easily end up with an agency charging 40-70% as their cut – often leaving the influencers unsatisfied with their share of the cut.
What about platforms?
When choosing to go with an influencer platform, the first step is to figure out which features you and your campaign needs, which are nice to have, and which you’ll never use. Dozens of features make influencer marketing more accessible, and by using these you can cut your time and resources to a mere percentage of what would otherwise be a very demanding task.
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❍ Search and filtering
Being able to search and filter influencers makes the process of picking your perfect match a lot easier. There are two ways platforms find their influencers, scraping (where they scrape the internet for any potential SoMe-user) and Opt.In. (where the influencer has to sign-up to join which means fewer influencers, but often way more qualified leads).
Having an AI or algorithm helping you make the right choice when picking an influencer is quickly becoming a must-have on most influencer platforms. However, a lot of influencer platforms are still hung up on quantity over quality. This is where a recommendation-’engine’ can be of great help.
❍ Price estimation
One of the biggest areas of discussion, is the cost efficiency of using influencers. What should an influencer cost, and what are they actually worth? This is a question that influencers themselves have a hard time answering. That’s why having a platform helping you see through the fog of misinformation is essential to influencer marketing.
❍ Campaign Guidance
So you’ve found your influencer and agreed on a price, however, following their work and understanding their process can still be one of the most frustrating aspects of influencer marketing. Having a platform that helps the brand understand every step of the campaign is a true lifesaver.
Influencers are creators, and creators are by default creative people. With the risk of upsetting an entire demographic, creative people are usually not known for their strong communication skills. Having a platform that streamlines communication with influencers is a gift for any influencer campaign.
Understanding your target audience is an important step in choosing an influencer for your campaign. However, having the influencer understand their target audience is equally important, and something that most influencers struggle with. Having access to data before, during, and after a collaboration makes this a lot easier.
After what’s hopefully a successful collaboration, it’s time to reflect on the campaign and its results. However, figuring out whether or not a campaign was a success can be incredibly difficult. Having a platform do the post-report for you is a brilliant way to understand the results of the campaign – and cut down on time and resource usage.
Once you’ve found the influencers who could be interesting to work with – or that you’ve already had a successful collaboration with – finding and contacting them again should be as simple as having them shortlisted on the platform of your choice. However, not all platforms offer this simple yet effective tool, so be careful.
2019 has been a year with a lot of focus and scrutiny on influencers and the way they work. A lot of governments are putting influencers in the spotlight, and commercial work has never been harder for private people to do. What this means is that every single platform should offer support when it comes to creating a legal contract. This is the only way for a brand to cover every legal aspect of the influencer collaboration.
Ready, Set, Go!
While this guide isn’t the perfect solution to every single influencer collaboration, it’s supposed to be an introduction into the world of influencer marketing. Having read this article, you’ve dipped your toes into the influencer pool, and are now ready to get started.
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