Do you know what Influencer Marketing really entails?
Are you engaging the right user at the right time?
The complexities are growing and brands need to understand what it takes, not only to get more and more followers but how to keep and nurture them.
~Roma Yasmin, Media Junky – Instagram Marketing Experts
This article has been published in Social Media Week.
Influencer marketing is the hottest new form of advertising to market products, services and brand messaging. However, as demand grows so do complexities relating to engaging the right influencer at the right time to market your wares. In this article we will explore some of the hidden dynamics that many influencers know, but brands don’t. Understanding how these dynamics work is becoming imperative for all stakeholders within this rapidly emerging marketing space. In this article we will explore factors that influencers take into consideration when deciding to work with a client and how clients can improve the impact of their campaigns by understanding how influencers currently think.
“Influence has always been directly linked to income, power and brands. Now it’s just being tracked better. When was the last time anyone under 35 choose to give money away willingly without some sort of indication from someone they know? Travel, entertainment and everything in between gets decided on socially. In the future, you’ll see brands connecting intelligently with all types of sizes of influencers for brand marketing. The opportunity to market directly to micro-social groups that have a high likelihood of purchasing is very exciting. Who ever does the best job at measuring this landscape and it’s market place is going to win big.” – Clayton Wood | CEO of identitylabs.com
When managed correctly, Influencer marketing can deliver tremendous results. Brands are starting to realize this more than ever and Influencer marketing is starting to play a large and growing role in online marketing strategies. As to why this is occurring, consider these stats:
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions.
- 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 33% trust ads.
- 90% of marketers have said Earned Media will have a significant impact on their strategy by 2014.
- According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate.
An Influencer’s ability to direct audience eyeballs to a product, or service can dramatically improve business for their client. Interest is generally authentic as it derived from an endorsement by the influencer. This is clearly enticing for marketing clients. However, the most active social networks also tend to generate the most aggressive and immediate pushback from the audience.
If an influencer isn’t careful marketing a client, they might lose substantial numbers of followers who view the content as spam. What the influencer earns in profit may be consumed by the time required to earn followers back. Smart influencers know that getting the messaging and delivery right is just as important for them as it is for their client. Clients need to find ways to locate and work with influencers that know this. Unfortunately, there is no way to measure the effectiveness of an influencer in this regard, yet. Below I shed some light as to how this influencer/audience dynamic works.
81K FOLLOWERS AND HOW I ATTRACTED THEM
A while back, I wanted to see how many legitimate opt-in followers I could generate in two weeks. I worked with my network of trusted Influencers to promote a profile and build an engaged following.
In an article on The Huffington Post I explain how, “We cross-promoted one of our accounts using a partner with a different account and gained over 20K followers quickly. However, we lost about 15K nearly as fast due to the other account having a different theme. This turned off some of our audience and many un-followed our account,” I ended up gaining an 81K followers for the month overall after figuring out how to optimize my campaign strategy, but it took work. I could have gained more and avoided the negative impact of un-follows if I paid more attention to these three tips…
1) Influencer Relevancy
Ideally, if you’re building a page focused around luxury cars, you would want to be promoted by someone who is influential in the automotive scene, right? Context is king regarding influencer marketing. Always, always, always make sure that your messaging is aligned with audience interests. If the influencer isn’t clued into this dynamic then find someone else to work with.
2) Content Relevancy
When promoting to an audience, the content needs to resonate with the viewers. Be creative, test different content, messaging, media within the context of the subject matter that already resonates with the influencer’s audience e.g. luxury cars. Work with the influencer to gain insight into which content relating to your campaign is likely to work with their audience best, test and optimize. If the influencers can’t advise you in this regard, find someone else to work with. It takes work, but get it right and the results are amazing.
3) Monitor Churning
When running campaigns, the influencer will be monitoring their follower churn. Any way that you can fine tune your messaging will help reduce churn for the influencer. Keep in mind that the influencer seeks their own ROI and churn impacts them. Figuring out how to gel with their audience while conveying your marketing messaging is key to success.
In the future, I aim to cover things like finding the right Influencer(s) to work with, structuring partnerships, leveraging Influencers to achieve goals and monetizing social influence.