Engaging consumers has always been a herculean task for brands and marketers. Today it has become increasingly difficult to impact their choices and decisions, as the modern consumer is both savvy and skeptical when it comes to purchase and brand loyalty.
This paradigm shift in consumer behavior, in the digital era, has given rise to influencer marketing – the fastest way to grow a brand’s consumer base.
But, before partnering with an influencer, it is imperative to understand the Dos and Don’ts when working with them.
While it can be a cost-effective form of marketing and one of the best ways to build brand awareness, Influencer Marketing when done right, produces great impact & greater results!
Problems arise when marketers and brands have no clear objective and strategy. Studies have found that highly targeted and strategic word-of-mouth marketing generates better sales than advertising.
With an increasing number of brands looking at collaborating with influencers or implementing blogger programs, it is always good to know what to look for when selecting the right influencer for your brand / product.
Choosing an influencer whose profile matches your brand/product is the first step in the right direction.
While researching a prospective influencer’s background, bear in mind the following:
– What is his/her online reputation? What are the past successes?
– What type of content is being shared?
– Is he/she engaging with other brands? If so, which ones?
– Do the existing followers resemble your brand’s profile, or do they look like consumers who might use your product/services or tell others about it?
Understanding an influencer’s personal brand will help us decide whether they will fit into your brand culture. It will also help us approach them with a more personal touch—a win-win effort.
Selecting someone based only on the number of their online friends or followers can misfire. These days it is easy to increase number of followers and/or likes by just buying them off the shelf.
Thus it is also important to check the influencer’s engagement levels, and percentage of active followers before deciding to collaborate.
Quality of Content:
Brands and marketers should look for quality content written by the influencer, with great engaging photographs or video content they have made on their own.
This content needs to fit in with their profile & theme, and be relevant for followers. In order for a collaboration to be successful, it is important to co-create content that is authentic to your brand, as you do not want content to look promoted and fake and thereby, adding no value to followers.
Treat Influencers unlike real people:
Influencer marketing is all about building relationships with real people. Influencers are living, breathing human beings and not some faceless brand or company. They have feelings too and deserve to be treated like real people.
Their their ideas and insights need to be taken into consideration when creating content, as they know their followers well.
Strike a rapport with them. Treat them like you would treat a friend. Find out what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes.
The most important thing is to involve them in the strategic thinking process – share your objectives and business goals, and give them the creative freedom to come up with an authentic messaging for your brand/campaign.
Influencers who are treated with respect become genuine advocates for the brands they write about.
Have ambiguity when communicating your brief:
Brand and marketers tend to get vague and ambiguous when developing and executing an influencer campaign.
Getting the best results from your influencer depends on simple, clear and concise communication objectives, achievable goals and impact measurement guidelines.
Your briefing document must contain clearly outlined timelines, deliverables, and every information the influencer will need to understand what is required of them.
A good briefing document should also mention the content theme, style and mood boards with set guidelines, so that the influencer can co-create content that aligns with your brand values.
Influencer marketing has massive potential to give your brand the boost it needs, however, a well-planned strategy & well-defined goals teamed with the right influencer will not only increase consumer acquisition, but also raise the credibility and profile of your brand with all key stakeholders.
Influencer marketing makes it possible for brands to connect with consumers, and grow their online presence organically.
Author: Ganesh Iyer