Many forward-looking brands have recognised the value that influencers can bring to their marketing mix. However, as with everything nascent, it is hard to know how to get the most from influencers and it’s easy to make mistakes. Here we break down ten do’s and dont’s for marketers and business owners looking to harness the power of influencers.
1) Choose Your Influencers Well
There are a number of ways that you can select influencers to work with. Reach is only one of them. It is essential that you work to understand the type of influencer that you want to collaborate with. And that starts with working out why you want to work with influencers. Once you have that nailed, then you can pick the right people for you, based on their personality, the sorts of content they produce, the social channels they are most effective on and so on.
2) Keep The ‘Creatives’ Away
It can be tempting to let your ad agency or PR agency (or in-house teams if you have them) loose on the influencers you have picked. But if you do that you run the risk that they will try to over-manage the content creators. All you will then end up with is bland, uninspiring and un-engaging content that does not achieve what it could have. Remember; you picked the influencers because of their great way of communicating with your target audience. Just let them do that.
3) Amplify Influencers’ Content
Working with influencers is a partnership. Expecting them to carry the entire weight of spreading great messages about your brand is unrealistic. So share the workload – share the influencers’ content on your social channels; spend some ad budget promoting the best content; connect the influencers you choose with each other so they can share each others content.
4) Entice and Reward for Biggest Returns
Influencers are starting to realise their own value. There are far fewer ‘hobby bloggers’ who create content purely for the love of it. And the most effective influencers are starting to realise their worth. So be prepared to offer incentives to get influencers excited about working with you. That does not necessarily mean financial incentives – it could be experiences or products. And if influencers do a good job for you, be quick to reward them. That will deepen the relationship you have with them which should mean you can work with them long-term.
5) Get Influencers Excited
The influencers you are interested in (or at least should be) are fans of cycling, running, triathlon and the outdoors. That is why they create content about it. So in the same way that you work hard to get consumer excited about what you make or sell or do, you need to get influencer excited. Then they will be more than happy to help you spread the word about your business.
6) Don’t Spam Target Influencers
Relating to point (5) above, it is not a good idea to badger the influencers you want to work with. If you have a good pitch, you are offering incentives and rewards and you know you have identified the most appropriate influencers for you, then you need to be patient. Hassling influencers is unlikely to have a good outcome.
7) Start Small and Then Scale
Too many brands dive into influencer marketing with a fist full of cash and no experience. They scout around for someone with a massive audience and drop huge amounts of cash in their laps expecting that to be the silver bullet. Sadly that is very, very unlikely to be the answer. Instead you are much better finding a number of micro-influencers, develop a plan with them and see how that works. The iterate, develop and try again. Once you have done this for a while, you will be in a position to scale up and go for bigger influencers.
8) Build Relationships
Once again, remember that influencers are people. They are not a channel like many of those that you use to market your products or services. If you want to get the most from an influencers – or indeed get anything from them – then you will need to get to know them. Each influencer is unique and that is part of the reason they are so effective. But one approach might work perfectly with one blogger and fail totally with a different content creator. So make sure you get to know the influencers you want to to work with. That will undoubtedly yield better results.
9) Have a Mix of Influencers
Despite all the market research activity that aims to identify the perfect or ideal customer for you, there is a vast range of types of person that could buy your products or services. And as many different customers as there are out there, there are as many different influencers. So avoid the temptation to take a cookie-cutter approach to your influencers. Look for interests and approaches that you think suit your business and them let a range of different influencers work for you.
10) Be upfront and Disclaim
If you are going to work with influencers, why would you try to hide that? As we know, the crowd is wise and if you try to pull the wool over their eyes, you will be found out. That will be bad for both your brand and the influencers you work with. So be upfront and make sure you and the influencers you work with make it absolutely clear that you are working together. Done well, this will actually serve to improve the opinion consumers have of your business.
Undoubtedly there are more than these ten rules for getting the most from influencer marketing. But we believe the ten we have listed are essential to getting a good start. Probably the most important of all of them is to remember that part of the value of influencers is that they are normal people and are all very different from one another. This certainly means that finding the right influencers for you and working effectively with them is a challenge. But the rewards will be worth the effort and if you get started now, you will have a head start on most of your competitors.
For help with any of the points we have mentioned here, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.