When you think of influencers, most of us think of the Kardashians, the upper echelon of the influencer world. Realistically, very few of us will ever interact with Khloe, Kim or Kourtney (which is 100% fine by us).
There are a lot of benefits to working with influencers, but the landscape has changed; your customers can sniff out the fakeness in posts, stories and content. It has made our job a lot harder. An article by Ragan puts it perfectly, “It was a sea of sameness; influencers who all looked alike, trying to sell you a product that they likely didn’t believe in but promoted nonetheless.”
So, how do you wade through all the bullshit and find the right influencer partnership for your company’s brand?
Sure you can subscribe to a service and enter in all the criteria you want in an influencer, or you can go the old-fashioned route and actually put some elbow grease into it. Utilize hashtags, locations, browsing and searching to find the perfect fit. Will they resonate with your customer base? Are they too “curated,” or do they strike the right balance between beautiful and realistic?
Identify macro, micro and nano and then monitor them for a set period of time. How are their followers engaging? Is their content creative and interesting? Some influencers (bad ones), will buy followers and the only way to determine this is the amount of engagement they get on posts, which requires you to really dig in and listen.
Influencers, for the most part, are people just like you and I… besides the fact that thousands of people follow their, oftentimes, perfectly curated lifestyle. Talk to them as such. Sure, you might be talking to a pseudo-celebrity but even celebrities are people. Find out what makes them tick, learn about their interests in the arts, sports, politics and more. Figure out what excites them, scares them, makes them laugh and then integrate into your strategy and messaging.
Your client has clearly defined goals and certain products they want to promote. Provide influencers with a kit that includes sample messaging, photography, product information and hashtags. Keep it short and sweet. Include the necessary information and nothing extra. Remember, you chose them for a reason, and they know how to connect with their followers. Let them do their thing and get out of the way. If you control everything, it is going to sound robotic and fake, which is the exact opposite of what you hope to achieve.
Not all the work falls on the influencers. Once they post, you need to be monitoring comments. Read them all; the insight they can offer is gold. The feedback could inspire product tweaks or perhaps an entirely new product. You also need to engage, like comments, connect with commenters and if someone posts something extra inspiring, connect with them individually through a message. Your influencer should also be engaging and keeping you informed on DMs and more.
Since 2016, influencer marketing budgets have grown from $8 billion to a projected $15 billion by 2022.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, influencer marketing is not going anywhere, and it is a valuable tool in your PR toolbox. Want to learn more? Give us a shout.