Influencer marketing is still booming, and we’re all in on it. It has become an essential arm of any consumer marketing program. But nowadays influencer marketing strategy is not just about finding social media stars with large followings to post your products and news. Today it’s performance driven, and it requires both art and science.
Based on recent influencer campaigns we’ve run for clients (and love other brands), here are the tips for getting the most out of current and upcoming influencer marketing initiatives.
Pursue long-term influencer partnerships
Short-term one-off social posts are a thing of the past. We are currently seeing much more traction with genuine, long-term partnerships. When you treat influencers like brand ambassadors, more trust develops between the brand, the influencer, and their followers. It typically generates better audience engagement, more creative content, and stretches marketing budgets more effectively. It also means that your brand is continuously promoted as an influencer’s audience grows, reaching more relevant people.
Partner with “real people” content creators
Gone are the days of expensive celebrity endorsements as the only way to make an impact. TikTok (and Instagram before it) has helped spawn “real people” influencers, with creators like Elyse Myers, Rod and Mikayla Nogueira gaining followers with their honest product reviews and stories. relatable. I’ve seen brands like Abercrombie, Cerave, and Charlotte Tilbury see significant brand improvement over the past year, mostly from reviews from “real people.” Just look at how quickly these brands’ products sell out as soon as a wave of reviews and tutorials rolls in. The Charlotte Tilbury contour wand was sold out for months after going viral on TikTok!
Create open briefs
Creators are (as in their name) creative. While brands need to establish clear KPIs and messaging, it’s important to give influencers enough freedom to actually create. When we let them put their own spin on the content, the brand message is conveyed in a more real way. We find that it’s usually these “posts” that get people to watch, engage, and share, perhaps even without realizing it’s an ad. We recently worked on an open brief as part of a partnership we managed for client Blurb with Luke Bergg. This allowed us to get this amazing personalized video from him which performed really well across all channels. Just make sure influencers follow FTC guidelines.
Invest upfront to use content across all channels
Use influencer content only on organic social networks or on the influencers own profiles? This only scratches the surface of the potential. We suggest you invest more money upfront to get the usage rights to share influencer content in paid, earned, and owned campaigns (like email and blog). We’ve seen significant ROI on this, especially with video. Building influencer programs with this holistic content approach in mind from the start is actually a cost effective way to produce authentic, unique and compelling content in a way that brands would typically find difficult (and expensive) to do. by themselves.
Advance in your follow-up
The days of measuring the effectiveness of influencer marketing strategy by engagements and impressions are over. With the increased investment often required by influencers and advances in digital marketing, every influencer marketing dollar and its impact can and should be accounted for. It is important to have a solid measurement infrastructure in place from the start. Not only does this help in calculating ROI. It also lets you see what’s working and optimize campaigns on the go and in the future. We’ve connected influencer programs to higher marketing goals through UTM codes to monitor site traffic, influencer-specific promo codes and audience giveaways, and more. When using influencer content as paid social ads, metrics can become as granular as specific conversions.
All in all, there is still time for influencer marketing and it is effective in almost any industry to tackle marketing goals at every stage of the funnel. But the influencer marketing strategy has a creative, performance-driven new look. And you have to play within those lines to make it work (and keep working) for your brand.
This article was originally published by our sister company SHIFT Communications on SHIFT Insights.