Influencer marketing isn’t just some made up wishful thinking – the numbers prove it. The return on investment for influencer marketing is 11 times more than a banner ad – and that’s just for a 12-month old blog post! Add to that all the other chatter and mediums you have to work with, and it’s about as close to a home run as you can get.
The reason for this trust in influencers is that some of the audience desire to be like them, some desire to achieve what they achieve, and some just really believe in what the influencer is saying and will buy in right away. Regardless, they have a captive audience that you can tap in to.
If you’ve never worked with an influencer before, here are a few marketing tactics that will help boost your brands engagement.
Finding the Right Influencer
If you look at it like an influencer is a celebrity, you’ll begin to see why some are better for your brand to work with. Is your brand more like the kid from Harry Potter, or the guy from Deadpool? If this person is going to represent your brand, they should have the qualities you’re looking for.
This doesn’t always mean the influencer needs to be in your niche. Popular YouTube video markers make partnerships with brands all the time.
On that same note, you don’t always need internet celebs to be effective. Sometimes a smaller influencer with a highly engaged audience is more powerful. You’ll need to carefully consider your goals to find which one will work best for you.
One way to go about it is to look at the audience of the influencer – that’s what really matters. Are they engaged? What is the demographic? Targeting the right influencer will determine how much their audience will engage with your branded promotion.
It’s Ok to Spend Money
Sponsorships are not a dirty word any more. There once was a time where people would be considered sellouts if they worked with a brand to create art. Those days are long behind us. It’s all about transparency now.
If an influencer is working with a brand, it’s actually kind of cool. The brand is able to give them the resources to do some really cool things, go to cool events and provide even more interesting content. There’s only one rule: disclosure. As long as the influencer discloses the relationship up front – which most are happy to brag about – it’s all good.
Don’t afraid to pay for an influencer or spend money on resources they don’t have. You’ll reap the benefits.
Gifts and Giveaways Are Golden
Don’t be shy about offering the influencer gifts to giveaway, discount codes, coupons and free samples. This can go a long way to keep the buzz flowing.
People love free stuff. If you want an influencer to engage their audience with your brand, this is a surefire way to achieve that in a positive manner. It’s important that giveaways have no strings attached. If there are strings, it’s not a giveaway: it’s a transaction. Audiences won’t be fooled by thinly vailed efforts to capture private info.
Even if the influencer is generating content based on your sponsorship, giveaways are a great way for them to attract a larger audience, which they’ll appreciate. It will benefit both of you.
Treat Influencers Like Partners, Not Employees
It’s important to keep in mind that the influencer doesn’t work for you – they work with you. If you try to control that relationship too much, they’ll choose not to work with you. They have that freedom in most cases.
It’s more important than just choosing to work with you though. You want them to be genuinely enthused about the prospect of partnering up with your brand. The more enthusiastic they are, the more likely that enthusiasm will translate to their audience.
Some of the most successful brands work with Instagrammers for this reason alone. In those examples, tens of thousands of likes are being accrued because the genuine interest the influencer creates ripples through the community.
That’s the beauty of working with an influencer that’s a partner. To the audience, they’re creating content, not commercials.
Give the Influencer Creative Control
As mentioned above, you’re not just gaining access to an influencer’s followers, you’re creating a partnership. The only way it appears like the influencer is creating content is because they actually are.
Giving up creative control is difficult, but they’ll do their best work if you give them the freedom to do what they do. You can set slight restrictions, but these should be rare. Things like not showing the product getting wet would be a good restriction. Things like only showing the product in daylight with a white background could be prohibitive to the type of content they want to create.
It’s ok to offer suggestions, or collaborate, but that’s all they should be. Work with the influencer on the content. They may not know exactly what to do and could use your help. Here are some tools to spark your content creation with an influencer.
If you’re going to try and control the process, you’ll find the results will be lacking. You’re essentially creating a commercial at that point. The influencer is unlikely to alienate their users by just showing a commercial. Look at it this way – you hired them because you like what they do. Now let them do it.
Working with an influencer can be very gratifying and rewarding (including financially). You just need to find the partners that make the most sense to you. Influencers are the new endorsement kings. Take advantage before they realize it!
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