The Do’s And Dont’s of Influencer Marketing

 In Social Media Today

If you’re looking for an effective way to quickly gain exposure for your brand or a specific campaign on social media, influencer marketing is a solid way to go.

But before you run off to put together your next campaign, give my list of influencer marketing do’s and dont’s a read to help keep you on the right track.

The DO’S

1. Find the Right Influencers

The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign is to find the right influencer for your brand.

Simply relying on someone with a big following to push your brand, product or service can be highly inefficient and a waste of time and resources.

So what should you look for when sourcing influencers?

  • An active user – You want someone that’s active on their social media networks, email or blog.
  • A user who knows what they’re doing – Pay attention to what’s being posted. Are they getting all the action on cute cat pictures but none on other messages? If so, pass. Also pay attention to if the person or brand is using the correct format for the network (tagging handles correctly etc.)
  • An engaged following – There’s no point to an influencer if their posts don’t generate actions. You wouldn’t pay for an ad in a magazine no one reads right?
  • A following that aligns with your target consumer – Influencer marketing won’t work unless your influencer’s audience is a match to your target consumer. Have a clear buyer persona in mind when looking at the influencer’s followers.
  • Content that aligns with your brand’s image/message/aesthetic – On brand, on target.

2. Have A Plan/Strategy

When working with influencers always have a plan or strategy in place. This can range from a super-simple campaign where they post about you, or something more integrated, like an account takeover or demonstration.

Also, remember to be clear with your instructions, including what deliverables will be required from the influencer.

For example, let’s say you want to drive traffic to a landing page – you’d need to include specific directions to add your URL to an Instagram Story about your product, or direct your influencer if you need them to use specific hashtags on Twitter posts etc. 

3. Repurpose Influencer Content

One of the best parts of working with influencers is the beautiful content they leave you with. Make sure you re-purpose content your influencer posts or creates for you.

Why repurpose influencer content?

  • Eases creation – Repurposing can be easier than creating new content.
  • You know it works – If you had a successful influencer marketing campaign, then you know the content that was created worked to attract your key audience. You can concentrate on optimizing other parts of your new, re-purposed campaign. Which leads me to…
  • You know who responded to it – You can tailor your campaigns more specifically towards different segments of your audience.

4. Compensate Your Influencers

You can give away a product or service, exchange features on your social media channels or blog, work out a commission or a fee.

Some influencers will already have fees worked out, but for the most part, this is something you can negotiate.

The DON’TS

1. Don’t Take Complete Content Control

You’re reaching out to the influencer for a reason – so let them have a say in your campaign.

For certain campaigns it’s okay to have a little more control over content or messaging, but who knows the audience better than the person who has built it up? If you’ve hired an influencer because their content style caught your eye, it would be ridiculous to stop them from creating something in their vision.

Instead, ask yourself, why did you want this person as part of your campaign? Was it only because they’re based in the same city as your business? Or was it because they also happen to create gorgeous content – the kind of content you want to have to represent your brand?

As noted, certain campaigns, like those that are concentrated on building buzz about a specific initiative, can be more controlled, while if you’re working with someone for their creative, stifling their process is counter-intuitive.

Simply have a conversation with the influencer about your brand guidelines, or what you expect. Include them in the creative process so both parties can get the most out of the partnership.

2. Don’t Dismiss Micro Influencers

The parameters that define a micro-influencer can fluctuate depending on who you ask. I consider an individual a micro influencer when they have a following of 5,000 – 50,000 followers, but in general, someone can be considered a micro influencer if they have fewer than 100,000 followers.

The reasons you shouldn’t dismiss mirco influencers are

  • Niche audience – Micro influencers tend to have more niche audiences and higher engagement rates
  • Greater connection – They’re usually perceived as more authentic by their audiences
  • Availability – They may be more eager to work with brands because they’re in an earlier stage of developing their presence (which could mean they’re less expensive to work with as well).

3. Don’t Expect The Wrong Return

Did you have an influencer post about your brand and then…..[crickets]?

Before you work with an influencer, make sure that they’re the right influencer for your campaign, and be clear and realistic about the results you want to drive before you work with them.

This requires a deeper understanding of what kinds of content generate what kind of engagement (for example, we notice how videos don’t drive as much interaction as photos that are tagged correctly), as well as what kind of content the influencer shares, and how the audience reacts to it.

Let’s say you hire said influencer to post about your burger – but their feed consists of mostly of lifestyle photos of themselves and fashion. You also notice the food images don’t do as well as the fashion ones. All these cues indicate that when this person posts about your burger, you can’t realistically expect throngs of followers, but you can expect a gorgeous image which you can re-use and for your business.

Make sure you do your research and ask questions. Check out the influencer, what kind of content they typically post, what their audience is reacting to. If it falls in line with your goals, the next step is to decide what you want to get out of the campaign, or the specific partnership – beautiful content? followers? traffic to a landing page?

You should also have an understanding of how the audience reacts to different types of content to understand what your business will get from the post or posts.

Setting realistic goals, simplifying communication and maintaining a level of teamwork are the best ways to avoid expecting the wrong thing from influencer posts, and extracting maximum benefit from the campaign. 

4. Don’t Miss Out On Influencer Traffic

One of the worst influencer marketing mistakes you can make is to not capitalize on influencer content and traffic.

Your account should be ready to make the most out of all the new eyes coming to check out your brand – are you giving them a reason to like your content and follow you?

As for content – are you showcasing the wonderful videos and images your influencers are creating? If not you’re missing out on opportunities to build relationships, and beautify your feed.

Instead:

  • Make the most out of traffic – Think about your feed “overall” and what these new visitors are seeing when they check you out on social media. This means your profile view on Instagram, the quality of images you share etc. Give them a reason to follow you.
  • Make the most out of content – Remember that influencer content can be re-purposed, generating even more traffic and filling in posting gaps for you. Even if someone isn’t an “influencer” take advantage of user-generated photos. People posting about your brand can provide really great quality content for your feed. Fans also like to see their content appreciated by the brands and businesses they love – giving them more incentive to create organic content and building relationships with your followers/customers.

Done right, influencer marketing can be a great way to gain more exposure for your brand or campaign on social media. 

This post was first published on Dhariana Lozano’s blog

This post was originally published on Social Media Today

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