5 Influencer Marketing Do’s and Don’ts
With social media giving rise to a new crop of celebrities, influencer marketing has been the hot ticket that every brand wants to punch. Why? Because it works! Just take a look at these stats:
22% of customers are acquired through influencer marketing, making it the fastest-growing and one of the most effective customer acquisition methods available for online retailers. And influencer marketing generates higher quality leads–you’ll see why in a bit.
A Nielsen study reports that 92% of people say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations over ads.
2.3 billion people use social media worldwide with Americans reporting an average of 1.7 hours spent on social media every day.
It’s all about relationships.
Brands get the benefit of tapping into a captive and engaged audience, one where trust is inherent and recommendations actually have meaning (hence the higher customer acquisition).
People are constantly plugged in and influencers are not only meeting customers where they already are but actually providing them with a destination. And now more and more marketing budgets are being directed that way for activations, launch events, product reviews, and new releases.
Adweek reported that 59% of brands are looking to increase their influencer marketing budget specifically this year, moving away from traditional marketing to more social media related initiatives.
In the new connection economy, brands win with the right partnerships and influencer marketing is playing an increasingly larger role.
But there are some influencer marketing do’s and don’ts, things that create win-wins for the brand and influencer, and others that will ground the plan before it has a hope of an Instagram post or YouTube video.
1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Don’t just pick a name out of a hat. Do your best to find the best fit–actually read what they post, find out what brands they’ve worked with before, do some digging. The influencer should have something in common with your target consumer, something that links them and would make a recommendation much more of a no-brainer than a marketing ploy.
2. MAKE THE OFFER A GOOD ONE
Don’t just email then with a random product selection or standard compensation fee. Do look for a compelling incentive. Some influencers may share your product because it’s aligned with their editorial calendar or travel schedule. Others may have representation that would coordinate a content project, event appearance or video campaign. The key is to always look for a way where you both win, your brand gets the exposure and the influencer gets an exclusive opportunity to really make their mark.
3. FOLLOW UP
Don’t give up after one try. Do find a creative way to get their attention. Imagine how many emails you get every day. Then multiply it. Sought-after influencers in any category likely have a full inbox. If they don’t reply on the first email, send another. Test some subject lines, make it provocative or current with pop culture or tug on some heart strings. Don’t let a non-click stop you from a game changing partnership.
4. CROSS PROMOTION
Don’t be stingy. Do add to the marketing budget. If they say yes (remember point 2?), then go full throttle. Of course you want them to share the news with their fan base but you should do your part as well. Make them feel extra special by actively pushing the content to the network you already have or running ads to a similar target audience. The farther it goes, the better it will be for everyone involved.
5. LONG TERM OPPORTUNITIES
Don’t lose momentum. Do look for logical extensions. You can create magic but can you sustain it? More often than not, influencers would prefer longevity over short stints. That gives them a chance to build with a brand, gather data for case studies and be more credible to their audience. After all, who would trust a different recommendation every ten seconds? Entreat and reward them for loyalty by offering a longer-term engagement (monthly, quarterly) or even more in-depth collaboration like creating an exclusive product.