Influencer marketing can be scary to try out for the first time. There are so many things to think about, from budgets to choosing the right people, to making sure you show off your brand identity. But don’t panic! Our full service marketing agency is revealing some need-to-know secrets to give your strategy a boost. Read on to discover 14 influencer marketing do’s and don’ts that you can easily implement today.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing can change the game for your overall brand strategy by collaborating with creators to promote your product or service. Influencers are well-known people within a community who literally have the power to influence their followers (shocking, we know).
How influencer marketing looks for you will be different depending on your size, audience, objectives, brand and budget, but the core principles remain the same. Large-scale projects could involve a full digital campaign, including a limited-time collection, in-person experience, out-of-home marketing activity and more. Or, many brands take advantage of small-scale partnerships which exist solely on social media. Our full service marketing agency recommends starting out small-scale to build your confidence, learn from your mistakes and work your way up to larger-scale partnerships.
The smaller the influencer, the more of their audience are likely to be engaged. There are different types of influencers you can work with, but you should always consider their engagement rates. Nano influencers have less than 10,000 followers, micro influencers have between 10-50k followers, mid-tier influencers have between 50k-500k followers, macro influencers have 500k-one million followers. Anyone above one million followers would be classed as more of a celebrity, rather than an influencer.
How effective is influencer marketing?
When done correctly, influencer marketing can generate amazing return on investment (ROI) and help a brand achieve its goals much faster. With a proper strategy and research, influencer marketing can make a real difference to your sales. Scroll down to read our marketing agency’s tips to maximise your success by building long-term relationships with influencers and bring your sales that extra sauce!
What is the role of influencer marketing?
- Reach a new and engaged audience
- Build brand awareness
- Increase sales and incentivise return customers
- Build trust
- Showcase your brand personality
Influencer Marketing Do’s And Don’ts
DON’T speak to everybody
The same as with any other marketing campaign, you can’t speak to everybody. Many people have a misconception that influencers will open their brand to lots of new people who will be automatically interested. Whilst we wish that was true, unfortunately, influencer marketing needs to be just as targeted as your other marketing methods if you want it to achieve your objectives.
DO define your audience
Who are you speaking to? Influencer marketing can expose your brand to a new group of people, but you need to know who that is and why. Do research as you would with any other campaign to define your current and potential audience. Choose an influencer who is an active member with a large sphere of influence within that audience or community.
DON’T make decisions without a purpose
You wouldn’t approach any other marketing campaign without a purpose, so don’t do it with influencers. When making any decision, you should always consider why you’re doing it, and what value it adds. This includes everything from choosing which influencers to use, to deliverables, to deadlines, to what metrics you will report on.
DO set goals and objectives
You need to define what you want the campaign to achieve and why. Once you’ve decided this, then you will be able to set goals and objectives to align with this. Our marketing agency recommends always setting SMART objectives, which will help you better define and track your goals. Ensure all activity aligns with achieving these to maximise the return on investment.
DON’T choose influencers based on vanity metrics
It can be so tempting to choose an influencer with millions of followers, but this can backfire if it’s not the right fit for you. Larger follower amounts normally mean less of an engaged audience. People tend to jump on the bandwagon and follow people who have lots of followers already, just because they can see they’re popular. They’ll still have an interest in the page, but it will be much more vague. This leads to an audience that is much more diverse and broad, rather than a specific community.
DO look at the metrics that matter
After you’ve defined your audience and objectives, you’ll be able to determine the metrics that matter to your campaign. As a general rule, our Social Strategist, Phoebe, says, “Look at the engagement that the influencer is getting, both the engagement rate and the type of engagement, for example, comments or saves. You want to make sure the influencer is valued in the community”. Our full service marketing agency recommends around a 6% engagement rate for nano influencers, and no less than 3% for micro influencers. You can gradually reduce this as followers increase. Remember, 1% of one million followers is still 10,000. We also advise looking at past partnership performance, and the type of content the influencer normally posts.
DON’T be afraid to negotiate
If an influencer’s rates are a little outside your budget, it’s important to be flexible. Let them know your budget, and ask what they can make work within it. You could reduce the deliverables or offer them future opportunities. Remember, free products and services add value.
DO be realistic and budget correctly
Whichever way you look at it, influencers add value to your brand. An influencer can create content that you can’t, or can give you access to an engaged audience you otherwise might struggle to reach. This service does deserve proper compensation. Before approaching an influencer marketing campaign, consider your budget and let that dictate the number of creators and their audience sizes.
DON’T approach influencer marketing as a transaction
It can be easy to forget that at the end of the day, you, the influencer and their management team are just people doing their jobs. Although money will be exchanged and you’ll both set expectations, don’t approach it as only a transaction. Influencer marketing is all about creating personal connections with people, and it will be much more successful if you build a meaningful, authentic connection with the creator. The most successful influencer campaigns come from content that is driven by emotion. People want to feel included, part of a community, and they don’t like being sold to or made to feel that their only value to a brand is making a purchase.
DO build relationships and partnerships
Not every piece of influencer marketing activity will be a long-term partnership, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it like one. People are much more inclined to produce their best work for you if you build a genuine connection. They might even go above and beyond the brief, creating additional deliverables for free! You are likely to work with them again in the future, so it’s important to treat them with respect and offer a positive experience.
DON’T rely on influencers or management to read the brief in full
While some influencers and their management will read every detail of the brief, you’ll find that some of them simply skim-read it. This means they can miss key information that’s important to your campaign, including mandatory requirements and deliverables.
DO re-state the key information in your communications
By re-stating the most important information from the brief in your communications with influencers, you can increase the chance they read it in full. It’s a good idea to re-send the key information in the outreach email, and before the content is created and posted.
DON’T be afraid to give up some control
Influencer marketing requires a lot of flexibility on your behalf. Influencers know what works best for their audience and brand. Giving them too many specific, immovable requirements can appear fake and will impact the campaign’s performance. Giving an influencer the freedom to suggest how they bring the campaign to life produces content that feels authentic to them, and their audience. Their content needs to come from the heart, and match their personal brand, in order to work.
DO let them have creative freedom
The influencer is the expert on their audience, and knows what makes their followers tick. You want the influencer to be excited about the content they are creating, because that’s what makes the content come alive – it’s how you get content that really makes people stop and pay attention.
Your influencer can originate ideas that are not only curated for their audience, but also reflect the campaign goals and brand’s ethos. Giving an influencer more creative freedom leads to more authentic content which feels less like an ad and more like advice. Let’s face it, this is the reason people follow influencers – to be influenced!
What to avoid in influencer marketing?
There are lots of things to avoid in influencer marketing, but the most important is to avoid doing anything without a strategy. Read through our do’s and don’ts to make sure you don’t make any rookie mistakes!
What are the mistakes in influencer marketing?
If you’ve read our don’ts above, you’ll now be an expert in what not to do in influencer marketing. Check out our blog, Influencer Marketing Fails (And How To Fix Them) to see where other brands have made some high-profile influencer marketing mistakes.
Curious about the positive effects that influencer marketing could have on your business? Get in touch with our friendly team at Punch Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Leeds. Our Head of Marketing and PR, Jess, would be happy to chat to you at [email protected].