This year I’m seeing many brand executives/owners who have the budget* to start an Influencer Marketing campaign — and yet they hesitate to start.
*According to OnBrand Magazine, 79% of marketing executives said they are committed to investing in Influencer Marketing this year.
There are Good Reasons for Brand Hesitation
A. Dishonesty in the industry: It is undeniable that there are some “Influencers” who have fake followers. Brand executives wonder how they can know whether the followers the Influencer claims to have are real or fake.
B. ROI: Executives are not clear EXACTLY how the Influencer will bring results, and how they can demonstrate those results. Traditional KPIs just don’t show them what they need and they mistakenly get hung up on KPIs such as click-through that don’t capture the value.
C. Unfamiliarity: Influencer Marketing is too new, so it might seem prudent to take a “wait and see” approach.
And that’s all understandable. After all, you are just a human being. This is all very new and what if your investment is executed in a wrong (and embarrassing, or damaging) way?
But the upside is too great to avoid jumping in because of these concerns. It is clear by now that real Influencers bring trust and interest from the communities they have built. It is clear that Influencers can …influence. Innovative marketers need to move out of their comfort zones (and not for the first time). Here are some ideas that will make you more at ease with and smarter about investing in Influencer Marketing.
It is clear by now that real #Influencers bring trust and interest from the communities they have built. It is clear that Influencers can …influence.
Close your eyes and visualize: picture yourself having searched** and found wonderful, happy, intriguing, niche communities on social media that are very very very specific to your brand/product, led by someone creative and dynamic (i.e. an Influencer). These community leaders have amazingly strong relationships with their followers. The quality of the discussions that happen on their feeds is superb. They are trusted (by their community), they are interesting (their followers spend minutes, not seconds on what they post), inspiring, and their followers LISTEN to them. In short, they are authorities, they are the Word-of-Mouth soldiers. And — if they are inspired by what you do, they can apply all of that to your brand. What can go wrong?
Close your eyes and visualize: picture yourself having searched and found wonderful, happy, intriguing, niche communities on #SocialMedia… #InfluencerMarketing
Lots can go wrong. But read on — you can prevent most of it by avoiding common mistakes.
**Feel free to use my “Chase The Hashtag” technique.
Make Sure They Love your Brand.
It’s simple. Don’t hire someone who is not in love with your product or brand, because it will show and their content will not be believable. But if the Influencer you work with IS in love with what you do he/she* will promote it in a believable way and the trust they’ve built with their community will pass through to your brand. Beautiful!
*A human or a dog or a goat.
Focus on Content.
Influencers are known for creating* amazing content. No matter how great your current content person/team, after a while – as we’ve all witnessed – the content created become repetitive, homogeneous and – yes – we can spell it out: BORING. If you play your cards right — and by that I mean giving the Influencers you work with the freedom to create — you’ll acquire amazing content for you to reuse and re-purpose all year long, anytime anywhere, and that – my friends – is a huge value in and of itself.
*That’s why some call them “Creators”
Sign a Contract.
Some people think it is excessive to sign a contract for a short, informal relationship. That’s a mistake. The contract is the tool you should be using to clarify everything: your right to reuse the content, the exact schedule of posts, whether posts will be preserved or deleted, your right to audit and more. To get a good idea of what you should be including, get my Brand-Influencer Contract template here:
Go for It. (But wait two weeks).
Yes, be bold. Once you’ve identified a strong Influencer who is a good fit for your brand — go for it.
But before you do — WAIT 2 Weeks. Waiting can be hard, but its an important step you can take to prevent failure or mistakes. That’s right –even if you think you’ve found the perfect Influencer, hold your horses!! You’ve arrived at the watch and wait stage… Follow the potential Influencers you’ve identified for a couple of weeks. See what they post and how they engage with their followers, see the vibe, and look out for red flags. Once you’re sure, then, and only then, hire them.
Even if you think you’ve found the perfect Influencer, hold your horses for two weeks!! #InfluencerMarketing “
SMI* = Social Media Influencers