Influencer marketing, without a doubt, has become one the most effective tools available to marketers. A wide array of brands, both big and small, are utilizing influencer marketing. It is not going to disappear in the near future. Data suggests that it will continue to grow well into 2020 and beyond.
The shift behind the growth of influencer marketing is that consumers’ trust in brands has, arguably, never been lower. Most consumers are not impacted by conventional marketing, in the same way, they were in the past. This has been replaced by an increase in trust in the opinions and suggestions from individuals on social media – influencers. Many brands still struggle to fully interpret the phrase ‘influencer marketing. This creates ineffective campaigns, low ROI and frustrated marketers.
To tackle this, we have identified 5 ways that influencer marketing is being misunderstood in order for you to implement positive changes to your influencer marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing should never be implemented if you are desperate for a quick bump in sales or other short term returns. When implementing an influencer strategy you need to examine all of your marketing activities to identify where influencer marketing can provide additional value. For example, are you going to be running Facebook Ads? Is so, talk to your influencers about repurposing their images in your Facebook Ads (you’ll save money on a photographer and consumers will respond better to the ad).
Influencer marketing is not a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy. To get the most out of your campaigns you can’t give influencers your product and assume your work is done. Influencer marketing requires you to pay attention, learn from the good and bad and expand your brand’s reach across the digital landscape.
The majority of influencers want to build long term relationships with the brands that they work with. To ensure that you maximize your influencer relationships you need to be in constant contact with each influencer. This ensures they align their content creation with your brand’s messaging and goals. It is important that you have further strategies in place to repurpose all of your influencer content. This not only improves ROI but shows the influencer that you are willing to help increase their exposure.
Regardless of the size of your budget, successful influencer marketing demands a lot of work. You need to analyze its progress and examine successful (and any unsuccessful) content and apply this information in the future. There is no faster way to waste money with influencer marketing than to sit back and relax.
More than just celebrities
Overtime, partnering with celebrities became a sure-fire method to quickly expose a brand to a broad audience. There is still a place for these endorsements, however, consumers now acknowledge the lack of authenticity in a celebrity being paid to talk about a brand they might not use in their daily lives.
Micro-influencers may have not a large audience, however, what they lack in audience size they make up for in the trusting relationship that they have with their audience. This strong relationship increases the respect that their opinions are given and their lower audience size reduces the cost to partner with them, both of which increase the ROI they provide brands.
Influencers are experts…in their niche
Influencers are experts in their chosen niche, providing their audience with insight and opinion. They are oftentimes not, however, marketing experts. Influencers are people with a great knowledge of a specialized topic or niche that has built a relationship with a community of people interested in what they have to say. Unlike industry websites or news outlets, influencers provide value to their audience and to create engaging content, not to promote every brand that offers to pay them.
As a marketer or business owner, your focus is usually on ensuring traditional marketing metrics are met. Influencers focus on building and maintaining the trust between themselves and their audience. This is a daunting change for a marketer constantly focusing on click-through rates and customer acquisition costs. By trusting an influencer to showcase your brand to their audience, you are leveraging that trust to build authentic connections with new and existing consumers of your brand.
Influencer marketing shouldn’t be a flash in the pan
It’s not uncommon to think that influencer marketing is effective with a single, fixed-term campaign. Everybody wants to find a magic strategy that makes your business wildly successful overnight. The reality is that influencer marketing, like most marketing, is most effective you implement it with a long term focus. Taking a long term approach allows you to build true and genuine connections with your influencers. Identify trends in your most successful influencers and apply them to future partnerships. You must learn about each influencer and their audience and they must learn about your brand to ensure that the partnership can flourish.
At the end of the day, it is about building real, authentic relationships with the influencers that you work with as well as their audience and the strongest relationships take time.
Many brands have taken advantage of influencer marketing and adapted their marketing strategy to include it. On the flip side, there are many brands that inherently struggle with influencer marketing. Take this information and assess where you might be losing effectiveness in your campaign. With less confusion around influencer marketing, the success of your campaigns will improve and your business will be more successful.