If you’ve not yet started using influencer marketing to promote your brand or product, or the brands you work with, then we appreciate that it can seem a big step.
We’re here to make that step as easy and successful as possible and so we’ve collected together some of the questions we often get asked in the early days. If there’s something we’ve missed then just ping us an email; we’ll be happy to help you get started whether it’s using the Influence Network platform or approaching influencers on your own.
How easy is it to get started with a first influencer marketing campaign? What’s the typical commitment?
If you’re working with us then we offer the option of a one-off trial campaign, so you can see if influencer marketing is for you and what results you could get, with the security and certainty of one single fixed fee.
If you’re going to carry out your campaign yourself then why not just work with one influencer and agree to a set number of posts for a set fee? You can negotiate the rate and the types of posts you want once you’ve found your influencer by searching through common hashtags associated with your brand. Arrange your set posts and sit back and analyse the results. Even if your self-managed campaign doesn’t achieve the results you wanted, make sure you’re measuring the important metrics and understanding where things didn’t do so well - this way there are no failures, only learning experiences.
In either case you’ll have only spent a relatively limited amount of your marketing budget and you’ll have some solid metrics to assess the success of influencer marketing for your brand. As with everything else within marketing it’s much easier to judge success when you have some solid numbers, rather than basing decisions on assumptions.
I want to get my brand into influencer marketing, but there are concerns around protecting the brand once we hand over control to an influencer. How can we mitigate those?
This is a common and understandable concern and we do several things to protect your brand.
Firstly, if you’re approaching influencers directly, then make sure your brief is really detailed. Most problems with unsuitable posts start with the brief, so make sure your influencer understands what’s required and how your brand normally communicates with the world. Make sure it’s clear if there are parts of the brief that are non-negotiable and equally where some creative license can be applied - that is after all why you’re working with content creators, who are increasingly becoming part of brand’s creative departments!
If you’re working with us then our platform adds a few more layers of security. Firstly, our influencers upload their posts to our platform first, allowing us to check them against the brief. If the posts are rejected the influencer comes up with something new. If they’re accepted then the influencer can post to their accounts.
We also handle briefing and give our influencers a dedicated campaign manager, so they can always ask questions via the platform if they’re unsure of the requirements.
How can I tell if my first attempt at influencer marketing is working?
There are plenty of options for measuring influencer marketing, some of which we covered in our post on how to measure influencer marketing.
We would primarily suggest that you measure on engagement, rather than reach. Engagement indicates that the influencers you use have a really close connection to their followers. A connection such as this tends to be more successful at swaying influence than a content creator with a larger reach, but lower engagement.
We specifically work with influencers who have high engagement scores and we pay influencers on a sliding scale relating to their engagement and follower levels.
When you’ve run your trial campaign take a look at the normal metrics such as engagement but importantly, also look for those signals of intent displayed by the audience to get an indication of whether your influencers have influenced those who have seen your posts.
What’s the best way to work with influencers? Should I just send them a product and pay a fee for them to create posts about it?
This is the standard way to work with influencers, yes, but brands who have been working with influencers for some time are coming up with increasingly creative ways to inspire the influencers they work with.
Think of it this way: when you work with influencers, you’re not just working with them for their audience, you’re also working with them because of their creative skills, which is likely how they’ve built up their audience in the first place. If you have an in-house creative team then the best way to work with them is often to give them the inspiration and let them create, rather than specifying the exact output.
The brands we work with that have more experience with influencers tend to get to this point relatively quickly. They might set their influencers a theme which links to a campaign they’re running, say ‘Italian food’, for example, and then the influencer runs with the creative.
In the COVID-19 landscape we’ve also seen brands using influencers in really interesting ways, such as to encourage shoppers back into shops, for example. When you start to think creatively, the options really are unlimited. Influencers present an extremely flexible channel, with plenty of options to achieve the best outcomes.
What about if my audience just isn’t out there in this space? How do I know that influencer marketing is the channel for me?
Influencer marketing takes in the whole spectrum of users who are on social media, so if even a portion of your audience uses social media then there are influencers out there who can reach them.
The older generations may typically not be considered as core social media users, but actually around 48% of baby boomers (56-74 years old) have a social media profile. Whatever their interests, there will be accounts that this demographic follow and can therefore influence their buying behaviour.
What should I do to get started?
Perhaps a trial campaign? Or if you just want a bit of advice at this stage, drop me a line and I’d be delighted to help out.
Get in touch on INFO@INFLUENCE.NETWORK or 0203 918 8582.
Written by Alec Harden-Henry
Commercial Director, Influence Network