5 Influencer Marketing Best Practices to Know
Influencer marketing has been a buzzword in the industry for years, but a lot has changed. From shifts in organic algorithms to new platforms and fake followers, there is a lot to know when it comes to keeping up with influencer trends. If your brand is considering this tactic in your marketing mix or have tried it with limited success, below are five key points you need to know on how to reach your brand goals within the evolving industry.
5 Influencer Marketing Best Practices
1. Select the right partner
Authenticity is still crucial. This has not changed. However, the number of accounts with fake followers has. Make sure to use a tool that can determine the authenticity of a person’s following. You can also determine the demographic and geographic location of the influencer’s audience to ensure it aligns with your brand.
After you know their influence is authentic, you need to also ensure their content is authentic and will resonate with their audience. You want to nurture the content direction not dictate it. Remember you are partnering with this person because of their engaged following, and they know what content will work on their page and what won’t. Give them brand guidelines and general direction, then let them come up with the concept. This will guarantee it fits within their style and doesn’t appear out of place in their feed, which is often the bottom-performing content on a page.
2. Embrace emerging platforms
Your influencer partner should be promoting content on their most active platforms. This may differ from the platforms your brand is most active on and that’s okay. If your brand hasn’t jumped on a new platform yet, but your target audience is there, influencer partnerships are a great way to maintain a presence on the platform without a heavy, ongoing investment from the brand.
3. Avoid the hidden fees
Influencer fees continue to rise, and they are less likely to promote a product for trade-only (this can still happen in some cases). When negotiating influencer rates, make sure the ask aligns with the campaign objectives, so you stay within your budget. Are you whitelisting the content? Do you need the influencer to be exclusive to your product or category? These are all deal points that can make a big difference in price and it's important to list everything up front, so you’re not surprised when something isn’t included in your quoted fee.
4. Reserve a promotional budget to maximize exposure
With “pay to play” algorithms, it can be difficult to guarantee your target audience is exposed to your message. Reserving promotional funds can help to amplify the content, if needed. Putting a paid budget behind your influencer content can also be a great way to test and optimize what message resonates best with your target audience and is most efficient at achieving your goals.
5. Measure success based on program KPIs
Influencer campaigns are traditionally a brand awareness tactic; however, success metrics can go beyond impressions and reach. If you have a conversion objective, you can measure sales attributed directly from your influencer partner.
When developing a campaign with a conversion metric, it’s important to have the right tools in place to handle the commission payment and tax forms directly with an influencer. It’s equally important to ensure you’re partnering with someone who thinks of themselves as an ambassador for the brand and is eager to share in the success of the program.
With so many people claiming to be influencers on social media, it can be difficult to identify the right partner and create a program that will achieve your marketing goals. Partnering with an agency that has relationships already established with influencers will make the investment into influencer marketing a lot smoother.
Agencies, like Hoffman York, work with a variety of influencers across multiple industries and can negotiate contract terms and deal points on the brand’s behalf. They also have the right tools in place to evaluate influencer partners strategically based on the marketing goals set forth. Influencer marketing is also scalable so regardless of your budget, an agency can find a solution that will work for you.