Things You Need to Know about Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a hot-shot way of promoting your products. And it is a very popular means to boost your social media marketing. It is a pocket-friendly and effective way of communicating with your target audience, without being pushy.
People who have knowledge and opinions about a certain niche begin to voice it out and as people start following them, they become influencers. They have a following that trusts their inputs 49% of consumers depend on Influencer Recommendations, no jokes) on products and services, discover new brands, and get influenced to buy a certain product.
Cold truths to Influencer Marketing
While this all sounds bright and summery, there are cold truths to influencer marketing, which they won’t tell you. But we will.
1. You can’t crack deals/collabs overnight, it takes time!
Working in collaboration with an influencer is just like a business deal. 71% of Marketers Believe Influencer Partnerships are Good for Business. Thus implied, it needs time and communication.
When you choose an influencer for your product/brand, it takes time to get in touch with them first. Negotiating the terms and conditions, setting goals and expectations from both parties, shipment of product, if required, and understanding the type of content that is relevant to the influencer has to be planned out in advance, with buffer time to cover up mishaps.
Remember the Fyre Festival fail of 2017? It is considered as one of the biggest Influencer marketing fails, as over 400 celebrity influencers endorsed a music festival that sold its tickets at an average of $12,000 and then had visitors stranded on the Exuma island with no facilities.
The event was oversold and the organizers are absolutely underprepared for the festival. Take your time, set your goals, and PLAN IN ADVANCE. And not end up like Billy McFarland.
2. Every influencer doesn’t need monetary benefit, there can be other benefits too!
Yes. It might come as a shock to you, but not every influencer needs a monetary benefit out of a collaboration. Of course, it depends solely on the influencer and the brand they are working with, but barter influencer marketing is a thing.
Influencers can make a deal where they will promote your product/service in return for using it or having a chance to use it for free. The barter collaborations usually work out with micro-influencers and the intricacies of the deal depend on the engagement and followers of the influencer.
For example, if you are a fine dining restaurant wanting to increase your social media presence, you can work with food blogs/vlogs or critics. Consider an influencer who has less than 5k followers, maybe a full-course meal at the restaurant can be exchanged in return for a post about the brand.
Maybe an influencer with over 10k followers can be given a voucher or a mix of perks and cash. Depending on the influencer you choose, monetary and non-monetary benefits can be negotiated.
3. Influencers can delete posts featuring your product/service
Influencers can delete the sponsored content they created while collaborating with you after some time to clear their accounts of previous work done with a brand. The activity might catch you off guard, but it is a harsh truth of the influencer marketing world. But there are ways to tackle this as well.
For example, an influencer that you have collaborated with has deleted the post a couple of weeks after initially posting it. You’d want it on their profile as a reference and for the new followers, so you can address it in the contract you sign with them.
Deleting a sponsored content post would legally oblige them to repost it. Or create something else with the brand to post as soon as possible. Anyway, if you are not uploading a video on YouTube, an influencer deleting a brand post after a few weeks should not matter, because its visibility stays at its peak during the first week only.
4. You need to invest significant time to create an impactful influencer marketing program
The beauty of influencer marketing is that it works like a coin toss sometimes, and a well-oiled machine sometimes. And it is up to your decisions to make it work in either of these ways. Every decision that you take during an influencer collaboration is going to determine how it turns out.
You understand and make the right call, everything will fall into place, and if not, the entire plan can fall flat.
The very first step is crucial – choosing the right influencer. Take time off your schedule every week to create an influencer marketing strategy. Look into influencers you can work with, the ones who are relevant to your brand and the ones who post about your brand.
Reach out to them, design email templates, think about the content and build up a pipeline of people who can help you with this kind of marketing. It’s not a one-man one-night job, it’s a process.
5. There can be morality conflicts
Logan Paul. Laura Lee. Terry McEvoy. The list is endless. Influencers cause controversies every day due to a variety of reasons. Insensitivity, unauthentic content, indifference to the brand, personal activities, etc. They are humans and make mistakes like the rest of us, but there are some who are not just worth investing in because of the moral conflict they bring along.
Steer clear of influencers who can be engaged in a morality issue. Many collabs dropped out Logan Paul after his insensitivity towards a suicide victim. Laura Lee lost her credibility after racist comments from her account resurfaced.
Terry McEvoy’s fan base was impacted after she rigged an Instagram competition for Tower Jewellers. There have been various instances after influencers were dropped out of collabs if they were associated with harassment or jail stints. Point being – RESEARCH YOUR INFLUENCER PROPERLY.
How to locate your perfect influencer?
Locating the perfect influencer is like selecting the right actor for your script. You already know what you want them to be like; their engagement, their followers, the type of content, their niche, etc. and now you just have to find them.
Undoubtedly, social media is the best place to look for influencers; they are the most active there. Look for people who may have already mentioned your brand, or your products and services.
If they have a significant social media following, they can become the new face of your social media. If they are using hashtags, receive significant engagement, and talk about relevant topics; it means they are established, and working with them will be easier.
For example, many beauty and makeup influencers create custom looks with the help of beauty products and tag the brand they use. If an influencer tags you regularly, you could start a conversation by liking or commenting on their post and take the conversation from there. Make sure you communicate openly and well with your influencers before signing any kind of contract.
Research everything about them and find out if they will suit your brand. Make a list of criteria you want them to fulfill, and a list of potential damages they can cause. Address all of this in your contract before finalizing the collaboration.
Influencer marketing is a game of trust, communication, and research. You need to find your influencer, communicate with them effectively; set your goals and expectations, talk about the mutual benefits and the type of content, research detail on obligations and moral issues, and then finally trust them to create some content for your brand.
You cannot gain the respect of their audience if you do not trust the influencer.
If you do not communicate well, well, it will end up on the list of epic influencer marketing fails. If you do not research enough and pick the right influencer, the ultimate result of the campaign will be only brand awareness and not revenue.
Only an influencer who resonates with the brand will be able to convert. Sell your value and hence your brand.
But if you still don’t understand how to proceed, you must seek guidance from expert B2B sales and marketing consulting firms.
Do you also wish to create a highly-convertible influencer marketing strategy? Contact us today and we will take it up from there!