Influencer Marketing is continuing to evolve and mature as a service, and the industry is witnessing unprecedented growth. It is reported that 75% of marketers are using Influencer Marketing as part of their marketing mix, and selecting the best influencer marketing agency can be essential in elevating your business’ brand awareness to new heights.
So why is Influencer Marketing so popular? It’s due to one universal truth…
People trust people before brands.
It’s the reason why Nike sells shoes through Lebron James, why Lincoln sells cars through Matthew McConaughey, and why Cover Girl sells makeup through Ellen Degeneres.
Humans are creatures of habit that follow the path of least resistance. At a subconscious level, we all desire a sense of belonging and acceptance, and it makes perfect sense because humans are social beings.
As the Dalai Lama so eloquently states (yes, I’m quoting the Dalai Lama in an Influencer Marketing blog – random, I agree)… “We come into the world as the result of others actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others activities.”
So when someone that you admire tells you that a product or service is great, you’ll tend to believe them. And you’ll probably want what they have, too.
So, if we understand the value of Influencer marketing as being social proof, authentic, and trustworthy, the logical question is this…
How do you run a successful Influencer Marketing campaign? The short answer is that you need to find the right Influencer, you need to select the right social platform, and the content needs to be natural to both the Influencer, and the brand. When this happens, the campaign becomes the Trojan Horse of advertising – it doesn’t feel like advertising at all. But this is easier said than done!
With that in mind, here are 5 questions to ask your Influencer Marketing company before committing to a campaign:
1) Has the Influencer worked with any competing brands?
You know what’s embarrassing? Using an Influencer that has worked with your competition. It’s not a good look.
Before selecting Influencers for a given campaign, it’s important to understand who they’ve worked with. This is also important for brand safety. If your brand stands for being wholesome and inclusive, you’ll want to make sure the Influencer’s content reflects what you stand for – i.e nothing political, sexual, violent, etc.
2) How do you select your Influencers?
It’s important to understand the criteria that the Influencer Marketing company is using to select their candidates.
Are they selecting Influencers that fit the profile of being a brand ambassador?
Maybe they make selections based on the Influencers following, and expected reach?
Is the selection based on the engagement level generated by the Influencers community?
Or perhaps the company selects Influencers that are reliable with a strong track record of success.
While all of these items are important, I believe there’s one item that largely goes unnoticed – and it’s incredibly important (in my view, anyways)…
3) What do you know about the Influencers community?
Most people romanticize the Influencer – i.e “This person is the perfect fit! They are the exact type of person we are looking to connect with.”
While that may be true, I would argue that it’s more important to understand the community of the Influencer. Here’s why…
Let’s say you are a cosmetics brand that is looking to connect with women aged 18 – 24 in Canada, and the goal of the campaign is to build awareness around a new product line – and ultimately sell more product.
A large percentage of companies will select a female Influencer between the age of 18 – 24 that lives in Canada, and then call it a day. But what if the majority of the Influencers followers live in the United States? What if the majority of her followers are male? What if the majority of her followers are older than 24?
The thoughtful approach is to understand the community of each Influencer, and to make sure it lines up with the target market and goals of the brand.
Repeat after me… Don’t romanticize the Influencer, romanticize their community.
If your Influencer Marketing company isn’t uncovering community demographics, you should ask some tough questions.
4) How will you report on success?
The beauty of Influencer Marketing is the diversity of options. It’s a service that can be used to build awareness, generate engagement, sell tickets, grow event attendance, sell product, rally communities, and much more.
So the first step is to define the goal of the campaign. What are we actually trying to accomplish?
Based on a defined vision, the Influencer Marketing company should be able to implement a foundation of reporting that will provide you with useful insights at each step of the campaign. Then you can use these insights and learnings to guide future campaigns.
5) Why are you the right company to execute this Influencer campaign?
Seems pretty fundamental, but it’s a good question to ask!
If you are speaking with the right company, they will be able to highlight their value in a variety of areas:
- They should have a diverse roster of Influencers to select from
- They should provide Influencer vetting to ensure the right individuals are selected
- They should review the communities of the Influencers being offered / suggested
- They should have researched your business, and formulated a plan to complement your other digital efforts.
- They should be able to clearly describe their content production process, and how much involvement will be required from the brand.
- They understand the goals of the campaign, and they are putting the proper tracking mechanisms in place.
- Great companies are also able to flag potential issues related to the landing environment – i.e if we’re driving traffic to a specific page, how do we maximize the rate of conversion?
- They should be able to explain how conversion will be tracked across the customer journey
- They should have a social deployment and amplification strategy to maximize reach for the best performing content.
- Their social advertising strategy should include some combination of conquesting, look-a-like audiences, and leveraging existing email CSV files.
There’s lots to consider! It’s important to do your research and make sure you are asking the right questions – and receiving the right answers 🙂