Last month, I helped out The Fashion Network with an article all about influencer marketing, to help Marketing Managers out there. Even though Influencer Marketing has been around for so many years now, it’s only been the past two years where it has become kinda essential to ensure your business is doing it.
If you’re a brand/business across fashion, beauty, health, travel, food, fitness, home, real estate, finance etc… and you’re not yet utilising influencers, then hopefully the advise below will benefit you. I’m an ex-marketing manager turned full-time influencer, and I’ve noticed that some brands are guilty of thinking of influencer marketing as merely ‘just another branch of marketing’. Perhaps even a short-term fad.
However, with influencer marketing becoming bigger and more successful than ever in 2018, 2019 is set to see it continue. So, if you’re not yet working with influencers as part of your marketing campaigns, it’s time to listen up.
Influencer marketing is becoming the essential way to effectively promote your brand, products and service to a large online community, not to mention potential customers. Why? Because it is now the most genuine and authentic method of marketing.
A key aspect in marketing is about contacts: whether that’s influencers, customers, suppliers and beyond. Ideally you’ll need a great CRM system in place to organise your communication, and bags of politeness and professionalism so you can communicate correctly,
Here are some best practice methods for how a Marketing Manager, Marketing Executive or Marketing Assistant can work with influencer marketing for 2019 onwards.
Identify influencers out there who fit in with your brand
Influencer marketing is different to traditional advertising, with the one significant difference being the type of relationship you need to establish with your influencers.
Their followers want to hear what the influencers wish to say – not your brand message. They are not searching for your “opportunity.” Nowadays, your target market who may sit at home on their smartphones, browsing social media, love to hear stories from their favourite influencers, bloggers and even general people.
They want to see real life photos, at-home tutorials, and the element of real life that influencers can bring. You don’t get this element with TV adverts, magazine spreads and email marketing. So get busy: start searching for influencers who fit the target customer of your brand, have their own voice, loyal followings, and generate interest online.
Seek out the traditional ‘bloggers’
Blogs were once the ‘big deal’, slightly being overtaken these days by more interactive platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Insta Stories. However, it is rumoured that traditional blogs will return just as strong, as Google will turn to praising sites with long form, informative content. This is why brands can benefit being included in blog posts from a wide range of bloggers.
For SEO purposes, bloggers can really help your brand rank higher on Google. If you work with bloggers for reviews etc, they can link out to your site from their own blogs. That way, you can work on building up backlinks to your site. This not only increases traffic to your site, but helps show Google that you’re site is reputable.
Work on influencer social media campaigns
Quite a few influencers (even those who run quality blogs) have huge followings and engagement on their social media accounts. Instagram is now becoming the biggest, with many influencers only having a presence on this platform.
Work on your next social media campaign with influencers in mind. Your aims here could include receiving positive mentions in social posts, retweets or shares of your social media posts, posts showing the influencer using your product (for instance an “unboxing video” on an influencer’s YouTube channel), creative social posts promoting your products, sharing competitions and exclusive discount codes.
Use a mix of Celebrity, Macro and Micro influencers if budget allows
Although the boundaries can be uncertain, there are three types of influencers that you could consider working with for an influencer campaign: celebrity, macro and micro.
Some believe that the bigger the better is always the case with influencer marketing, but it isn’t so. Weigh up the results you want and work out a campaign or marketing strategy that incorporates how to achieve it.
For example, using huge celebrities with followings of around 500k-4 million will see thousands of new eyes on your brand. However, it will set you back extreme budgets. It may give your following a large boost, although sometimes people like to aspire to be like the celebrities and follow what they do, but rarely engage or build up rapport or learn about the brand/product further.
However, with macro and micro influencers, these tend to have much more focused and engaged followers. They speak with their followers more and engage on their comments, meaning you will probably see a spike in sales.
Research into what will work for you and your brand best before pinpointing an influencer you wish to work with.
Spend time with your influencer outreach
Whether you wish to work with influencers for blog posts, product reviews, events, YouTube videos, competition hosting or social media work, treat them as an individual. Imagine how many emails influencers receive daily? It can be extremely high, so a generic, copy and paste outreach email will not work. You could massively risk putting the influencer off.
Show an interest in them and their work and ask how they prefer to work with brands. It’s important you both get the best out of the project, so be polite and respect their ways of working before laying down exactly what you expect from them.