Working with influencers can be a great way to improve visibility for your brand and open your business up to the possibility of creating partnerships with new businesses and gaining more customers.
There are all kinds of guidelines when it comes to working with influencers, and it’s important to go into an influencer partnership with your eyes wide open and a clear sense of perspective when it comes to your expected return on investment.
Working with influencers can be hard work—it’s best to engage with an agency if you can, so as to manage the relationship and ensure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to your marketing activities.
So, before you start trying to figure out how to find an influencer agency in Los Angeles or your own locale, here are seven points you should consider in order to make sure your influencer partnership goes off without a hitch.
There are all kinds of different influencers out there, but it is critical that you find the right influencer and the right channel to suit your brand.
For example, if your business is in plumbing it probably wouldn’t make much sense to go with a make-up influencer on Instagram, because they are unlikely to be marketing towards your target audience.
If your brand is in the hotel business, for example, engaging with an influencer in the travel sector who uses both Instagram and YouTube may be a great option to get your business out in front of new people.
Were you thinking that you would need to createlots of new ads and send them over to your influencer? If so then you would be mistaken!
For the most part, the influencers themselves will be creating the content. The reasons for this are quite simple: they understand what content resonates well with their audience, and a deviation from their standard content will ringalarm bells with their audience.
While this sounds like a great idea, you must make sure that you are happy with the content they are creating if they are going to be discussing your brand.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released guidelines on brands working with influencers, and the like.
There is a need for brands and influencers to be more transparent so that audiences understand that the influencer was paid to give their opinion on a product or a service.
You must ensure that the influencer you work with will adhere to these transparency guidelines.
Having the influencer create content that advertises your brand is great, but you do need to make sure that you see results from this content in order to benchmark it against your traditional advertising.
You will be able to track your own website hits and enquiries, but most influencers are also experts at interpreting their own data and analytics, and you will need to see this, too.
If you’re not sure what kind of data will be important, then work with your influencer agency to make sure that you are fully briefed on what you can expect to gain from working with an influencer, and what your chosen influencer is likely to share with you.
Sometimes it’s not all about working with the influencer who has the biggest following, but it’s about working with an influencer who has the right following and is able to market your product in a way that is cost-effective for you.
Keeping the content that your influencer creates genuine—for both them and you—will be a challenge.
When it comes down to it, the content that they are creating for you is another advert, but to the influencer’s audience, it must feel less like an advert and more like content that is interesting and worthwhile to them.
Audiences can spot a poorly masked advert quite quickly, and will soon lose trust in both the influencer and in your product.
An influencer’s relationship with a business is just that—a business relationship. All business relationships need to be nurtured, and your influencer relationship is no different.
In order to get the best out of your influencers you need to be sure that they understand your product and hopefully believe in it, as this will allow them to speak more openly and from a position of understanding to their audience—rather than just regurgitating the same script that every other influencer has used when discussing your product.
For a great example of this check out any photography YouTube channel that has a big following. It’s likely that they will have at least one or two videos sponsored by a specific web company, and most of the YouTubers who are sponsored by this company use exactly the same script for the advert, which makes it feel very disingenuous.
There are some channels that are sponsored by specific web companies that go off-script and create adverts in their own style, and these are much better and more trustworthy.
When you first start out working with influencers, it’s important to consider how many influencers you will be working with and what the frequency of the content will be.
Nothing looks more suspicious to audiences than three or four of their favorite influencers suddenly beginning to talk about a product that they had previously never mentioned.This kind of poor planning means that your business will be seen in a bad light, because audiences will assume you are untrustworthy.
When working with an influencer it’s critical that you find people who would genuinely be interested in your brand, and that they market your product in a way that is authentic to them and their audience.
If you want to work with multiple influencers, it may be worth you scheduling out your influencing communication so that you are not flooding the same audience with the same marketing message over and over again.