We have known for quite some time that the direction of digital marketing was going to lean towards the use of influencers for their organic reach on social. If you are not utilizing influencers as part of your strategy, let me explain why you should consider working them in like, yesterday.
Note: we play both sides of this business relationship and represent both brands and creatives/influencers. So, if you’re a brand that is interested in connecting with influencers, reach out to us and maybe one of the ones we represent will fit your bill. And vice versa. Influencers, we may have a brand that you can partner with on our list.
That said, screen time is currently at an all-time high, with the average consumer spending just about 5 – FIVE – hours a day connected. Good influencers are using their platforms to share favorite products, services and strategies, as well as sales, creative outlets and transparency with their lifestyle changes. And for a brand, there is no better marketing than to see someone genuinely integrating a service or product into their real life.
Utilizing influencers can save your marketing budget by cutting up to 50% of your creative and marketing costs. Why? Because the responsibility of production shoots and professional fees are no longer on you.
But – and this is important – you have to be careful that your brand is represented as if you were in control of the creative production. Just because you have access to a high-reach influencer – someone with great ROI, does that mean you use them? This question must be answered on a case-by-case basis. You want to choose influencers that are most in line with your brand and are willing to uphold your brand integrity.
Authenticity is key for influencer marketing, and consumers love to call out inauthentic sponsorships and promotions that feel forced. You really need to do your market research and determine what type of personality will best suit your brand and your business goals. You’d ultimately be doing a disservice to your brand and end up wasting your limited resources if you don’t.
Influencers are typically labeled in tiers that refer to their follower count and reach. The tiers also determine pricing and deliverables, and many have plenty of negotiation room. There are plenty of ways to connect with influencers – it’s just a matter of clearly stating the terms and your expectations.
For example: you can’t send free product to an influencer with over 150k followers, and ask them to do a story, swipe up and static post without them coming back asking for payment. If you’re sending unsolicited free product, you may want to consider throwing in a discount code for that influencer’s followers, and encouraging an organic shoutout. Anything more than that requires a legitimate conversation prior to goods being exchanged.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is simple UGC, or user generated content. Basically, this is anything consumers create on their own terms featuring your brand. They could be a loyal customer or a friend, but the main thing here is that you did not initiate their sharing on your behalf. The featured photo for this post, for instance, was not sponsored by The Granola Bar or Senreve. However, they both liked the way I portrayed their brand, and so they shared it on their channels (after checking with me that they could!). That’s UGC.
Keep an eye out for consumers who have brand loyalty to you and have high influence over their following. There may be someone you nurture with free product in order to continue building that relationship at little to no cost.
If you have any more influencer marketing questions, or are on either side of the coin and want help getting started implementing the tactic, let us know!