As the social media influencer industry changes, so does the relationship between businesses and influencers. Here’s all you need to know about how to create effective and credible partnerships, as well as the processes needed to ensure a beneficial influencer marketing strategy.
The Role of Influencers
First things first, the perception of influencers needs to be clear. They are content creators who bring fresh perspectives to your marketing. Businesses work with them to increase their reach, drive more traffic to their channels and websites and to deliver subliminal marketing messages that ultimately lead to conversions.
Depending on where the influencer resides, there will be certain guidelines and regulations that need to be followed. You’ll notice that sponsored posts and adverts are labelled as such. Since the influencer has an audience who is genuinely interested in them and their life, they have a responsibility to those people to share meaningful content that aligns with their values. This creates bonds based on trust, which can be very powerful in their ability to influence the buying power of their audience.
Why Businesses Work with Influencers
Businesses have reported that working with influencers results in content that is on par with or better than the content the business produces. Their posts are highly valuable as they generate high engagement levels which translates into high quality leads and conversions. While a business can create its own marketing campaigns, an influencer can showcase their own creativity, making your product or service relevant to the lifestyle of that audience. They are often in the know when it comes to trends and their content has the ability to captivate and inspire thanks to the insertion of a unique personality. This can help in creating broader campaigns in a way that does not create extra work or costs for marketing teams.
Tips on Working with Influencers
Research: When deciding which influencers to work with, one needs to research people who are complementary to your brand and established within their niche. Once you approach them, they will need to consider your offering and how it fits in with their values, audience and editorial calendar. You can find them through social media, internet searches or Buzzsumo, a site that enables you to see popular posts based on certain keywords. Once you approach them, you need to communicate with them in a way that is both personal and professional. There are also agencies who can manage this process for you and have developed strong relationships with various influencers already.
Strategy: Your strategy begins with one foundational aspect: quality. High quality of content is paramount to influencer marketing being successful. The strategy you decide on needs to ultimately utilise these quality posts to increase the reach, engagement and relevance of your brand. If that is not carried out successfully or to the best ability quality-wise, it will result in a negative brand association.
Permission and ownership: It is important for businesses to take into consideration the contracts they have with influencers. They should aim to gain copyrights over the content that the influencer produces, so that it can be repurposed for your online marketing channels, such as inclusions in your email newsletters, your own social media account or even incorporated onto your website. This will ensure that the deal your strike with the influencer has a longer lifespan and can be optimised for optimal results. Finally, aim to increase your visibility and leverage as much exposure as you can by requesting Story content and including a call to action and
Management: Since your marketing team is working with a content creator, you need to let go of creative control to a certain extent. Influencers need room to create content that fits in with their aesthetic and provides a new angle to your offering. The relationship you have with the influencer should not be one that is micro-managed. The marketing team needs to monitor the content as it goes out and engage with it from your business’s account too with comments and likes.
Payments: While there are various ways of calculating rates, there should be a flat rate involved for content creators. This is because of the time and effort they put into creating the content, as well as the cost of the reach that they can provide you with. You can choose to implement different strategies of incentives, such as affiliate marketing or commission based payments. Other than monetary value, one can incorporate gifting and product samples to review.
Tracking: There are various different deals you can negotiate with influencers, however your marketing team will need to monitor and track the performance of their posts in order to determine if the partnership is yielding results. Providing feedback is a step often missed, but is important for all parties involved.
Working with influencers can be highly beneficial to your business. By understanding how the industry is evolving and ensuring that your relations with them are sound, these relationships can help your business grow.
Keen to develop your influencer marketing strategy?
We at Nexa can take care of it for you, from putting you in touch with top influencers to managing your social media marketing campaigns. Book a session with us to get started.