Falling in love with influencers
With 92% of people believing in word of mouth and 80% of consumers admitting to buying something because of an influencer recommendation, it’s become apparent that if you’re not collaborating with some of social media’s biggest names as part of your marketing plans then you may need to rethink your strategy. Our new PR Account Director, Ruth Green shares her experience of working with influencers and offers some useful tips.
Back in the day when forums were a thing I was working with The Camping and Caravanning Club. People wanted a place to talk, share opinions and to sometimes rant about their holiday and camping choices. Those people flocked to the first real two-way social media outlet to express their opinions, share their experiences and often vocalise their challenges and triumphs.
And why not?
Forums gave us the first opportunity to really talk with like-minded people that shared a passion and aren’t your auntie Mabel. It instantly transformed the way in which we consumed and swapped information, after all, if we’re told by a website that St Ives has the best light in the UK, it’s one thing but if we hear it from a forum where everyone can share their first-hand knowledge and experiences, we listen.
I learnt early on that there were always people with louder opinions that people trusted and respected - the original influencers and disruptors.
Fast forward 15 years and we now have a world filled with almost 5 billion social media users - all jostling to be seen and heard.
From Youtube, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat to Twitter and Facebook, there are multitudes of platforms to choose from and content creators that showcase their passions to a loyal following. They have become trustworthy experts in their fields and we can’t get enough of them.
In fact, according to YouGov, 60% of millennials are more likely to take advice from YouTube influencers, than traditional media personalities and 41% discover new products through influencers every week.
As a result, businesses have cottoned on to this and 2023 advertising spend in the influencer advertising sector is projected to reach US$1.10bn.
Some of the big retailers in particular are brilliant at getting their names out there. In 2022, Zara alone was mentioned in 15 thousand Instagram posts whilst over on Tiktok, Netflix was mentioned 10,000 times - who said that us watching people watching TV was uncool…
So, how do you market to influencers and which ones are right for your brand? Here are some of my top tips.
Top Tips for working with Influencers
First things first: establish a clear goal. Define what you’re hoping to achieve with an influencer partnership so that you can create an effective strategy and measure the success of the collaboration.
These could be to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Reach new/target audiences
- Improve brand advocacy
- Increase sales
- Manage brand reputation
Whatever it is that you want to achieve, set some targets so you can see tangible results.
How do you choose the right influencer?
Choosing the right influencer is key for your brand. Firstly though it's important to understand what the different types of influencers are:
The bigger the name - the greater the following - the higher the costs so you must consider this when thinking about influencers. Would you rather have one piece of content for your budget or a number of smaller pieces that attract multiple audiences and generally give you a greater ROI?
When you’ve understood the type of influencer you’d like to work with then you need to consider that the influencer:
- Aligns with your values
- Embodies your ethos
- Will appeal to your customer base
- Has content that appeals to the company and to the targeted audience
Research is key.
Working with an influencer
In order to get an influencer on board - remember it’s their brand too so you have to be aligned - you have to create an attractive offer. Think of what incentives you can provide the influencer, such as exclusive access to your product, financial compensation, or even just recognition.
Then you need to communicate effectively and in a timely manner. Make sure to clearly explain the expectations of the collaboration and stay in touch regularly to ensure everything is running smoothly.
When they post, don't forget to share and comment. The last thing you want to do is to leave potential customers hanging.
Keep track of results
Monitor the influencer’s content, the engagement it receives, and the impact it has on the business so you can optimise your approach for future collaborations and campaigns.
A word of caution
Ensuring that you have the right influencer for the right campaign or product is key. The last thing you want is a flakey influencer or worse still one that is fake. Unless you’re using advertising to get your message out there, you’re dependent on that influencer having real and engaged followers. Do your research and ensure that there is a process in place to ensure that you get the best out of your talent.