Five top tips for brands looking to work with influencers
Whether it be Jack Maynard and his infamous I’m a Celebrity… exit last year or the anti-Semitic posts from PewDiePie, influencers haven’t had the best of press in the last couple of years. However, we mustn’t let these episodes overshadow the fact that influencer marketing can be incredibly effective if done right.
With help from a number of leading influencers and agents from the consumer tech, parenting and fitness fields, we have compiled our top five tips to make the most of your influencer marketing campaigns.
Do your research
Sounds obvious, but taking the time to pick the right influencer is the first step to a successful campaign. At Ranieri, we have our own tools for selection to provide the best engagement and ROI. It’s not just about potential reach; you should also take into account relevancy, activity, quality of content and engagement with other brands and topics. Is this influencer the perfect all-round fit?
‘’Brands need to be very aware of the people they work with and how much influence they have. Does their following fit your target market? Is their following genuine? Is their engagement genuine?’’ says Sinead Crowe, owner of Love Style Mindfulness.
How to be a Dad influencer, Christian Hughes, supports this point: ‘’Brands must understand a particular influencer’s style, and don’t ask them to do something that jars with what their audience would expect – this would be a fail for both parties’’.
Nail the brief
Coming up with a tight brief is essential. The more thorough you can be at the start, the more you can mitigate any issues and the more successful the campaign.
Think about outlining KPIs, timings, relevant hashtags, do’s and don’ts and direction on tone of voice. Brands looking to work with influencers should provide them with as much information as possible, so they can really get under the skin.
The brief also provides clarity for the influencer, making it much easier for them to ensure they are producing the right content for the brand. No one can hit targets they aren’t aware of.
Invest in an honest and creative collaboration
Any partnership between an influencer and a brand needs to be exactly that; a partnership. Just as brands are experienced and knowledgeable in their own field, the right influencer will be able to advise and consult on the best creative ideas for their audience.
Charlie Watson, owner of the health and fitness account, The Runner Beans, advises: ‘’Listen to us and work together. It’s best when we come up with ideas together, as the brand knows their product and the influencers know their audience’’. Remember, you are working with a particular influencer for a reason. Treat them as a partner and you will all get more from it.
Understanding that each influencer is unique and able to offer a different voice is what makes them such a useful form of direct marketing. Helen Anderson, a popular fashion and lifestyle influencer, explains: ‘’Brands need to trust that the influencer knows their audience and will know how to approach a campaign or a creative in a way that they will see as genuine and organic. To gain the audience’s trust, it has to seem like a natural fit’’.
‘’There is also value in offering something different, standing out from the crowd, having a distinct and memorable personality,’’ adds Sarah Fallarino, Project Manager at Red Hare. ‘’All of these things contribute to their success and how they perform for a brand’’.
Even with every detail covered, there is always the possibility things might not go as planned or new opportunities may arise. Both brands and influencers must be adaptable. This is reliant on all of the points mentioned in this article being secured, though there needs to be a willingness to mix things up if they aren’t working.
Adopting this approach also helps to develop the sense of trust between influencer and brand. At Ranieri, we’ve found that showing a willingness to adapt helps not only to mitigate against issues during the campaign but also gives influencers the confidence to feel they can change things up and make improvements.
Be in it for the long-term
You shouldn’t be looking for a one-night stand here. With a long-term partnership, the audience will become increasingly accustomed to the association while the influencer gains a greater understanding of the brand; a mix that breeds better results.
Back to Charlie Watson at The Runner Beans: “I recommend longer term partnerships rather than just individual campaigns to build trust and authenticity with the influencer’s audience for the best gains all round’’.
When the aim of the game is to win the trust of a specific audience through the use of an influencer, there’s no better way than investing in that collaboration over time and integrating them as an extension of the team. As is the case with any relationship, the more you put in, the more you get out.
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This is the first entry in our series of posts looking at influencer marketing. Check out our second post looking at how to measure and find influencers here, and our final article on our favourite UK influencers here!