Influencer programmes have climbed the PR and digital ranks at such a speed over the last few years that now, for many brands, they are a must-have part of the marketing mix. While most marketing managers know they need to involve influencers, knowledge on who’s best to work with varies. But when identifying those who are influential to your target audience, it’s quite common to overlook a key planning step; what type of content is going to work best for my business goals? What’s going to showcase my brand or product in the right way to meet these specific objectives?
Our Influencer Intelligence Division has implemented a huge range of campaigns over the years to support a variety of client challenges. Here’s how we solve the most frequent ones we see:
- “We know how great our product is, but we need to increase brand awareness to drive sales.”
More often than not, a simple reviews programme will do the job here. If yours is a great-looking product with lots of features to highlight to consumers, YouTube unboxing videos do what they say on the tin. For products which provide great solutions but need a little extra context on how to get the most out of them, perhaps written blogger reviews is the best route. These content types are popular for a reason; they are simple and effective, allowing your product benefits to be outlined by someone your audience trusts.
- “We’d really like to speak to a new audience and we know these are the topics which matter to them, so we’d like to create content around them.”
Here, we’d go with a more content-driven piece with an influencer who talks or writes about the topic in question, as these create meaningful associations for the brand from an emotional perspective, whether it’s through humour or something more hard-hitting. We’d suggest working closely with a key influencer to establish something that will have an impact, either through video, words or images… it all depends on the audience.
- “We really want to show off the technical spec of our product compared to competitors, and get it talked about in the right circles.”
This requires something a bit more niche. More technical products can really benefit from a bespoke influencer programme targeting forum users, for example, to get them up to speed on the developments in your product category. In our experience, giving embargoed sneak peeks at industry shows you’re attending, or access to product specialists from your company, gives your influencers fantastic exclusive content they can speak about on forums and in person, building unrivalled brand advocacy. While the reach numbers are often lower on face value, the people reached are bang-on target market, increasing the chance of conversion.
I’ll finish on our golden rule… make sure your product is ready to stand up to a thorough review. These influencers have their reputations to think about, so will be honest if your product has drawbacks. For example, if your product may still go through some changes after customer feedback, we’d recommend parking influencer projects for now and reassessing after 6 months. Informed, detailed reviews work absolute wonders, but a bad review can be damaging, and will stay online for the foreseeable future. There’s no need to rush!