Not so long ago, influencer marketing was a simpler entity for any brand who had something to gift; products, access, invites… the list goes on. But over the past 12 months there’s been a real shift against the more traditional “influencer seeding” approach; sending product to a collection of influencers to secure reviews.
While influencer reviews are still an important aspect for any e-commerce brand to increase its online footprint, it’s never been more crucial to work on more than that with your chosen few. Business Insider’s study showed 90% of influencer campaigns are now measured on engagement over traffic, clicks, reach or even sales. But with nearly 1 in 4 marketers planning to up influencer spend, showing ROI is key. Here, we share a few tips on navigating the evolving influencer space in 2018.
Research, research, research
This has always been important but now more so than ever. Never be tempted to skip the desk research and screening process when finding your influencers. Discover personalities who have the same ethos as your brand, as they will be keen to work together to promote that and produce meaningful content collaboratively.
Think beyond product
The most effective, thought-provoking influencer campaigns are led by themes and emotions, as opposed to product spec. Be sure to think about your product or service and how it makes people feel, or at least how you want it to make them feel. Do focus groups or online search query research to find out where knowledge gaps are for your target audience, or what makes them happy, sad, sociable… Ideas led by insight will always perform more effectively.
Allow creative control for your influencer
Once you’ve chosen your perfect collaborator and agreed on topics and angles you want to work around, remember that they know what works best for their audience. You have chosen this influencer based on the relationship they have with their followers, so the last thing you want to do is affect that with overly promotional, unnatural content. Find a way to combine your messages with theirs for an authentic relationship that people will connect with.
Measure qualitative as well as quantitative
While numerical data such as views and impressions are valuable and helps you prove your activity’s ROI, never forget the power of qualitative commentary. What is the sentiment of the comments and shares on your content? Have you received an inbound lead from someone who saw your video online and felt compelled to get in touch? These are often the smaller numbers, but they speak volumes for how truly engaging your campaign has been.
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-changing tactics our industry has seen, and we predict it will continue to change shape. But getting the “big three” right will put you on the right track for 2018 and beyond: right influencer, right content, right measurement.