It’s official…. Influencer marketing is the fastest growing marketing channel. All those posts you scroll through daily on your insta stories are more than just pretty pictures, and are generating a huge amount of revenue for both businesses and the influencers and bloggers who promote them. The question is, how do we get it right? Influencer marketing is still a bit of an experimental field for most brands and businesses, so check out our top 5 tips to make sure you are getting it right! We want to save you time and effort, so here you can learn from some mistakes that we made along the way!
1 – Choose your bloggers and influencers carefully.
So, it may seem like an obvious point, but you will be amazed at how many people get this wrong! I am bombarded on a daily basis with DM’s and emails from “influencers” who want free products, free trips, free promotion… because they have 40k followers and that is it. They are not offering anything solid in return, no details on how this collaboration will help my business, no information about their followers and who they are… so why would that be of interest to me? Before you collaborate with anyone, take a good look at their account. 40k followers means nothing unless they are people who would be genuinely interested in your product. Take some time to really go through what they do as an influencer. Are they purely on instagram? Because it is far more beneficial to find a blogger/influencer who does more than just post a picture. Do you they write articles on their blog? Do they have a strong mailing list who they send out all the info to? Do they do good vlogs? Try to find an influencer who does more than just post a picture… find someone with substance who really communicates with their followers. Not to mention that there are MANY influencers who have purchased followers, so you need to check that their numbers are accurate. If they have 40k followers and their pictures only get 250 likes? Then you know something is not right. Check how they answer back to comments on their feed, and how they engage with people in their stories. The more honest they are, the more likely that their followers will really trust them, and therefore trust the products that they recommend. So, tip one, do your homework! Make sure you find the right people to promote your brand.
2 – Be sure to brief your blogger/influencer fully before collaboration.
So, again, this seems pretty obvious, but I have seen clients get into full collaborations, invest money and time, and not even know what to expect from the influencer they are working with! Now this is a waste of everyones time. Before any collaboration, be sure to discuss the following important points: What do you want to get out of this collaboration? Is it more sales, increased following, app downloads? Be sure that your influencer is aware of what you are trying to achieve. What time frame do you have? Be sure they know how many posts or vlogs are needed and by what date. Be clear on any deadlines. What hashtags or geolocations should they be using? Ensure that they know all the marketing hashtags you use, make sure they tag the right products and your correct pages. I’ve seen this go wrong before, with a blogger tagging the wrong business in all her posts as there was another one with a similar name! A stupid and costly mistake. Before you start collaborating, talk with your blogger and explain more about the company background, the values, the ethos and make sure that any posts they do will be in line with your business. Take time to get to know eachother, so that the collaboration can be a sucessful one, and not a waste of time and money!
3 – Which type of collaboration works best?
Well this one fully depends on your business, but we generally recommend working with a different range of collaborations, and gradually experimenting to see which ones give you a better return on your investment. Influences and bloggers generally offer different types of post; this can be an instagram post containing your product, a review of your product on their blog, or sent out to their mailing list, a vlog about your product, a social takeover where they take over your own business accounts, a trip review where they come and stay at your hotel… and many more. Here is where you can be creative in choosing how the influencer will be a part of your marketing strategy. This is also where it’s a good idea to make sure you have the help of a marketing specialist, to ensure that they test each strategy and put your product where it will see most value.
4 – How do I know if my influencer marketing strategy is working?
Now this is a tricky one. You have found an amazing blogger/influencer, you have fully briefed them about your business and what you expect from them, you have chosen which types of posts you want them to create… but how do you know if it is actually working? You need to make sure that you accurately calculate your ROI (return on investment) for each collaboration. So how do I do this? Well, firstly, you need to decide what you would classify as a conversion. This could be email sign ups, amount of products sold, reservations made, followers gained… Make sure you analyze this and be sure you know what you are aiming towards. Have a set objective that is clear to you. You will then need to assign a monetary amount to that conversion, which is easier when you have an actual product to sell.. but if not, be sure you have an average amount that each conversion is worth to you. We always recommend using trackable links and conversion links so you can track where everything is coming from. It can be a tricky job to track where all your traffic is coming from, but it is vital in order to ensure a successful campaign! If you are having a hard time tracking your conversions yourself, you can always work with a digital marketer who can take care of this part for you, and ensure you are getting a good return on your investment. Remember that conversions don’t happen overnight, and sometimes you have to allow time in order to see a good result!
5 – Should my business work on a long-term strategy with a blogger/influencer?
In most cases, you should always try to build up a good, long-term relationship with the bloggers or influencers that you collaborate with. It will really pay off if the influencer is really committed to the brand, as this will reflect in their posts and help build a more trusting relationship with their followers. It also saves you time to continue working with your best influencers, as you won’t need to brief them so fully on the mission of the brand each time. They know you, they understand you, and they can help you achieve your objectives. The other advantage is that your campaigns with them will evolve over time, and get better, fine-tuned, and gradually bring you better results.
So those are a few tips from us about influencer marketing! I know many businesses are a little bit sceptical at first, as they are unsure on how to really track the return from using influencers to market their products or business. My advice for you would be to find a digital marketer who can really help get your campaigns on the right track, and ensure that you are not wasting your money on the wrong people! Good luck and go for it!
Got any tips on how best to work with bloggers and influencers? Please leave a comment!
Digital Marketer – Gemsita
Photos by Svetlana Romantsova