The Essential Evolution of Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

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Influencer marketing has been around for decades, but it is always evolving.

The rise of social media has seen an explosion in the popularity of using influencers, with many companies implementing an influencer marketing strategy into their plans for brand growth.

However, as competition intensifies, the game is changing.

If you want to get the most from partnering with influencers, you need to know just what is going on in the current digital landscape.

How Influencer Marketing Has Changed

Today, you need more than a decent Instagram presence to be a credible influencer. Brands expect more, and as a result, influencers need to work harder to deliver the goods.

Influencers Are Buying Followers

Advertising giant Unilever is leading the charge for greater transparency with influencers. This is in response to the flux of “fake influencers.”

People are buying up bot followers to pad their social media accounts in an effort to dupe brands into believing they have a much larger audience.

By doing this, these influencers command a higher paycheck, which will inevitably yield a poor return due to this fabricated following.

Content Reviews Are More Common

Growing concerns about brand safety motivates companies to demand more, as they want to make sure they get value for money.

It’s becoming more common for brands to ask for content reviews, which means influencers could find themselves redoing work more often.

Considering 94% of consumers will show loyalty to brands that are transparent, it’s a smart move to make sure your influencer partnerships run smoothly.

5 Steps to Implementing a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy

As with anything in marketing, a solid plan will boost your chances of success. With influencer marketing, that concept holds true.

1.    Define Your Vision of Success

Your influencer marketing strategy needs to lay out the end goals, and then chart the journey towards achieving them. You must have a clear vision of what you want before hiring influencers.

2.    Find Influencers Who Are a Good Fit for Your Brand

Ideally, you should look for someone who:

  • Is trustworthy

  • Is passionate about your products

  • Has a genuine audience that is large and engaged enough to help you achieve your goals

  • Knows how to create great content that reaches your target audience

3.    Look for Long-term Partnerships

If you only focus on one-off projects, you’ll always be wasting time looking for a new influencer. Save yourself the time, money, and stress by developing long-term partnerships with authentic influencers that can help build your brand over time.

4.    Focus on Instagram

The world loves visual content nowadays, and it’s likely to stay that way. More than 90% of influencers prefer Instagram over any other platform.

So, if you want an influencer marketing strategy with a mind on the future, then Instagram is your best bet.

5.    Be Unique

As with any other channel, influencer marketing is becoming congested. To cut through the noise, you need to find unique ways to connect with your customers.

Cosmetics giant L’Oréal decided to work with a group of micro-influencers instead of more well-known social media stars. The gamble paid off, as it helped them nurture trust with a much wider audience because people found the micro-influencers more relatable.

The Right Influencer Is Worth Finding

Some of the trust has been lost in this form of advertising because of misleading engagement and dishonest practices by some influencers.

However, having an influencer marketing strategy is still a viable, cost-effective method of spreading brand awareness and establishing a position of authority in many industries.

The stakes may be higher now, but if you can find influencers who are aligned with your brand and goals, they could become great brand ambassadors and take your business to the next level.

Elevate Your Marketing Results with These 29 Marketing Tips

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Elevate Your Marketing Results with These 29 Marketing Tips

Want to up your marketing game but don’t know where to start? Struggling to process all the information that’s available?

Then you’ve come to the right place!

To help you implement a stellar marketing strategy that works, we’ve condensed vast amounts of information to bring you these top 29 marketing tips that highlight all the important aspects of a great marketing strategy.

What Do Our 29 Marketing Tips Include?

Within this downloadable sheet, you’ll find easy-to-digest tips that are categorized into 6 actionable sections. These will cover key points, such as:

  • How to implement your marketing strategy and stick to it

  • How to gain traction on social media by making the most of all the tools available to you and ensuring you’re reaching out to your target audience at the right times

  • How to get a head start in digital advertising by applying the right models and strategies and making sure you’re utilizing the most dominant keywords

  • How to use influencers to your advantage while creating long-term, authentic relationships

  • How to revamp shopper marketing to gain shoppers’ trust and loyalty, which includes creating the right “experience”

  • How to make analytics tools work for you by creating a consistent approach to your analytics but without getting too obsessed with the figures so you lose sight of your overall goals

Download Our 29 Marketing Tips Today!

What are you waiting for? Head to our Experiences resource page to download these 29 indispensable marketing tips – and watch as your company skyrockets toward success.

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A Millennials Take on Influencer Marketing (Hint: You Need It)

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As a millennial, I LOVE influencers and I can assure you influencer marketing is not going anywhere. Influencers or bloggers are real women (and men) and they live and breathe their personal brand. They are authentic, reachable and major #inspo. Social media is the future of advertising, and using influencers is the best way to succeed at it. Whether your company is big or small, you need to start using influencers. Here’s why.

Influencers cut through the noise of typical advertising. They reach their niche fans through their many social channels. Using influencers uniquely allows you to target your desired audience where they are spending the majority of their time (nearly nine hours a day). They bring authenticity that any marketer dreams for.

I manage many social pages for my company’s clients and our influencer content 99.99% of the time outperforms our other brand-created content. (81% of marketers agree with me). Not only do they produce beautiful content for our social pages and website, they share their content along with their highly regarded opinion to their loyal followers.

Millennials want to see transparency. We want to see companies doing good, being accountable, and acting trustworthy. Influencers provide transparency, trust and the ultimate approval. Millennials will ignore the big ads that marketers think target them (unless they’re funny or star David Harbour). But millennials will trust and NEED to stay at the same hotel in LA that Chiara Ferragni did. Or NEED to own that swimsuit that Alexis Ren wore on her latest Instagram story.

You’ve probably never heard of most of the influencers making bank (millions each year), but your target audience has. And clearly, they’re killing it.

Everyone from Nike to Santa Cruz Organic can benefit from influencers. Not every influencer is a high-impact influencer, there are micro-influencers that smaller brands can greatly benefit from working with. While working on our clients, Chicken of the Sea’s social pages, I’ve seen one of our micro-influencers produce BEAUTIFUL content while not getting many likes/comments/shares on his own page. But, it performed extremely well on our pages. I know he’s going places.  

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

  1. When choosing an influencer, do you research! If you’re looking at them your competitor is or has. Make sure your competition has NOT worked with your influencer in the past. I ran into this problem while working with one of our clients Chicken of the Sea. I noticed that some of our old influencers also worked with Chicken of the Sea’s top competitors StarKist and/or Bumble Bee previously. A quick search for “tuna” on their blog revealed their work history. To me it implies that the influencer sees Chicken of the Sea as replaceable with its competition, and so will their followers. And that will not help sales.
  2. Check their following on all of their social media channels. Know what your dollars will get you. Find out what kind of interaction do they get on their posts. Do they interact with their fans? One of my favorite foodie influencers Ambitious Kitchen replies to nearly all of her follower’s comments on her Instagram posts validating her strong relationship with her followers.   
  3. Influencers disclaiming that they are getting paid for their services is not very well defined. Many will just have #ad at the end of their post. And tbh most people aren’t reading to the end of the post to see that. Make sure your influencers are complying with FTC endorsement guidelines, which have changed.

As if you needed another reason to start doing influencer marketing, a 2015 survey by the Tomoson indicates that businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. No wonder 59% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the coming years.

Josh Leibowitz, Senior VP, Cunard North America and chief strategy officer at Carnival Corporation best puts it “There’s a little bit of the American dream in these influencers. They’ve built a business and they’re out having a point of view, they’re being creative, recommending things, seeing the world. … [They can] do things that they love and get paid for it.”

Lastly, don’t forget about YouTube as a popular influencer spot. That’s how you’ll get the Gen Z kids to buy your “cool” new backpacks. But more on that next time!

IMHO,

Megan Wood