Five tips for working with influencers
Influencer marketing is the Twenty-First Century iteration of the celebrity endorsement. The concept itself isn’t new, but what is new is the idea that a lot of influence over a niche audience can have more impact than a small influence over a large audience. A good influencer—even one with a small following—can use their unique insight and appeal to boost your brand. Here are five tips that can help you get the most from a social media influencer:
- Start with a goal. Before you even begin looking for an influencer, you should have a clear, concrete idea of what you want to accomplish. If an influencer understands your goals, you’re more likely to get results. Once you hire them, be direct about what you want to achieve and ask for their input.
- Give the influencer creative control. Hiring an influencer differs from a regular ad buy in one important respect: You’re paying someone else for their unique angle and insight, not figuring it out yourself. If an influencer is good, they’ll know what the best sales pitch is for their audience; too much input from your end can dull their edge.
- Engage with influencers’ fans. If your influencer has actual influence, their fans and followers will respond to them. A brand should carefully monitor (and maybe even participate in) these exchanges. Making real, personal connections with an audience is invaluable, and approaching an influencer’s followers on their level can be a boon.
- Measure as much as you can. The impact of an influencer campaign can be difficult to gauge; it’s hard to tell after the fact where product reviewers or site visitors are coming from. While you might be drawn to “vanity metrics” like likes and comments, it’s better to use something like UTM parameters to track exactly how many clicks an influencer generates.
- Beware influencers with too many sponsored posts. In the influencer world, “sponsorship saturation” can be a real problem. Followers are less likely to engage with an influencer who posts nothing but ads, lessening their influence. Look for influencers whose sponsored content is sprinkled in with original, non-branded content.