The influencer marketing landscape is constantly evolving as platforms roll out new features, and new creators with fresh perspectives enter the fold every day. And in such a dynamic industry, marketers must always stay ahead of the latest trends to get the most possible ROI from their strategy.
In this blog, we’ll get you familiar with influencer marketing best practices to get the most bang for your buck. With a combination of tried and true approaches and best practices unique to 2023, you should have everything you need for the most up-to-date strategy.
Goal setting should always be the first thing you do before implementing any new influencer marketing campaign or strategy. But don’t just tell yourself, “I am going to leverage influencers to get more sales.” If higher sales are your primary goal, great! But be sure to get as detailed as possible for your objectives.
Remember the SMART formula. Your goals should be:
See Also: Total Guide to Creating Marketing Goals
When selecting influencers for your program, resist the urge to recruit based on follower count alone. While still an important attribute, vanity metrics give you a partial picture.
A few metrics and attributes to consider:
Authenticity matters above all else. Consumers can smell a fake endorsement, and when they do, you’re likely to lose them for good.
Authentic influencers align with brand values and foster meaningful conversations that resonate with your target audience. This trust drives higher engagement, conversions, and long-term loyalty, resulting in higher and more sustainable ROI.
Be upfront about your influencer partnerships and branded content. Disclosing collaborations fosters authenticity and ensures followers understand the context of the endorsements. Plus, most social media require you to mention a paid collab. And the last thing you need is a bad reputation on your platform of choice.
Influencer partnerships should be a partnership—not a transaction. And while one-off partnerships have value in some cases, locking your influencers in long-term will yield higher ROI when it’s all said and done.
Celebrity influencers are great for their name recognition and ability to drive massive brand awareness. But don’t sleep on the power of an army of nano and micro influencers.
Some of the main benefits:
A micro community, also known as a niche community or sub-community, refers to a small, specialized group of individuals who share a common interest, passion, or identity. These communities are characterized by their tight-knit nature and a focused connection around a specific topic, hobby, profession, belief, or demographic.
Identifying and targeting micro-communities allows you to optimize influencer marketing efforts by focusing on engaged, relevant audiences. This leads to increased engagement, higher trust, and better ROI due to the personalized nature of your campaigns.
When entering into a new partnership with an influencer, it’s important to give them a clear picture of what success looks like for the collaboration. Clue them in on your goals for the campaign and provide them with some inspiration on the style and tone for content that has worked best in the past. You might also consider implementing a content approval workflow to ensure your messaging stays airtight and on brand.
While it’s important to let your influencers know exactly what you want out of the partnership, you have to give them the creative freedom necessary to make the content they know resonate best with their audience. Remember: You hired them for the relationship they’ve built with their audience, so don’t stifle their creative juices.
Prioritize the social media platforms your audience prefers, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Leveraging influencers across multiple platforms amplifies reach and engagement and helps connect with diverse audiences. This diversified approach boosts brand visibility, resonates better with varied user behaviors, and maintains a cohesive image. Plus, this system ensures adaptability in evolving digital landscapes, yielding broader and more effective brand influence.
Sometimes partnering with creators outside of your industry can be just as effective as the ones directly aligned with you. Therefore, consider partnering with adjacent influencers who can help introduce your brand to a new audience.
Some examples of what we mean:
We’re all for leveraging influencer-generated content for honest product endorsements but collecting content from the “everyday” social media user can be just as valuable. Consider creating some unique hashtags that your fans can use to show their love for your brand. Just ensure you have the necessary content rights before repurposing this content on other marketing channels.
Even if your employees aren’t technically “influencers,” their content can still be extremely valuable to use alongside influencer content in your strategy.
First of all, employee-generated content feels authentic and trustworthy. Customers love hearing from those within the organization and getting an exclusive look at life behind the scenes of their favorite brands. Plus, it never hurts to show the faces behind your products to help share your story.
Additionally, your employees are experts on your products, services, and industry. Their content can provide valuable insights, tips, and information that showcase your brand’s expertise and authority. This expertise can resonate well with your target audience and position your brand as a reliable source of information and solutions.
Always try to get as much mileage as possible from your influencer content. If a piece works particularly well, see where else you can leverage it.
Consider using your influencer content for:
The list goes on and on. But as we mentioned before, obtaining necessary content rights is critical before repurposing your creator content, so make sure you have your bases covered.
“Going live” is an effective strategy in influencer marketing because it offers real-time engagement, fostering direct interaction and authenticity. Live sessions create a sense of urgency, encouraging viewers to participate, ask questions, and form immediate connections with the influencer and brand. This dynamic, unscripted format builds trust, boosts engagement, and provides an immersive experience that resonates with audiences, ultimately driving stronger brand awareness and loyalty.
While influencer marketing isn’t necessarily a new strategy, the higher-ups in your organization might not fully understand its benefits. It’s up to you to give them a macro-level overview of your strategy and success.
This is a critical step because your leadership team’s support drives strategic alignment, resource allocation, and long-term success. Their buy-in also secures budget and resources, enabling effective campaigns.
With leadership on board, cross-functional collaboration thrives, leading to coherent influencer partnerships that resonate with the brand’s goals. Ultimately, leaders’ endorsement fosters a culture of innovation, adaptability, and responsiveness to consumer trends, positioning the brand for sustained growth in the dynamic landscape of modern marketing.
It’s important to humanize your brand by sharing your story and the people behind the products. And, of course, influencers can help.
Here are a few ideas for getting customers familiar with your brand story with the help of your creators:
What to increase your chances of going viral? Experiment with challenges. Well-designed challenges have the potential to gain a lot of traction—especially on TikTok. Not to mention the amount of user-generated content you can gather from fans looking to get in on the latest viral trend.
Getting creators involved in brainstorming for new products is a great way to increase enthusiasm for your next release. Not only will conceptualizing new offerings with your creators give them a sense of ownership and investment in the new release, but the unique perspective they offer is also invaluable for tapping into their audience’s preferences, needs, and overall trends.
Creators can do more than just promote your products in branded posts on social media. By leveraging them in your next experiential marketing campaign, you can create more meaningful interactions with your audience to help them get to know your brand on a deeper level.
Some benefits of experiential marketing with influencers include:
Access to exclusive content or products is a great perk you can offer creators to show them how much you appreciate their work. The exclusive products you provide could be something only your creators have access to, or you could send them an unreleased product they can tease to their audience before the official launch date.
Influencer marketing is constantly evolving, meaning what might be a “best practice” today could be obsolete tomorrow. That means staying current on all the latest industry news and statistics is critical.
Google isn’t the only search platform you need to consider these days. In fact, about 82% of consumers say they would rather search for products on social media than a traditional search engine.
With that in mind, be sure you’re considering search when captioning your social media posts—especially on TikTok. You’ll also want to get familiar with relevant hashtags in your industry to increase your discoverability.
The customer journey can be challenging to map when working with influencers. Ideally, consumers will follow a discount code or affiliate link to purchase a product when they see an influencer promote it.
However, consumers often visit the brand’s website to learn more or make a mental note of the product and Google it later. That means the sale likely gets attributed to organic search rather than your influencer’s post.
To combat this issue, consider including a survey when someone buys a product from your website. Ask customers how they heard about your brand and product, and include “influencer recommendation” as an option to give yourself a better idea of the actual ROI gained from your influencer marketing efforts.
Influencer partnerships aren’t one-night stands—they are long-term loves. And ideally, you and your creator can grow together over time.
Here are some of the benefits:
A successful influencer marketing campaign requires a proper strategy and planning, as well as a willingness to experiment. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something you’ve never done before. With the right influencers on your team, you should have all the tools you need to create unique and memorable campaigns that drive long-term ROI.
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