It seems like nowadays having social influence is worth its weight in gold, especially for companies looking to gain brand equity among their target market. If you're utilizing influencer marketing to drive your branding efforts, how do you know you're getting it right?
For one, you can follow the 6 pointers below.
The Revolve team has made Instagram stars the focal point of their social media strategy. It's so much work, but they make it look seamless.
Perhaps before diving right in, we should back things up for a sec. What in the world is this thing we call influencer marketing? It feels like the term is increasingly being loosely thrown around without anyone actually having acknowledged what it means. In its more rudimentary capacity, it's the act of hiring social media users who carry a lot of clout to spread the word about a brand. Sounds simple, right?
It is so deceivingly complicated. Layers of complexity inevitably arise when you're dealing with actual people, as things don't tend to be so black and white... Versus the act of ad placement in the days of yore. Add on top of that the lack of understanding that can
sometimes often occur within corporate environments, and things can easily result in a big ol' mess. True story.
Not that I'm trying to get you down. Au contraire! I'm here to tell you that if you're going to be engaging in influencer marketing to grow your presence on social channels, more specifically in hiring Instagram influencers to help spread the word about your kick ass brand to their own followers, that a pathway to great success can indeed be achieved.
So before you shell out the big bucks for social media influencers to push your products, make sure to take note of these 6 fundamental pointers.
The good folks at Jennyfer partnered with @fadelamecheri to promote a contest. Influencer marketing gold.
✌JEU CONCOURS ✌ Avec @fadelamecheri nous avons décidé de vous gâter pour Noël ! Nous vous proposons de gagner une soirée de rêve à Paris avec vous et votre BFF ! Dîner, hôtel et transport compris ! Pour tenter votre chance : ✔ Suivre @jennyfer et @fadelamecheri ✔ Regrammer cette photo avec le hashtag #epicholiday ✔ Taguer votre BFF Résultat le 26 décembre ! Bonne chance ! #epicholiday #concours #jeuconcours
1. Define Your Goals
Hiring an Instagram influencer does not Instagram success make. Wouldn't that be grand! Alas, it's not as straightforward. Before you even think of starting the influencer outreach process, make sure you really outline what it is you're trying to get out of these people. What do you hope to achieve? Is it brand equity? Follower growth? A general branding exercise? Sales? All of the above?
This assessment will help you weigh the potential return against what you're putting in. Establishing your brand objectives will not only help you manage your own expectations, but will also help provide direction to whoever you're tapping. Plus it sets the stage for measuring the ROI once it's all over. More on that later.
2. Do Your Homework
Not that you wouldn't, but it's easy to overlook the essentials when blinded by the promise of prestige. A research expedition prior to the fishing trip will help you inch closer and closer to influencer campaign success. Capeesh? That means:
Look for instagrammers that you enjoy, whose content you can't get enough of, and more importantly, that align with your brand image.
Ensuring their on-brand status is of utmost importance for 2 reasons. One, the people you're choosing as vehicles for your message have to be representative of that message. And two, if their content resonates with your company's image, then the visuals they create for your campaign will likely resonate with their own audience.
Investigate engagement rates. So crucial!!! They're very telling of a user's influence and whether their audience is real or not. No one likes faux followers ✋.
@alyssainthecity is a top micro-influencer, with a smaller audience of 41k, but an average engagement rate of 3.81%, which is astronomical compared to those who have audiences of 100k+.
3. Consider Micro-Influencers
"Wait, what's that?" said everyone in unison. It's those peeps that have a super beautiful Instagram gallery, create high-quality content, have through-the-roof engagement rates, and that are less likely to be career Instagrammers. The general guidelines for this category of influencer is under 50k, depending on the niche.
If you're wondering why you would contemplate choosing a brand messenger with a small audience rather than going for the big guns, chew on the following:
- Their audiences are more engaged, sometimes triple that of bigger names, meaning that they have a lot more influence over their community.
- They cost way less and will often be easier to work with (no intermediaries).
Essentially, these people who don't make a living from their social media activities have surfaced in recent months as the better bang for your marketing buck.
4. Get Specific
Once you've nailed down your chosen people, you might think that you're all set and ready to begin the outreach process. Wrong again. You need to outline your deliverables before anyone is contacted.
Be as specific and concise about details as you can, like due dates, the number of posts, mandatory mentions, hashtags, specific topics that need to be addressed in the caption, and so on. These will all depend on the degree of creative freedom you want to allow your influencers to have, but if you want a vertical image and not a horizontal shot, it needs to be expressed.
Whatever you require of the instagrammer needs to be mentioned beforehand - having social media influence does not render a person clairvoyant.
Influencer Nina Agdal was tapped by Shopbop for their holiday influencer campaign.
5. Monitor the Active Period
It's easy to think that it's out of your hands once you've signed someone and the product has been shipped, and in some ways it is. But you have to keep on top of things to ensure the agreements are being respected. Are all the negotiated boxes being checked? Are your hires posting on time?
Seeing as you're also likely going to want to repost that content you've paid for to your own channel, monitoring also becomes a part of your content strategy in this case.
6. Measure the Results
Here we are at the end of the road. Do you just say thank you and on to the next? Nah, you don't go out like that! You're a smart marketer, therefore you do smart things, and measuring the results of your efforts tops the intelligence list, as far we're concerned.
How can you properly measure and assess the ROI of your influencer activations when there's no apparent way to look into the stats of other people's posts? There are countless ways to do an in-depth analysis with the Dash Hudson tools. Tools like Boards, Relationship IQ, the hashtag and location monitors, and more. There are limitless ways to draw concrete conclusions and calculate tangible results, beyond your brand name being out there in the world. Get in touch with us to learn more.
The Topshop team collaborated with @sorayabakhtiar on a seasonal campaign, where they featured her favorite pieces on their blog.
Whether or not influencer marketing is part of your social media strategy, you're bound to have instagrammers post organically for your brand. It's just as important to be able to track that activity, if only to assess the results of all the resources you dedicate to social on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you're actively seeking influential social media users to post about your company, it's absolutely crucial to scrutinize those partnerships - before, during and after the fact.
If you follow the above 6 pointers, you'll be leaving yourself a very small margin for a flop.
If you want to learn more about monitoring your influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram, get in touch today. And don't forget to sign up below to get our blog in your inbox, our treats land once a week.