2018 was the year of the Influencer as some became celebrities, some got into trouble and brands started being smarter about how they use these digital celebs.
This communication strategy is only set to get bigger and more sophisticated as online companies better understand how to use influencers. Here are our top 10 tips to make sure you stay influential.
- 1. Choose the Audience Size Social influencers are ranked into 3 groups: micro-influencers (under 100k followers), médium-sized influencers (100k – 1 million influencers) and macro-influencers (1 million + followers). That might range for a local London ‘It Girl’ to celebrities like the Kardashians. Depending on your Budget, you can mix and match to créate different layers of messaging.
- But consider their real influence
It’s better to have a partnership with an Influencer who has 10k followers with who they are really engaged, than someone with ten times that, but no real influence. Spend some time studying your options of influencers and see how many likes they get, if they are interacting with their followers and replying to questions and adding value to the conversation.
- Consider their relevancy, too
Make sure your influencer is aligned with your brand values and target market. Check they have been posting about related topics and share a similar point of view. It’s best to check across all of their online presense to make sure their tone of voice is in line with what you want your audience to experience.
- Choose the right channel for your product or service
Influencers can work across Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or even good old fashioned print. Think carefully about what you want to put across about your product or service. A fashion Brand might be better suited to the aspirational, visual sharing on Instagram. An electronics or car company may need to list a vlogger to bring to life the features and benefits in detail.
- Plan activity as part of a campaign
Sending your influencer a new product at adhoc intervals will only get you limited success. Using your influencer as a component of a wider campaign, around social events and happenings, will help to leverage consumer shopping patterns and existing media buzz. If it’s fathers day for example, think about products and messaging for pre, actual and post event.
- Set clear goals for your Influencer
Be really clear about the steps and goals you want your Influencers to take. You should almost approach it like a newspaper ad campaign where you specify the frequency, creative and size of your adverts. If you want them to respond to all the comments generated by their post, say so. If you want them to take a picture on a certain day and location, spell it out.
- Give Influencers a choice
Often if you give your influencers a choice in the products they cover (e.g. send them 3 dresses to pick from) then they can decide which they like best and cover it from a more enthusiastic angle. Your Influencer should be aligned with your offer anyway, but a little bit of choice can help to build authenticity.
- Mix up how you work together
There are many ways an Influencer can promote your product or service. It could be a straightforward product review. It could be they are invited to tend an invent where they play a role as stylist or judge. Give them a promotional code to give to their followers or get your influencer to take over your social media for the day. Think a little out of the box about what would suit their personality type and audience best.
- Stick to the rules
Very recently in the news we have seen cases such as Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alexa Chung pledging to change the way they position their posts under the guise of Influencer. They have to clearly state if they have been paid or received any gifts, loans or products they endorse. It follows warnings from the Competition and Markets Authority that their posts could break consumer law if they’re not following the rules.
10. Let the promotion go both ways
- It doesn’t have to be all one-sided with them promoting you through their channel of influence. You can also use their captions, testimonials, quotes and images through your channels, too. Placing a large reference on your homepage, for example, can help to amplify the connection between you and the Influencer that your audience feel an affinity with.