Once upon a time, marketing was all word of mouth. Now, with digital marketing settling in for the long haul, much of that’s changed. Pay-per-click campaigns and other forms of search marketing have all but replaced traditional marketing mainstays.
But sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. For instance, even as it evolves in the age of social media, we’re seeing some marketing tactics get back to the basics.
In its latest iteration, there’s been a resurgence of peer-to-peer recommendation in the form of influencer marketing – a tactic that involves partnering with tastemakers who have high follower counts to publish sponsored posts on social media.
Thinking of implementing an influencer marketing strategy to help increase your brand awareness? Here are six ways to execute it well.
- Establish your goals.
It’s hard – if not impossible – to gauge the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign without first getting clear about what results you’re looking to achieve. Whether you want to grow your social media following, drive more sales, or increase web traffic, make sure you start specific then get to measuring. Different influencers might generate content that aligns better with certain metrics, so clearly defining your KPIs ahead of time is important.
- Do your research.
If you don’t reach your target audience, you’re unlikely to generate much engagement – no matter how commendable your content. That’s why it’s important to have a sense of an influencer’s community before you agree to work together. Take the time to get to know their followers. See how responsive they are with them and what kind of brand exposure they’ve previously participated in. You want this to be a good relationship for both of you, so just like any new hire, ‘culture fit’ is key.
- Plan for the long play.
A one-off post won’t do much to expand your brand awareness. In fact, it could come off as inauthentic and may actually put off potential buyers. Instead, once you feel confident you’ve found the right influencer, strategize around how you can use them to promote all kinds of content over the long haul. Have them announce contests, co-host an event, or do a takeover of your feed. In essence, the more long-term your relationship with an influencer, the better it will be for your brand.
- Employee influencer marketing tools.
There are tons of tools that help you do everything from structure online contests to create digital marketing videos. (ICYMI: We wrote about four free of our favorite social media tools last week.) Whether you want to find influencers or manage your paid partnership, we recommend using tools like Famebit or Upfluence to help.
- Stay FTC compliant.
This is a big one. In order for your influencer marketing initiatives to stay on the up and up, you’ll need to make sure you follow FTC regulations. It’s relatively simple to disclose a paid endorsement, sponsored content, or #ad by simply tagging the post with the appropriate hashtag. Instagram also makes it easy to be forthcoming about brand partnerships with their branded content option. Whichever option you choose, just remember to double check that an influencer has somehow identified that they’re being compensated for promoting your brand. Otherwise, you could find yourself in hot water.
- Go beyond the ‘gram.
Remember that Instagram and YouTube aren’t the only spheres of influence. Since Facebook announced its latest algorithm change (demoting content that isn’t from family or friends), businesses would do well to partner with influencers to get more eyes on their products and services. If you have a younger target demographic, they’re still absolutely active on SnapChat, despite its user flight to IG stories. There’s also the oft-underutilized Pinterest which is full of Pinfluencers ripe for the pinning.
Essentially, influencer marketing comes down to one thing: relationships. So long as you partner with folks that actually care about your brand, the rest is all in the details.
Feeling a little star struck by celebs and social media influencers? We can help you make contact.