There’s no doubt. We’re in the age of the ‘influencer’. So how can you make the most of these profiles in your PR and marketing campaign? Marketing and Influencer Consultant, Freya Lifely offers her expert insights in our latest ‘Connections’ blog.
Snap felt the power of ‘the influencer’ in full force last month. An 18-word tweet by Kylie Jenner to her 24.5m followers about the Snapchat messaging app was all it took to wipe $1.3 billion off its market value.
The tweet followed the much-criticised Snapchat redesign and the platform’s infamously slow reaction to influencers and brand opportunities; only recently opening up its Marketing API and insights for creators. A function that has been available on competing sites for years.
Influencer power is something that brands are becoming keen to harness as part of their publicity and marketing mix. While there are only a few who can afford to work with influencer superstars like Jenner and her Kardashian sisters, there is a raft of online influencers who fill the same space as opinion leaders and decision makers for modern, digital audiences.
Running influencer marketing campaigns is notoriously complex. A lack of industry-wide measurement or standards mean that it can be hard to know where to start. These are some tips for a successful campaign:
Know your goal
Set the KPIs for your campaign before you start. Whether it’s brand awareness, click throughs to a website or event attendance, know what you want to achieve before you reach out to influencers. Using a defined objective to inform your creative, messaging and call to action will provide a useful benchmark against which to measure the performance of your campaign.
Select the right people
Bigger isn’t always better, and choosing influencers based on reach alone won’t ensure you have an impactful campaign. Analysing engagements on posts to get an idea of the influencer’s audience and engagement will help focus your campaign.
Be sure to request the audience age, gender and location demographics. This information is available on all main social channels for influencers to access, and doing the right research will help you to know what of their audience is made up of the people that you want to reach. Some male 25-year-old influencers have an audience made up mostly of 15-year-old girls – not ideal if your target is young adult men.
Authenticity is key
Influencer power comes from their authenticity. So, work with influencers who like your product or brand and aren’t just in it for the fee. Collaborate on creative routes and listen to the influencers’ ideas on how best to resonate with their audience.
Think outside the box
Leverage the strengths or USPs of your brand to inform the type of content you create. Some of the best influencer campaigns with influencers go beyond the obvious and come up with fun, sharable content which will achieve much better penetration than just a straight sales pitch.
There are legal requirements for disclosing branded content on social channels. Previously a grey area, rules are much stricter now. Be aware of them internally and make sure your influencer is willing to use full disclosure or it could cause trouble for your brand.
Freya Lifely is an independent marketing and influencer consultant, specialising in the media and entertainment industries