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Brands originally used influencer marketing mainly for brand awareness or to change the shopping behavior of their customers and the overall perception of the brand (sometimes referred to as brand impact).
Today we have moved well beyond those more limited early days. With the potential for a return of 20x the initial investment, many brands see the benefits in working with influencers, from niche to celebrity influencers, whose audiences and viewpoints align with their brand values. Brands are now partnering with many different types of influencers to pursue different business goals, including:
- Reach new audiences and expand your brand’s reach
- Boost your overall content marketing efforts
- Increase prospects’ attention to your project
- Generate new sales from new customers
- Increase the buyer’s purchase intent
- Create long-term brand equity
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More fundamental, basic strategies for working with content creators still get results. If you’re not already offering discount codes to content creators and their audience, that’s a good start. Include a detailed review of your product or service by the influencer, launch a contest together, and make sure they use your brand hashtag on all sponsored posts.
Once you’ve got the basics under control, why not spend some time exploring new ways to improve your influencer marketing plan? The following four tactics will improve the overall success of your influencer campaigns and get you closer to your goals.
1. Organize a takeover of your social media channels by your influencer
Schedule a day and time for your influencer to take over one of your social media channels. Whether it’s for an hour, a day, or even a week, a well-publicized takeover can help boost your profile and drive the influencer’s fans to your account. You increase brand awareness, reach new prospects and reinforce important brand marketing messages. At the same time, your current audience learns more about the influencer, which can gain more followers. That is the definition of a win-win situation.
To make sure a social media takeover goes smoothly, make sure you define the rules in advance and lay out a process that ensures that inappropriate content doesn’t slip by. Give the influencer simple, clear guidelines on what kind of topic and wording is off limits. You can also ask them to send you their content in advance, after which your team can post it for the influencer.
Takeovers designed around specific events or experiences usually yield the best results for both participants. For example, link an influencer takeover to a product launch to introduce the new line to a wider audience and potential customers.
Finally, think carefully about which channel or platform you will use for your influencer marketing campaign. There should be a good match or alignment between your product, your marketing goals, the influencer’s strengths and the channel you are using. TikTok and Instagram are often better suited for graphic content that shows off a product’s features or design, while Twitter and Facebook are solid choices if you want to boost audience engagement and interaction.
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2. Provide unboxing videos for new or hot product
Reviews and mentions can be very effective in raising your brand profile and increasing sales. However, if you really want to reach and convince more prospects to make a purchase, take it a step further by having the influencer create a catchy unboxing video.
Unboxing videos started going viral around the end of 2006, so as a genre they’ve been around for a while. However, they are still popular and well-crafted ads can generate a lot of buzz for your brand and product.
The key to success in unboxing influencer videos is ensuring the highest possible quality, both in the video production values and in the content of the influencer’s content. Give them a full overview of the main features and benefits of the product. Your influencer should also have access to adequate lighting and recording equipment to ensure strong production values.
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3. Get creative with payment for influencer marketing
Would the creator of the content you’re collaborating with be amenable to a more creative payment structure? A ‘pay to play’ approach, where their compensation is directly linked to the number of signups they can generate for your brand, can greatly motivate influencers. This approach can also make it much easier for you to track appropriate metrics and calculate an accurate ROI.
Many makers will be happy to accept such a deal as they could potentially earn more from such an arrangement than from a flat fee. Of course, there is also a risk that they will earn less, but if you have chosen your influencer based on a full understanding of their audience structure and reach, you should have a good idea of what they can realistically deliver.
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4. Repurpose your influencer’s content for your brand
If you’re partnering with a content creator built on proven results and a reliable track record of performance, they should produce valuable, exciting content that drives the key metrics you want to improve. Why not use and reuse that content for your brand to publish and promote?
For example, if your influencer’s audience is around 100,000 and the average post reaches about half, you could choose to invest part of your marketing budget in a paid promotion of one of their videos about your brand. Treat it like any other paid ad and track its performance against your other paid ad campaigns. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it drives people to your site or offer.
You can also look at ways you can repackage and share the influencer’s content on your own social media channels. Present the creative content they’ve produced in context with additional marketing information from your team to increase list subscriptions or even completed sales.
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How to Build a Successful Influencer Partnership
To get the most out of your influencer marketing strategies when working with the right creators, it’s important to put some effort into building a strong, positive relationship with them. Make sure you understand their needs, priorities and goals, as well as the demographics and size of their audience. Depending on those parameters, some of the tactics above may make more sense than others. In general, for the best results, choose the methods that best suit the needs of both parties.
Whatever new strategy you decide to try, make sure your team fully understands and adheres to it all applicable FTC guidelines reign of social media influencer marketing. For example, influencers are required to label all sponsored or paid content as such, so that viewers and fans immediately know that there is a commercial relationship behind the content. Adding hashtags like #ad or #sponcon is great, but not if your influencer sticks them at the very end of dozens of other hashtags. And if your influencer makes a video for your brand, they must disclose the relationship both verbally and in writing, meaning both in the video itself and in the written caption that accompanies it.
In addition, because so much digital marketing is global these days, you should be aware of the rules imposed by other countries. It is generally not necessary to hire a team of international lawyers to investigate your campaign or your influencer’s practices. But disclosure of the relationship that is easily identifiable and legible is a big step toward compliance and integrity.
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