Jumping into the world of influencer marketing is an exciting but confusing time for most businesses. How do you choose someone to work with, and what are some of the mistakes you should avoid?
According to one report, brands will spend upward of $15 billion on influencer marketing by the year 2022. The report points out the constant shifts in the marketplace and the benefits and compromises required to stay on top of the game.
Although influencer marketing is one of the less expensive promotional options, you can still waste money if you don’t think through a few factors. The majority of marketers team up with influencers, so there are plenty of examples to study. Making the most of any campaign requires foresight and asking yourself hard-hitting questions to ensure you’re on the right track.
1. Choosing Anyone In Your Niche
When first starting, it’s tempting to find the person with the most followers and enlist their help. However, this isn’t the best approach to finding a good match for many reasons. You should first make sure the influencer’s values match your own. If your image is of a good, wholesome company and the influencer posts language or photos that are inappropriate, you risk angering your loyal customers.
You should carefully study any influencer before hiring them to help promote your brand. Make sure their other posts match the style and tone of your company values.
Chrissy Teigen is an American model known for teaming up with brands to help them develop products or give them a shoutout. She has a slick, high fashion image but, at the same time, is family-oriented. She often posts photos of her children and husband on her Instagram account. Quay’s sunglasses fit with her audience perfectly. They offer high-fashion for every day.
2. Not Researching Your Audience
You have to fully understand your audience and popular personalities that match their needs. Start by pulling information on your current customers. What are their age ranges? Do they have any specific hobbies? Perhaps you mainly sell to professional working women.
Once you have some details on your typical client, create a buyer persona. Now, compare that persona to the followers of those you’re considering hiring as influencers.
50 Floor enlists the help of Richard Karn in promoting their home flooring services. Because Karn was a handyman on the show “Home Improvement,” he has a high recognition factor for their audience.
3. Choosing the Wrong Influencer
Be careful who you choose to represent your brand. Some companies have gotten into hot water by letting people lacking values to promote their companies. One example of this would be the actress Lori Loughlin and the college admissions scandal. Anyone utilizing her as a spokesperson would immediately appear to endorse her as well.
There are thousands of different influencers and micro-influencers out there. Make sure you research any you work with carefully. Have your lawyer create a contract that states the person must abide by certain ethics or your relationship ends. You want someone with an excellent reputation to talk up your brand. If their image takes a hit, then it is time to part ways.
Too Faced cosmetics didn’t set out to find a specific influencer for their lip gloss line. They suddenly sold out of the product and discovered people posting information about the product on Tik Tok. They decided to enlist their fans to promote their new mascara using the tagline #TFDamnGirl and managed to garner a ton of ongoing attention.
4. Not Gauging Interest
It doesn’t do you much good to team up with an influencer if their followers couldn’t care less about your product. There are many ways of generating interest, but a giveaway is probably one of the easiest. Only those who genuinely want what you offer will enter to win. Work with your influencer to gather a list of names you can contact later. You can also have a follow-up offer ready to go.
Your influencer knows their audience better than you do, so brainstorm with them. Figure out what their followers respond to and create your campaign around that knowledge.
Le Creuset teamed up with Natasha’s Kitchen to offer a giveaway of a Dutch oven by Le Creuset. Natasha’s Kitchen often teams up with kitchen brands, which ties perfectly into her recipes. Note how she offers a recipe in the Dutch oven and then the giveaway information.
5. Choosing Numbers Over Quality
Are the number or quality of followers more important? Many brands today work with micro-influencers. Their number of fans are smaller, but they cater to a select niche. Pay attention to how engaged the person’s contacts are. Do they share and like posts of other brands the influencer works with?
The advantage of influencer marketing is often in the extended reach. The influencer shares a post with their followers, and those people share with theirs and so on. You can reach hundreds of thousands from a few thousand with enough interaction. Make sure the audience is engaged and interested.
Fiji Water often teams up with online influencers to promote their product. Oh Yomi recently posted a snapshot of her sitting at a picnic table with bottles of Fiji and a couple of bags. She’s enjoying a little fresh air and staying hydrated at the same time. They’ve worked with fashion gurus, fitness fanatics, and ordinary people to get the word out about their brand.
Take Your Time With Influencers
Don’t rush into influencer marketing. Take your time to learn the ins and outs of a successful campaign. Study anyone you’re thinking of working with and watch how their audience reacts to other campaigns. Over time, you’ll see which influencers are the best match for your business and develop a few profitable relationships.