Maybe you’re taking a quick break in between meetings and scrolling through your Instagram feed, or you’ve landed on the YouTube homepage and noticed an image that gave you pause. Regardless of the channel, you’re probably seeing something similar–a bright, seemingly candid image of your favorite celebrity, happily dicing an onion with an alluring caption: My first attempt at homemade street tacos! Love how easy this recipe is. Look a little closer and you’ll see a discreetly placed logo in the background of the picture, and a sneaky “#ad” tacked onto the end of the caption.
Influencer marketing has reached its peak. We encounter it as consumers everyday, and as annoying as it may be to realize you’re being tricked into seeing an ad in your carefully curated social feed, these brands know what they’re doing: nearly half of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 say that they’ve tried a product recommended by an influencer, and 26 percent say they actually bought the product! In today’s oversaturated ad space, brands from a variety of industries are seeing major success in recruiting influencers to represent and recommend their brand for a more organic ad experience. If you’ve hopped on the influencer bandwagon, it’s likely that you’ll be seeing some similar results! Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your influencer marketing strategy:
Find Out Where Your Audience Is
Not all influencers are created equally, which is why it’s imperative that you know your audience and their online habits before you nail down an influencer to rep your brand. Let’s start broad and narrow it down: where is your audience online? Are they on Instagram, YouTube, or Snapchat? Once you have a channel identified, then you can start exploring trends within that channel. What hashtags are they keeping up with? What generally interests them? Then, it’s time to narrow it down to your influencers. Are you looking for an influencer with a local following? A global following? Someone who promotes fashion, food, or travel? Keep in mind, influencers don’t have to be A-list celebrities. Micro-influencers (influencers with less than 250,000 followers) tend to yield a much higher ROI since they’re cheaper to partner with and tend to have a much more loyal following that feels more personally connected.
Create Content that Fits
Once you’ve chosen influencers to partner with, it’s time to craft your content. Whether you’re sending them a product to review on their own or staging a full photoshoot for them, the most important thing when it comes to creating promoted content is that it fits seamlessly into their current personal brand. Think about it: an influencer has worked hard to build a brand for themselves, which is what got them their loyal following in the first place. It may seem counterintuitive, but the goal of your promoted content is not to stand out…it’s to blend in!
Provide a Made-for-Mobile Landing Page
One of the most important aspects of any ad is the landing page. There’s nothing worse than earning the click, then losing the conversion due to a cluttered, slow, or broken landing page–an issue especially prominent on mobile. The majority of your social influencer audience will be on their mobile devices, so make sure the CTA you’re providing lands on a page that not only works on mobile, but is made for mobile. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…Progressive Web Apps are the way to go when it comes to mobile landing pages!
Always Encourage Authenticity
The best case scenario is that your influencer is already a fan of your product and wants to advocate for it, but that may not always be the case. If you don’t have an influencer that is already a fan, make them a fan! Send them a variety of products to try and review, or invite them to your headquarters or a local event to give them a taste of your culture and brand. Remember, the ultimate goal of influencer marketing is to appeal to the influencer’s trusting audience–don’t jeopardize that trust by asking your influencer to gush over a product they may not have ever used. When an influencer is an avid fan of something, it will show in the way they talk about it–both online and offline.
To sum it up: don’t rush the process–building genuine relationships with your influencers takes time, but it will be well worth it in the end when you convert your influencer’s fans into your own fans.