Influencers have become a buzz word in the marketing world. Influencers are individuals who have influence in certain niches and industries, and exert that influence to their sphere. Today, influencers are one of the most important tactics of digital PR (there are some key differences to note between traditional PR vs digital PR).
photo credit: @zachking
However, the influencer marketing world is growing and the rules are changing. Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for influencers, and many marketers choose to go that route. For a strategy to be successful, you’ll need to know how to work with influencers the right way. Here are seven tips:
1. Research Your Influencer
Influencers are often bombarded with requests from companies that don’t align with their own brand image. You should always take the time to really research your influencer and learn as much as you can about them. Do they convey the right image for your company, and could you see them associated with your product or service? Pay particular attention to the quality of their content and how they communicate with their followers.
2. Offer a Thoughtful Introduction
The last thing you want to do is appear as if you didn’t put time into researching your influencers. It’s not uncommon for influencers to receive messages from brands to promote products that don’t make sense for them to promote. No one wants to receive a copy and pasted introduction; even if your brand isn’t a good fit, a great influencer is always happy to learn about a new brand, and may pass that information on to someone who works better.
3. Allow Creative Control
As a marketer it’s important for you to learn to embrace relinquishing your creative control. After all, you choose influencers because you agree with their aesthetic, which they’ve worked hard to cultivate. Giving them the creative control that has worked well for them so far helps build trust, which is the cornerstone of any successful partnership. Offer your influencers autonomy to dictate how they communicate with their audience.
4. Don’t Forget About Micro Influencers
Micro influencers have anywhere between 1,000 and 30,000 followers. Micro influencers are trending, and the data shows it. According to a study from Influencive, 83% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product recommended by a micro influencer. Additionally, other research from ExpertVoice found that micro influencers saw 22.2x higher conversions per week than their macro influencers. Just because an influencer has follower counts on the lower end of the spectrum doesn’t mean they won’t deliver.
5. Look at Engagement
Engagement rates are a strong indication of how involved an influencer is with their audience. When influencers are engaging with their audience, they’re building a more genuine connection with them, which means their audience is more likely to want to support the products and services they promote. Generally speaking, studies have shown that accounts with low follower counts have higher engagement rates.
6. Incorporate Stories
When you work with an Instagram influencer, work an Instagram story into your partnership package. These stories create an additional touchpoint, and allow for ample opportunities. Stories can include links directly to your website, and also offers plenty of data (for example, you’ll be able to see how many people viewed the story and how many people took action with a click). Stories also help create actionable engagement, and often get many questions and responses.
7. Track Your ROI
Understanding your return on investment is one of the most important aspects of creating a successful campaign. At the end of the day, you’ll never truly know how your campaign fared if you don’t have the proper metrics in place. Setting clear goals gives the opportunity to measure your campaign effectively. Using a conversion tracking system, like custom or affiliate links, will help you better understand how your campaign worked out, and can help you structure your future campaigns much better.