[By: Promise Phelon] [Forbes] [Read More]
It seems as though EVERYBODY is talking about the influencer marketplace and influencer marketing companies these days. But when you cut through all of the BS and the rhetoric here’s what it really boils down to: influencers develop a currency called ‘authentic content’ that drives your sales. Stop ignoring and START tapping into it. If you think you can do it without them, you’re wrong.
Last week, a 60 Minutes segment aired called, “The Influencers.” The piece focused on how certain influencers have risen above the ranks and are seemingly making bank from brands that have realized how best to utilize their skills. During its story, 60 Minutes calls out that influencer, Logan Paul, was paid $200,000 for creating a Dunkin Donuts commercial. A commercial that was essentially filmed with his own iPhone and a DSLR camera – and helped to build Logan’s own brand.
So why the hell does this work and how are people like Logan creating significant impact where traditional advertising is failing? Logan said it best, “The biggest companies in the world and brands have come to me to help sell their product to the younger generation. And I speak the language of millennials, and they respond to my content.”
Although some great questions were asked in the interviews with Logan and his colleagues, there are a few important aspects that were missed that I wanted to bring to the forefront that they didn’t cover.
- Influencer Marketing Has No Consistent Measure of Value.
The social media platforms that influencers use change and shift often. With one swift app update you can go from measuring the number of “hearts” your influencer’s Instagram photo received to instead, measuring how many tuned into his/her Instagram story. This makes it difficult to compare campaign results on a consistent basis or even against competitors.
Brands are often looking to force influencers into a box where they see the most opportunity for their client. Don’t get me wrong, at TapInfluence we’re also looking to connect the right influencer with the right brand, but we also encourage our brands to keep an open mind to other platforms and spaces their target audience might be playing.
Lastly, brands often make the mistake of measuring value of influencers solely by their number of followers or the number of views their content receives. Instead, brands need to dig deeper to evaluate the actual engagement these influencers have within their community. If they aren’t able to engage their audience, they’re equally unable to influence purchasing decisions and help drive sales.
- Influencers Are Your Key to Meaningful Content, So Get Off Their Backs
In this new economy, influencer content is the currency, and like anything, the quality dictates the price. Utilizing a platform that can scale your influencer outreach like TapInfluence, can have a positive impact on the number of meaningful influencers you’re able to reach. It also means that you’re able to get to the best influencers for your brand specifically.
The downfall many brands have here is when they try to micromanage influencers during the content creation phase. At TapInfluence, our team works as the buffer between the brands and our influencers and we’re able to coach our corporate customers through “letting go” throughout the creative process.
If you can’t provide your influencer with some creative flexibility, you may as well stick to traditional advertising. That’s a shame, because the ROI with influencer marketing outpaces traditional advertising 11 times.
- Get Over Your Obsession with Particular Platforms or Silos of Content
Throughout the 60 Minutes segment, there were references to influencers focusing on specific social media platforms.
What you have to understand is that influencer marketing should not be executed in one social media platform or done in a vacuum. The best influencer strategy is horizontal and becomes a connective tissue to your social media, content, and PR programs.
Take Vine for example. It’s basically done, and the success of Twitter is still to be determined so don’t put all of your eggs into one basket or you’ll wind up having to make omelets.
- Delineate Between an Influencer and Your Intended Buyer
Marketers will often fall in love with an influencer and their content. It’s important to help them get over this stalker-like obsession quickly. One influencer is not your “silver bullet’ for future marketing initiatives.
If you rely solely on one influencer with a massive audience, you’ll absolutely get some significant reach and perhaps even some meaningful engagement. But what you won’t get is a significant lift in your sales.
It’s simple. An influencer’s audience isn’t YOUR audience. There is influencer marketing technology that can help you match your brand to a particular audience based on influencer profile data. Use that information and those relationships to achieve desired results because sadly, once the influencer’s audience realizes what you’re doing, their loyalty is gone with the birds.
- Avoid The Black Hole of Best Practices. Pay Attention to Obeying The Law.
Running a successful influencer marketing campaign can consume a shitload of time and resources. Although your head may be spinning with all of the rules on “what not to do,” I can tell you that one of the most important aspects to pay attention to are the regulations the FTC has slapped on influencer engagement.
Even though influencer marketing isn’t a traditional advertisement, the most common mistake brands make when running programs of their own is not working with influencers to ensure they disclose their content as “sponsored.”
Lucky for you, there are a number of influencer marketing platforms, like TapInfluence, who will carry the burden of compliance for you to help mitigate the legal waters.