Leveraging the full potential of social media has become a key component of many different marketing strategies. For many modern marketing campaigns, influencer marketing is an effective and reliable tool. This current state of affairs stands in stark contrast to influencer marketing’s earlier days. It came into being as an informal, unstructured approach to brand promotion. Once major international brands took an interest, though, systematic approaches were charted out. By the time third-party specialists in influencer marketing entered the market, the entire process was methodical and rational. The value of proper influencer marketing has been proven by both campaign performance and survey studies.
In fact, according to Muze Creative, influencer marketing is one of the most quantifiable and measurable of all the new online tools for marketing. Its performance can be gauged accurately across multiple media. This probably explains why major brands have now become comfortable with the process after being initially nervous of it. Digital creators and influencers have become a reliable part of the online marketing team. Their effectiveness is respected and they are given the budgetary resources necessary to make significant contributions to marketing campaigns. Today, forward-thinking brands are poised to bring a new level of sophistication and innovation to influencer marketing.
Better Strategic Integration
When influencer marketing first rose to prominence, it consisted simply of getting a product into the hands of an influencer and hoping for positive results. Today this approach is recognised as being only marginally effective. For one thing, truly powerful influencers can be extremely selective in choosing brands to work with and in dictating exactly what their role should be.
Good results today stem from making a strong, organic match between the message a brand wants to send and the content an influencer produces. This delivers both authenticity and clarity. The result is a compelling delivery of a brand message that comes through just as clearly as a television spot or a sponsored Facebook post.
In this maturing environment, marketers should be looking for content integration opportunities rather than simple influencer endorsements. Products and brand messages should make an organic and meaningful contribution to an influencer’s content. The ideal to chase today is playing a role in the influencer’s storyline.
Video game marketers are particularly skilled at this latest way to use influence marketing. Ubisoft is notable for the live-action campaigns it builds together with influencers when promoting new games. Brands in other industries are learning to make full use of these tools as well. Mercedes Benz, for instance, collaborated with the owner of Loki the wolf-dog, the Instagram star, to create a story about taking the dog through the mountains of Colorado.
The brands that will experience the greatest success with influencer marketing are those that bravely empower influencers and give them tools to enhance their own creative efforts. This results in the production of new content which holds true to the influencers’ popular tone while also aligning with the brands’ chosen messages. Brands can maintain a significant amount of control by making guidelines and talking points available; this does not compromise the authenticity of the influencers’ content.
Matching Your Brand to Influencers
Brands seeking creative talent have hundreds of thousands of options available to them. In order to make the ideal match, brands need to approach influencer selection with as few preconceived notions as possible. A thorough demographic analysis of creators’ audiences should be used to narrow the field.
Brands also have a responsibility to verify influencer reach independently. Thorough due diligence is required due to a rising tide of influencer fraud. The good news is that the signs of fraudulent behaviour are relatively easy to spot when you know what to look for. An individual claiming to be a powerful UK influencer, for instance, is likely to be misrepresenting themselves if their audience is largely based in distant countries like Indonesia. This specific warning sign usually indicates an influencer buying audience share to artificially inflate their reach. Brand deals should be based on guaranteed views or engagements rather than an influencer’s own audience statistics. This ensures that brands are achieving favourable metrics through genuine human interaction rather than bot activity.
After analytical verification is complete, it is also important to assess a given creator’s passion for your brand’s message. The full effectiveness of influencer marketing relies on the full and passionate engagement of influencers with your brand. Always remember that the ideal in influencer marketing is generating content with authenticity and originality. While this content can do an impressive job of building brand affinity and attracting potential customers, it should not be treated as an advertisement under a different name.