How customized influencer marketing strategies can amplify your brand
We’ve all heard the saying, “any press is good press,” but is this really true? Negative consequences of bad press aside, this perpetuates the myth that just getting your brand’s name out there with a scattershot approach is intrinsically valuable. Unfortunately, this is the strategy that many brands and even marketing agencies take with influencer marketing: advertising to a broad audience with whom your brand may not always resonate. This sort of broad-stroke advertising isn’t really going to do you any favors, because even though it definitely boosts brand awareness, it isn’t going to automatically result in more conversions.
Yes, brand awareness is important, but undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages that influencer marketing has to bring to the table is engagement. Not setting engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) as one of the goal metrics of your influencer advertising campaign and not seeking out to capitalize on this powerful aspect of influencer marketing is, to put it frankly, counterintuitive. Why spend money on an influencer marketing campaign if you’re setting yourself up for uninspiring results?
Why is Engagement Rate Important?
On social media especially, engagement can make or break an advertising campaign. In the past, accounts with large swathes of followers would have the most visible posts, but social media networks eventually caught on, realizing many of these accounts were simply cheating the system. The existence of bots, spam accounts, and even influencers impersonating fans on social media, were all tactics that accounts would use to pad their follower counts. Nowadays, social media algorithms that determine the visibility of posts rely on a much more authentic metric: engagement. The number of times your posts are liked, commented on, or shared, determines how visible they are. In short: engagement amplifies your brand’s reach.
Furthermore, engagement rate can actually help to build trust in your brand. If a post on social media about your brand is backed up with likes, comments, and shares, it makes those claims more credible. Why? It’s based on the simple concept of social proof. Social proof is the idea that people will be more likely to engage in an action if they see a lot of other people doing it. They’re also more likely to assume, although not always consciously, that the action in question is the most “correct” action to take in the situation, again, because the masses are engaging in that action too. Looking to choose a brand of toilet paper? Well, chances are you’re more likely to give a particular brand a chance if you see all your friends using it or talking positively about it.
It also helps to build a relationship with prospective customers before they commit to buying from you or utilizing your service, especially if you are responsive to comments. At the end of the day, people are far more likely to purchase from a brand they already feel like they have some sort of relationship with. That sense of connectedness translates directly into an increased likelihood to spend money with your brand. A little bit of reciprocal engagement can go a long way!
Engagement: The Cornerstone of Influencer Marketing
In the beginning: there were the mega-influencers. These influencers were (and still are) often real-life celebrities with large audiences as a result of their existing status. Mega-influencers are still a big slice of the influencer pie these days, with such notable names as Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and Ariana Grande. However, pairing up with these influencers can cost you a pretty penny and run you upwards of hundreds of thousands or even over a million dollars! Collaborating and advertising with these is understandably out of reach for most brands looking to get their name out there.
However, these mega-influencers are no longer the only fish in the pond. Nowadays, influencers are often regular people who have risen to some degree of internet renown. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re famous in the traditional sense of the word, but rather that they have some degree of authority or know-how in a particular niche. These days influencers have loyal audiences of all sizes. Follower count does not an influencer make! It’s engagement that makes an influencer. It’s amazing to think just how far influencers have come! Simply having a large follower count no longer automatically earns you that coveted “influencer” status: you must have a loyal, highly-engaged audience.
How to Get the Most Out of Influencer Marketing
Despite being well-known for its high level of engagement and high return on investment (ROI), influencer marketing isn’t inherently beneficial if you don’t utilize it correctly. Those returns aren’t guaranteed, and your influencer marketing campaign can still come to nothing if you don’t play it smart. You need to know how to work it! But believe it or not, it’s not rocket science: as with any tool, you need to know how to use it in order to get the most out of it. So how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of influencer marketing? The simplest solution would be a customized influencer marketing strategy.
Find the Right Influencer or Influencers
Here’s a simple piece of advice: people won’t be motivated to engage with a promotion for your brand if it doesn’t resonate with them. Period. This is why those broad-stroke advertising strategies we mentioned at the beginning of this article don’t really work very well; much of the effort you put into promotions end up appearing on the screens of many an uninterested internet user. You need to be sure to find an influencer or influencers in your brand’s niche or industry to really catch the attention of prospective customers who are more likely to be interested in your brand. The more targeted, the better! Your goal is to find an audience to tap into that simply can’t say no to your brand.
Get Influencer(s) on Board
This is the task that many brands find to be the most difficult: convincing influencers to work with them! It’s no walk in the park and can be difficult to do by yourself if you’re not well-connected or experienced in influencer relations. You may even find that if your brand is not well-known, an influencer may not even respond to your attempts to reach out to them. This can be especially frustrating if you’re trying to increase brand awareness. It’s sort of a catch-22 to have to have brand awareness in order to work with influencers to build brand awareness!
This is where a full-service influencer marketing agency is especially useful, because they take the guesswork out of building relationships with influencers, the communication process, and effectively leveraging relationships with influencers. They’re experts in the art of navigating influencer relations. They never forget that influencers are people too, and a brand or agency’s relationship with them shouldn’t be one-sided. Influencer marketing agencies are able to dedicate the time and effort (that many brands don’t have) to building those relationships, giving influencers what they need to thrive. You certainly wouldn’t want to give an influencer a negative impression of your brand by treating them like a means to an end!
Not Just the Niche: Content Creation
Once you get to the content creation process with an influencer, you’d think most of the work is done, right? Wrong! The content creation process is all about striking a delicate balance between allowing the influencer the creative liberty to produce content that their audience will find authentic and effectively communicating the most important aspects of your brand. Fortunately, if you choose to go with an experienced influencer marketing agency, they’re be able to help you hit that “sweet spot.” Nothing is worse than putting a bunch of time and energy into an influencer marketing campaign, only to have the end product fall flat!
Influencer-Created Content: The Cherry on Top
If you successfully navigate this process (ideally with the help of an influencer marketing agency) you’ll be left with an incredibly valuable asset to your brand: influencer-created content that packs quite a punch. If you thought engagement in and of itself was impressive, wait until you find out what’s possible with high-quality influencer-created content! The content created for your brand by an influencer automatically has an edge over other types of branded content because it’s:
- Authentic and Increases Brand Trust
What better way to tell your prospective customers and clients that your product or service is worthy of attention than someone noteworthy saying, “Hey, this brand? This is what I find awesome about it!” In addition, most micro- or nano-influencers started out as regular people, meaning they’re inherently more relatable and more likely to be perceived as authentic by the average internet user.
- Powerful and Attention-Grabbing
There’s content, and then there’s content produced by someone you recognize or even respect. It’s easy to scroll past something that’s a brand tooting its own horn, but many people do a double-take when they see someone they’re familiar with, like an influencer they’ve been tuning in to for quite some time.
Influencers have loyal and engaged audiences. Why? Because they know how to be engaging, that’s why! This is another one of the beautiful things about influencer-created content: they know how to motivate people to like, comment, subscribe, and share!
Influencer-created content is able to be incorporated into other ad campaigns across different social media networks and platforms. This effectively increases your reach by tapping into different targeted audiences, meaning more bang for your buck. Influencer-created content is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.
In sum, influencer-created content is probably one of the best pieces of branded content you can get. While a marketing team can certainly come up with something creative and engaging, influencers have their own tried-and-true content creation strategies that you can put to work for your brand. You also get to borrow a little bit of their “fame” to give your brand a boost. It’s the ideal kind of endorsement that really seals the deal and even further drives up ROI.
Using an Influencer Marketing Agency
The reality is, in order to have the most successful influencer marketing campaign that yields high-quality influencer-created content, you really need to consider utilizing a marketing agency specializing in influencer marketing. As with any job you want done right, you’ve got to leave it to the professionals, and online marketing agencies specialized in influencer marketing are poised to help you maximize your return on investment.
Influencer marketing isn’t in its infancy anymore. It’s been around for a while, and so have many of the marketing agencies that have come to work alongside them. Unfortunately, some influencer marketing agencies have come into existence only to capitalize on what they see as a lucrative marketing “fad.” They’re all about the money, but may not necessarily have the know-how to really utilize influencer marketing effectively. What you really need is an experienced marketing agency that has a solid foundation in online marketing.
The Experience Advertising Difference
Experience Advertising is a digital marketing agency that started over a decade ago in 2007. While we specialize in many different online marketing approaches, we’re also experts in influencer marketing. To us, influencer marketing isn’t just some “fad” we’re looking to capitalize on, but rather another tool in our online marketing toolbox we’re well-versed in utilizing to help promote your brand.
In our years of experience in digital marketing, we’re assisted countless clients in promoting their brands, some of whom have gone on to be influencers themselves! We’re veterans in influencer marketing and online PR who maintain relationships with many influences across different niches and micro-niches. In fact, we have a database of thousands of influencers and bloggers that we work with. By leveraging our existing relationships, we’re able to take a lot of the legwork out of your search for relevant influencers. By pairing up with Experience Advertising, you’ll be two steps ahead of the game!
If you’re ready to get the most out of influencer marketing, go with the experienced option: Experience Advertising. We create custom-tailored, super-targeted influencer marketing campaigns that amplify your brand and engagement rate, giving you maximum return on investment. Drop us a line to find out just how customized influencer strategies can benefit your brand today!