Last updated on July 13th, 2021
Content marketing strategies are changing with time. Brand owners are now looking for more ways to explore influencers’ power to win over their massive audience. Influencers can help brands grab the attention of people immediately and also build trust and loyalty. Designhill conducted a webinar with a few industry experts where they revealed the strategies to engage influencers with a brand. Have a look!
Influencers are online celebrities who have the power to influence audiences. Since people like to follow these celebrities, businesses prefer to use them to drive attention towards their brands. Many affluent brands set aside a huge budget for influencer marketing. But even startups can use influencers with smaller budgets.
However, startups need to first know how to build a good relationship with influencers. Brands are thinking in terms of building authenticity for developing a rapport with their target audience. Influencers can help them make a brand appear trustworthy.
The leading creative marketplace Designhill conducted a webinar on influencer marketing with experts in the field. The webinar was on 12th May 2021 on the topic: Best Practices To Create High Performing Content With Authentic Influencers.
- What Makes Influencer-generated Content Authentic?
- How to create authentic influencer-generated content at scale?
- Learn how to use authentic influencer-generated content in your marketing mix to make great repurposed content?
- Trends: Video content will remain king in 2021.
- Tips on creating a value-driven content.
- Key Takeaway on selecting and forming the partnerships with influencers: long-term or short-term – when and how to use both
– Guidelines to create the best on-brand User Generated Content (without stifling creativity).
- Case Studies: What successful brands are doing to drive revenue from influencer marketing?
Know Your Panelists:
Amy Choi is the Head of Brand Partnerships, ShopStyle. She is a savvy digital marketer and carries extensive experience in digital and partnership marketing, conceptualizing innovative integrated marketing campaigns that drive buzz and build brand equity.
Camila Hernandez has an integrated marketing communications experience. The best way to stand out in the market today is to give people the experience they want with an innovative and unique product. No two audiences are alike, nor should they be. Let’s dive deep with a three-step process: we’ll listen to the audience, analyze the findings, and create a robust experiential campaign that will resonate with your business and communications goals?
Fay Chapple is an award-winning global business strategist. She is an entrepreneur and Master Speaker Trainer. Fay helps multinational corporations and global entrepreneurs create, launch, and expand their brands on a global scale for over 30 years. Her key areas of expertise include Strategy and Product Development, Global Expansion, Communications, Leadership, Change Management, and Innovation.
Joe Cox is the Founder and Creator at The Pop-Marketer, where he is building a community of Pop-Marketers. He produces Pop-Marketing Podcasts to show how to tap into the zeitgeist to supercharge their ideas & unlock the creativity hidden within the media.
Valerie Morris is a digital marketing strategist. She is also a speaker, author, and consultant. Helping experts share their brand message and expertise, she helps them position themselves as the leaders in the field. She also owns Tintero Creative, a company that serves with its expertise on digital marketing, social media, and strategic content.
In this post, we’ve shared the video of the session and transcript in the form of Q/A where you’ll be learning everything about how to create high performing content with authentic influencers.
Transcript (Q/A): Here Is How You Should Create High-Performing Content With Authentic Influencers
Designhill: What are the basic tips that a marketer should keep in mind while searching for influencers and convincing them?
Research the right influencer
Amy Choi: There are so many agencies out there and lots of opportunities. But it is not as easy as jumping on one of these boards and saying, they have 100,000 followers, I’ll click them because that’s old school now. Just because someone has 100,000 followers, it doesn’t mean they are right for you. You are looking for somebody that has your audience.
But you need to do a little bit of research. It is just like saying to somebody who perhaps is targeting 14-year-old boys that want basketball paraphernalia. They might go after a basketball player that 14-year-olds do not think is very cool. You can’t just rely on boards, you have to talk to that audience and see who they think an influencer is.
Designhill: How should startups reach out to influencers and convince them?
Joe Cox: It is tough for a startup and somebody when you do not have your brand completely. You do not have the notoriety a lot of times, you are still building out who you are, and of course, matters. Know what vertical you are in and what product or services that you are selling. But a couple of tips or tricks that I have known that startups have done in the past.
Know who else is talking about similar products
It is similar to getting to know who is talking about products like yours? Who is out there talking, and using those products? Not yours? Because yours may not even be in people’s hands yet, but who has the interest? and What problem? Does your product solve the problem? You start to have to go into these zones when you are researching.
I am not just able to search for my brand name, or my business name is my vendor. What else am I gonna go out there and look for? I am out there looking to see who has the most interest in those things, who is already talking about this.
Identify influencers early
Valerie Morris: I work with many major brands that have big budgets for influencer marketing campaigns. Sometimes these are smaller brands that are just starting. When identifying influencers that have that niche interest is right when you are a startup. At that time you are reaching out to these influencers. You are showcasing not only the product but also your brand’s story.
I think a lot of people want to fall in love with the brand values, and the mission. They like the story behind the product planning, that’s a way for you to sort of build brand advocacy. Once they have the product in their hands, you can see organic coverage on social media, etc. and have them be an advocate. But it does take that long period to sort of invest in them and build that trust and relationship as well.
Designhill: How do you describe this complete cycle of finding, identifying, and convincing the influences?
The research is probably the most important part. But it is not about just going out and searching for them. Then find out how they are engaging for a couple of weeks. How are people engaging with their content in real-time? What kinds of content are they consistently putting out? Then reach out and find out.
Get information about the relationship
So, get the information about what the relationship might look like, and what would be involved on both parties. Know what the expectations and the deliverables would be. You should be clear on what you and they are getting from the experience. But that research piece is vital. Also, it is just that digital stalking to make sure that they are the right person.
I like to have a few different people kind of help stock so that we can kind of come back. Then, you can say this was our pool of influencers we were considering where everyone feels. How does everyone feel about that, and get a feel for who is the right fit? It is the smaller folks these days that have got a big following, but they are smaller. They have more of that niche market that you can get, that traction and influencer marketing. So, sometimes it is important to do that research because you can see how that specific audience responds versus the giant masses?
Designhill: Besides those vanity metrics, what more should marketers keep in mind?
It depends on your campaign goals
Camila Hernandez: We kind of work together in a team, depending on the campaign goals. Is it focused on the need? Are you looking for influencers to build a community or to build an audience? Where are you trying to go? Influencers that have a larger following tend to have a less engaged audience.
However, they do get a larger reach on their story. Or, perhaps they have a more active community when they go live. It may also be that we just like the way that the bigger influencer creates content. This is because they have a larger team behind them and may have a photographer or an editor. You may be looking to augment your content marketing pieces. The content then can be utilized in your ads or your email marketing. Then probably you want to go to influencers that have a larger following.
Smaller influencers help build trust
When looking to build trust, product reviews, or create more edit types of content, think of going to a smaller influencer. Also, we take a look at influencers who have mentioned our brand. Even if they do not have a strong following, they do have a community that interacts with them. Their community is asking them questions about a product or issues.
If they have that knowledge, they can provide a bag, maybe we use them for a piece of content, and then also for a product review. Then have them hop on a life whether it is on Facebook or Instagram, and then maybe even do a panel talk with them. It is just finding the right person to be the spokesperson for your brand.
Designhill: What are the lesser discovered platforms that can do wonders for influencer marketing strategy?
Valerie Morris: It is amazing to me how Twitter continues to just be this kind of a little bit off of the spotlight. But it is no such dominant force. Depending on your industry, it is very active. So that is a place where I have seen influencers do well, especially if they have built up their following in a very authentic way. That is versus just doing some spammy things. But if they are using their authentic voice and have built up a following in a legitimate way over the years, it is a helpful place.
LinkedIn is for organic traction
I have also seen LinkedIn being a fabulous space. It is perhaps my favorite social media platform. The people that are on there when they are on LinkedIn, are very engaged. They are usually very curious about their business or their professional career. So, when they are on there, they are hyper-focused, not just sitting there and scrolling to kill time. They are spending intentional time on LinkedIn.
What I love about LinkedIn is that the algorithm seems to be just a little bit kinder to you. Although it is almost a few years behind some of the things that some of the other platforms have put. You can get a lot more organic traction on LinkedIn, compared to some of the other platforms. Now, of course, if your audience is not on LinkedIn, it is not worth the time. But if your audience is, it is a great place to spend your efforts when maybe Instagram and Facebook are a little frustrating for you.
Joe Cox: Twitter is weirdly just back there. There is still no better place for those kinds of conversations. It is something I watch a lot. But there is also a lot of noise. I agree that LinkedIn seems to be more focused. But I believe that gaming, in general, is just social media or will be social.
Explore gaming platforms
If you look at Roblox, you look at the things that are coming up. Gaming is beyond what most brands understand. They do not understand the size of gaming and the social interaction that the gamers have. I would call out that streaming in any aspect. You have people that are so engaged with their audiences. It is incredible to watch a streamer, just the training of keeping an audience’s attention for hours. And it is not just gaming anymore, either.
I think that is something that you should take some time in investigating. You should think of live streaming in general, and those channels that go around it. But think especially of channels like Twitch and YouTube of the game streamers. These are the places where I think that brands have hesitated. If you want to get somewhere early, where you can have a lot of impacts without those algorithms, then that is a great place to start.
YouTube is for influence
Fay Chapple: The whole streaming and correlation to YouTube are fascinating. I am just blown away sometimes by the amount of influence they have. Then you have these 15-16-year-old boys who are watching YouTube and whatever their streamer does, they are in. They are in because they’ve already bought into that brand.
I have a son who has got 500,000 followers on YouTube, and whatever he says becomes overnight sensations. But, it is such a wild kind of world in terms of looking at other platforms or different media coming up. That is where a brand new company or somebody who’s trying to get in has a good foothold to be in.
Joe Cox: It is not going to be as easy. Facebook and Instagram are popular for a reason. They’ve built all the plumbing. They make it so you can scale it.
Amy Choi: As we are talking about emerging platforms and gaming, we didn’t even touch on Tik-Tok. If you want to target Gen Z, Tik Tok may be the platform for you. But that algorithm is another beast. Because it is all about the content. I think it comes down to how engaging is that video content. With the shorter attention span of most people, you have to capture most people’s attention within the first three seconds. Or they will scroll to the next thing.
So, brand marketers work with influencers making sure that they are aligning right to whatever you want to promote. But they can convey that message for you in an engaging way. In this way, your message kind of does eventually get shared. That is because the Tik-Tok algorithm is more conducive for that sharing and the views increasing.
Camila Hernandez: The millennials spend time working through Tik-Tok. But, you need to grab attention definitely within the three seconds of that video. There is a specific format that has been identified of how it grabbed traction to make the purchase. So, set up the right ads, and then have the influencer do its thing on their channel.
Designhill: How to identify the highest performing pieces of content and analyze the elements they have in common?
Amy Choi: When we talk about content development, the best approach is allowing creative freedom. So, if you are an agency representing your client, make sure that everyone is on the same page as their content creators. That is because they know what content resonates with their community and fans.
So, when you are doing a content brief, not being too prescriptive will ultimately help the end game. Having some sort of direction, of course, is part of the collaboration. That is because you want to ensure that they hit your message points. Understand what they should creatively or visually shoot or produce.
Redo the content
But having their spin on it makes the content so much stronger. That is because they know how to weave in products and your messages in their own narrative. People follow them. If we are talking about using a new blender, I am making this up. But using a new blender, people have probably followed what she likes, doing recipes and whatever. It just makes it more authentic. So give them that creative freedom to shoot however they want.
Edited vs Unedited videos
When it comes to edited versus unedited, more people are turning into this unedited sort of approach, which is why Instagram Stories is huge. People love following Instagram Stories more than the infeed because it is so glossy, so editorial. With stories, I feel like I am watching them just holding the camera around. You get there talking to the camera, you see their messy house in the background. It just feels like you are in their world.
But I think as brands start to work with these influencers, you have to understand giving them that creative freedom. That is because ultimately, they may convert more on an unedited sort of story versus a very glossy photo. I think that is my advice for brand marketers, especially when it comes down to content development.
Designhill: At what point should we start experimenting with another content type?
Videos will stay
Fay Chapple: I think the video is not going away. It is not going away. Clubhouses are here, audios here, Twitter’s jumped on at everything. But the video is not going away. A well-done video is always going to be premium in terms of reaching people. I think the media has said you must be on video or you are not going to influence anyone.
If you are good at the medium, then the brand that you are representing will be seen exactly how the brand wants to be seen. But forcing an influencer to say, we want this in the media, isn’t going to work for you. So, as a brand, as the business that is responsible for the product or the service you are selling, the onus is on you. You need to understand what that influencer is good at and what they are not. Do not force, something that just doesn’t come organically.
Designhill: How to make a good mix of the video?
Valerie Morris: I am also a big fan of content that’s in written form as well. I like to make sure that it is paired both ways. I also am a big fan of taking content that’s created in one way and maximizing it as much as possible.
When I am putting together a content strategy with a client we might create a video first. We can then break it into multiple smaller types of videos. These are smaller clips that could be put on different platforms in different ways over time. Then that content is also able to be broken into a longer blog post that explains it in that way.
Then you can always take that into the other sound bites for Twitter posts, and create visuals that go for Instagram. When you parallel that in the influencer space, think about short-form passing content. That could be a story that might be up and have a great life while it is alive.
Look for content that lasts long
But what’s something that could last a little bit longer. I like to diversify my approach. When working with an influencer, we might have plenty of stories and reels and other such stuff. But then we have a few pieces that are more anchoring that last longer.
I just tried to have that approach, even if the longer form content isn’t as viral at the moment. It is something that’s going to continue to drive traffic. That is something we can point back to time and time again after that influencer campaign is done. Because I want to get the best bang for my buck when I am running a campaign. So I want to think not just in the short term, but in the long term as well.
Longevity of content
One of the reasons why Instagram Reels and all these things are so hot at the moment is the longevity of the content. So when we serve our clients and our partners, many of the influencers also have their domains. They are bloggers, and they have their blogs. A lot of what we have on our end due to affiliate marketing, we see a lot of conversions happened on the blogs. That is because their long-form content tells more about the product and your brand.
But the influencers are savvy business women and men. They have their newsletters and they re-promote old blog posts. There is a search functionality on their blog. So, it is more evergreen. There are more moments and opportunities for them to your point value. That is whether the brand is pointing back to it or the influencer. They are promoting their old content. It just makes it more of a long-form, long-term sort of approach to promote a brand and or extend life.
Valerie Morris: When you do that and you have stuff on their website, they have your stuff on theirs like, it is also an opportunity for your site to rank better on Google. It is a social media strategy and we have a big picture marketing.
Designhill: Have you ever seen who’s reading the blog versus who’s watching the video, demographic-wise?
Most people visit websites
Valerie Morris: The decision-makers who have credit cards often are going to the websites. So, you might catch their attention first with the short-form content. Then, you can keep their attention to make that conversion later by sending them somewhere on social media.
I have also found that the older you go, the more people tend to want to just go back to the website. That is because that’s just kind of the way I think we all operate. Because of the way we adopted technology, we consume it first on social media. Then, we go to the website to purchase.
Younger people buy directly
Younger generations may be directly purchased through the platform. They are not as fearful of putting credit card information, something like that, or using alternative payment options. It is just a matter of being comfortable with the technology. Younger generations are used to thinking in front of a screen, whereas if you are a millennial or older, you have to kind of learn that a second time. It is an interesting demographic study for sure.
The younger ones will click on anything on Instagram and buy it. They do not even know where they are buying from and have no idea they just click the button. Whereas a little bit older people want to go back to the site to see if they can put a credit card in. It is a fascinating piece to study.
Just as a brand, you might be the one that needs that one single image right on Instagram that somebody will click and buy. Then depending on your brand, you might be the one that needs to have a whole landing page. You should have specific information on the landing page that says okay, now I am comfortable enough to purchase.
Email can be extremely impactful and video is such a great net. It is a great place to kind of get people’s interest. Whenever they are on YouTube, they can take in that video. That is something that you have to consume in a certain way. Those newsletters and the blogs and everything that comes afterward, you are following through. So, I always think about those different channels that are surrounding your influencer. Yeah, because a lot of people aren’t. They are just wanting to buy the biggest thing that their biggest and most engaged followers are following them everywhere.
Designhill: How to measure the ROI?
Camila Hernandez: Your initial goals come in handy when identifying campaign KPIs, or just building up your report. For instance, the goals may be focusing on website traffic or clicking to the site. On Instagram stories, the goal may be how many swipe-ups where it was driven through one frame. Or, which type of frame drove more of those swipe-ups for their audience to engage with?
Share influencers’ content
We have had interesting concepts wherein you find that the influencers’ audience will swipe up on their frame. But we can share the influencers’ content just when they are creating it. Share that content at that moment when they are talking about the brand. Then, it will have a greater reach of new consumers as compared to when we didn’t share it at the same time.
You have a bigger campaign where there are 15 influencers active for one campaign. Then, let us say you want to launch a product. It is also being mindful of how many influencers do you want to showcase at the same time. That is because it could get a little too overwhelming, rather than spreading them out and understanding the longevity of the campaign. So, know how long you want to be alive. That is compared to while looking at their metrics, having each influencer curate content that is truthful and natural to their persona on their platforms.
It may be that you are striving for traffic to the site. But there are other methods as well. You can write a blog for one, the other one can do maybe a podcast or could be also pointing to an affiliate link. That that may be striving to whatever it is that they feel most comfortable sending to their audience. That could be an Amazon platform, or they have a storefront there. So, that could be a good way to also engage with an audience on Amazon.
Know their viewer engagement
That’s another whole umbrella that has a huge potential and scope where you can build so many strategies, going live on Amazon and having that product visibility where they are, it is like a texture product. If they are live on Amazon, know how many viewers were engaging. How many sales did you get from that? A lot of success is also measured in that.
So, if you are building campaigns, make them into different categories. You can build traffic campaigns and engagement campaigns. In this way, you are never bummed out for lack of a better word of your expectations of a campaign. Rather, you segment them out to get the best for each campaign.
Influencers are like a funnel
I feel like influencers as a whole could be a full-funnel. They could be brand awareness, or you can use them to be lower-funnel conversion. I think it goes back to the types of influencers that you are working with. Because different types of influencers can provide a different benefit for the brand. You get benefits depending on what you are trying to achieve.
It is just knowing that maybe the influencers with high reach, but a super high engagement rate would be good for community building. Or, reach ads or content, because they have beautiful content that you can repurpose on paid media or your website. That is how we are partnering with them.
Then there are the nano and micro-influencers who have smaller communities. But their conversion rates are super high. They fulfill that need of just making those transactions and recommending a product. They may say, “I love skincare”, or whatever the case is, and then they just buy it. So I am at ShopStyle collective, we have 30,000 influencers in our network.
When we work with our influencers and connect them to our brands, we see that lower-tier convert. That is because they are just so close and real to their audience. This will help you cover the broad spectrum of brand awareness to lower funnel conversion.
Designhill: What should be the first step that a marketer should analyze?
Understand your subtlety
Fay Chapple: In the global arena right now there are no pure right and wrong answers. I mean, things change daily. We all know that. What worked yesterday, might not be working today. It might be a subtle shift in who you are using as an influencer, or how it was presented.
There might be a difference in how the video went. This could be in terms of a podcast reach that you think was the same presentation. But actually, there was a subtle piece that I think you need to go through step by step and understand what that subtlety was. That made the difference. Because when we look at it as holistically adjusted while they are both the same. But they are not.
Not all campaigns are a success
Amy Choi: From a brand perspective, the biggest thing, especially with influencers, is that not all campaigns will probably be the same success. I always think it is also a test and learning. Because in the end, it is going to be specific. That is why marketers have to understand that it is not a one-time thing.
Some get discouraged when their work, within the first time investment, doesn’t work and you do not want to do it again. Whereas you have to remember, they are real people. They are an extension of your marketing team. That’s what I like to think about it. They are the ones at the front lines to your core consumer and your audience.
At the end of the day, if one campaign didn’t work, and one worked, then understand what didn’t work. Then, take those key things and apply them to the next one. But I think over time, marketers do have to understand this space is going to go. What worked yesterday may not be working tomorrow, Many of these platforms evolve or change their algorithm. There is just so much that we’re at the mercy of these social media platforms.
Brands can tap influencers’ resources
But the influencers have to understand that as long as they have their domain, newsletter, and their community, the brands can always tap into those. I think that those will wonder, that will be the strongest long term and as they think about their business. It is just investing in them is the right approach. Just make sure you continue the conversation with these influencers because they are not going away anytime soon.
Audiences are now smarter
Fay Chapple: I also think that the audiences are just smarter. They are smarter, because they can see if somebody is truly engaged in that brand or they are just there for the money. I mean, it is the truth, I hate to say it out loud, but they are smart, and the younger, younger the audience,
Amy Choi: Because of these influencers a lot of them now, especially in the past year, have been very particular with the client. They are particular with the brand partnerships that they are accepting. They will turn down. I think it is not new when you reach a certain echelon, you are in a position to turn down money.
But there are the ones who have the integrity of promoting things that they do love. Then, there are the ones who are shelling out something like, do not love, for example. Because I think that they know their readers can see through them. They almost do not want to be called out by their fans. They do not want to be promoting something where they can be called out potentially. I do think that they aren’t good about turning away campaigns for the right reasons. There are so many influencers now I feel like it is just you have to stay true to your core platform and your brand.
Designhill: How a particular influencer marketing campaign works and would you recommend any specific tool to measure the impact?
Valerie Morris: You can measure all of these metrics. We compare this to traditional advertising tactics. Or, if you are using an influencer to use more traditional tactics, digital allows you the ability to track all this. You may be requesting reports directly from the influencer. Or, you are using one of those platforms. You must make that part of the process that you are going to measure and keep everyone accountable.
Measure your metrics
I do think using some of the platforms is helpful and found great success with them. Also, I have found great success in just paying attention and having our metrics measured. We know what our baseline is before we run a campaign to know, we had this huge spurt of activity. We know that is an increase because we know what it was before and we know what it went back to. Then also, I think this is one thing that I see across social media all the time, is just people forget to pay attention to their website.
It is such a simple metric that we can use it on a basic level for free like Google Analytics. A lot of people forget to pay attention. They forget to see where we go from. We ran this influencer campaign, maybe the social stats weren’t super impressive. But it drove a lot of traffic to our shop. To me, that’s a success.
Driving sales is the measure
I do not care if it didn’t look viral on social media, but it drove sales on my website. To me, that’s a success. A lot of people are just looking for vanity metrics. They forget that what matters is the return on it. Sometimes we do not see that on how many people swiped up or how many people were viewing a video. You have to look at the metrics that are driving real results for what your campaign goals were.
Camila Hernandez: The influencers with the right UTM let them fend for themselves and grab the link. But you are also able to give them a trackable link that shows you what was the content that best performed regarding your goal. The goal may be that I want traffic to the site. You notice that one type of specific format of content performed better. Then, you can do the follow-up campaign that we should plan. Or, that you plan on how you would exit influencer.
Designhill: How long does it take the process of creating content and campaign?
It takes one week roughly
Camila Hernandez: It takes time and it depends on whether you are on a brand side or an agency side. I do not know if any of you here would want to pitch in on that. I have my own experience from the brand side as well as independently. From the brand side, it has taken one week, or you have to hustle and get it out within three days. It all depends on whether it is for a product launch, that it is happening, like let’s say in q3 or q4.
Some campaigns take months
If it is a holiday campaign, you have six months to create how you want to position this whole campaign for influencers for up to six months in advance. But then you also have to be mindful that social changes are happening so frequently. So, maybe you have an entire plan, and then it gets to the time to launch, it is completely different. That is because space has changed or adjusted differently. Then you have to think quickly and reevaluate that aspect of things. It can be dependent on what you are working with and what your goals are.
Influencers have their platforms
Amy Choi: These influencers have their platforms and they do not want to have sponsored content everywhere. So, it is almost getting ahead of the game and booking them. Last year, some of our influencers did have to turn down campaigns. We told our clients you came in too late because they all have their editorial calendars. They plan everything and have to shoot and produce it. There is obviously content that needs to be approved by the brand. I am sure you are approving content and everything before it goes live.
So, it is just one of the things that they are working on on their platform with a content calendar. The more advanced you could plan with them. I think it makes a stronger campaign so no one’s rushed at the end or whatever. But that’s what we see. But sometimes they do book up which is also good, a good thing for it is a good thing for them.
Camila Hernandez: It is also about exclusivity. I think that is another thing where influencers or their managers ask about the scope that we want to use the influencer for. They ask about the exclusive terms to work with. We’re talking about how long it takes.
So, it depends on what it is that you are asking them to. To do so whether it is just a post and then they can post three days after with another brand? Or, whether you want that influencer to be only for speaking for your brand for like, let’s say three months? Does it just depend on how you are building partnerships with influencers?
Again, it goes back to what are your goals. What specific metric are you looking for? And then you can set aside these influencers for content marketing. If they post for other brands, that’s fine, but maybe these are like the spokespersons for the brand. They need a certain time. It just depends on how the brands are working, and what is the expectation.
Designhill: Can marketers earn their influencer’s trust by being worthy of it, and considered long term influencer marketing partnership?
I have been doing the influencer thing before Facebook, at Red Bull. When it came to North America, I was there and yes, everybody’s influencers were the thing. There, we just talked to them in real life, it was weird. I would go to the skate store, and give Redbull and talk and build relationships. It has always stuck with me. I think the early part of my career has always stuck with me. That is like tending a garden.
If you want fast results, you can get them. You can treat this like a media buy, and you have to be very transactional. That is fine. I have been in long-term relationship building. It is about starting from the inside out. You need to build those long-term relationships like a garden where you can tend later.
But it takes a lot more work upfront. I think you just have to look at putting in with the larger brands, to commit past campaigns. That is because we are so used to media and campaigns for the short term. But, if you want to have those relationships, it is a commitment. It is not just talking business. You should be asking some questions. Are you back and forth with what you are watching the content? Do you know what’s going on in their lives? Do they know what’s going on in your lives?
This is a product that the influencer just loves and uses daily, and they are just talking about the stuff that they love. It starts small. Then it gets to cool places. But it just didn’t happen overnight.
Fay Chapple: It is about building relationships. But you just have to know who you are working with. For some people, it is transactional. There is nothing wrong with that. I think there is this misconception that everybody has to be building a relationship for life. That’s not true. I mean, some people do not want to do that.
You need to understand as a brand and like the person you are working with, are you talking the same language? If you do not think that just because somebody is strictly business and it is transactional, that it is not right. It is what’s right for you as a brand and what’s right for you as an influencer. Just make sure that you understand both sides.
Designhill: Can you potentially do as a business, if it is small, and do not have enough budget to make a campaign and paid ads?
Word of mouth still works
If your business is small, and you do not have the budget, there are a lot of creative ways for outreach. I used to work in PR. I think that the traditional sort of word of mouth and pitching works well. You could reach out to a potential group of influencers that you want to introduce your brand or product to. Then just have that real-life conversation with them. It is like a relationship-building moment at that point.
Later, you hope that they do love your brand and or fall in love with a product that they will hopefully use. A lot of these influencers are influencers for a reason. They are sharing what they love, right outside of brand deals, and share what they love and recommend that. I think that part is crucial and building the relationship.
Influencer and brand relationship matters
I think everything now hinges on the relationship between a brand and an influencer. That is because there is so much value in that beyond just a transactional thing. Then in the long end, you grow your business and have some budget to do some smaller initiatives. But in the beginning, it may be a little scrappier, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done right.
Ways to reach out to influencers
There are a lot of creative ways to reach out to these influencers. They want to hear from brands, their emails, or DMs. But to reach out to influencers, you should craft your story. Make sure you stand out, especially if you are a product that exists. There are so many competitors. What makes your product and brand different from the other ones?
I think it comes down to whether it is the founder of the story behind it, or ingredients, sustainability matters. Everyone loves to hear about the sustainable efforts of packaging. People like to hear about the sourcing of ingredients. So, it just depends on what resonates with that target influencer.
Whenever you are reaching out if you are scrappy do not fall for the copy and paste thing. Do not think that just by getting out to a ton of people, you can copy and paste. You should still not think of sending a cold message and not the personal one. Always try to mention something in the last three posts that they made or something in the video that they created. That is the smart way to catch their attention.
So, personalization is key because I feel like they get so many messages that they know what’s a copy and paste.
Designhill: What set of skills or qualities to focus on for anyone who’s aspiring or planning on creating an effective social media account?
No, I just made it in terms of it is a big question with a ginormous answer. Because you are asking what would work for just about anything in any industry. it is not that easy to answer. It comes down to understanding where you are in the marketplace, where your brand lies, what your product or services, and who your target market is. It is not any different than old-school marketing. You gotta start from the start and understand exactly where you are. I wish I could give you a one size fits all answer. But I just think it is a little more complicated than that.
I did add here for that question that it would be all about, mainly providing values. We hear that left and right where it is like provided value, but what is that as your like, value so it is almost like you are standing, what is the pain point. then going through each piece of content, purposefully thinking about what it is serving, each post is going to tackle each area.
Focus on learning the mediums, practice making videos, podcasts, write blogs, become a better writer and a better designer. This is because then you can apply that regardless of what your topic is. So as you are building out this audience, just get out there and make stuff.
I mean, one of my favorite podcasters wrote a book called start ugly. It is just the concept of going out and making bad videos. But every video that you make from there is going to be better and better and better. Go practice, make it real. Your first one might be rough.
So, these are the best practices you should be following while creating high-performing content with authentic influencers. With these tips, even startups can exploit the power of influencers in generating content.
However, make sure that besides creating the content, your brand’s visual identities are stronger as well. This means your logo, business card, website, brochure and a host of such visuals are impressive.
You can outsource designs of your logo etc visuals to Designhill, which has hundreds of professional graphic designers. Just launch your design contest for them with your design brief. You can then soon have many unique design ideas in response to your brief. So, get started now to have your brand identities.
The experts say that the best practice to create content with influencers is to first know who is the right influencer for your brand. Know also who are the micro-influencers who can help you establish a relationship with the audience at the micro level. The experts advise creating content that lasts long and you should not ignore video content.