So you’ve partnered with an influencer! If you’ve done your research then you can rest assured that they are a positive fit for your brand and the partnership is likely flourishing. Their healthy follower-base fits the target demographics of your consumers. They are geographically relevant to your product and retail status. They’re engaged, engaging, and likely to fly the flag high on behalf of your company.
Well done! The hard part is over. This is where the fun of influencer marketing begins. Now is time to build a strategy around that partnership in order to leverage it for the best possible results. The following ideas should help get the ball rolling as you brainstorm ways to increase eyes on your campaign, maximize its longevity, and create a healthy synergy between your brand and your influencer.
Put Money into a Paid Social Campaign
Branded Facebook Advertisements
Contract your influencer to supply your social team with any images that they post on their personal channels. Then, post or repost these images on your brand Facebook page to ensure eyes from your own audience.
The intention is that posting images of your influencers encourages your audience base to submit their own UGC imagery. Once this rhythm is in motion you can pepper the UGC content from your followers among your branded content and build a cadence that alternates the two.
According to Comscore, brand engagement will increase by at least 28% when branded content is coupled with UGC content. This is particularly prevalent for audiences in the 18-24 age range. Since this key demographic shares around 70% of all UCG content online, it is important to play into their user habits.
Since 80% of consumers find UGC content more engaging than branded content, this trend needs to be taken seriously. UGC content is proven to:
- Establish Trust – UGC content allows your audience to trust the reliability of your product since they can see the results firsthand.
- Educate Consumers – Through tutorial videos or application photographs
- Drive Desire – Influencer posts play up the aspirational nature of your product.
- Build Positive Association – Since consumers value the opinions of the influencers that they follow.
Whitelist Ads from Influencers
Whitelisting Ads allows you, the brand, to put money behind a third-party influencer post. This expands the reach of that specific post beyond the influencer’s follower-base to a wider audience. Your target audience can be crafted according to age, gender, location, interests and more.
This allows you to hone into a specific demographic of your core buyer, a strength that you can utilize to your advantage, particularly if you have statistical research that speaks to the user-habits of your primary customers.
Running a whitelisted ad from a third-party resource, such as an influencer, is proven to have a significant increase on the return of ad spend. The beauty of it is that it allows you to tap into the authenticity of the influencer’s voice and aesthetic while managing the reach and targeting of the post to suit the benefits of your brand. It is the perfect coupling of their creative freedom and your strategic control.
Beyond this, the benefits of whitelisting ads are bountiful:
- Avoid Business Partner Tagging – Instagram’s business profiles allow Influencers to specifically geo-tag their brand partnerships in both Stories and Posts. From a consumer basis, this dilutes the authenticity of the post since the partnership is so apparent. Whitelisting affords a subtler way to boost partnered content without overplaying the partnership element.
- You, the Brand, Access Performance Statistics – Whitelisting an ad allows you, the brand, to have immediate access to the performance statistics of the post. It gives you full control of reach, and first eyes on clicks and conversions. This allows you to alter your campaign in real-time, according to performance value.
Strategic Organic Social Partnerships
Share Influencer Posts on Your Brand’s Social Channels
We’ve already discussed the benefits of immersing influencer posts in your branded Facebook ads. While the ad spend is always worth it, there is also a benefit to weaving influencer posts as UGC organic social, posted from your brand’s page.
Highlight Customer Testimonials
Weaving influencer content into your social flow allows for testimonial beats within your branded content. From your audience’s perspective, they read as product reviews. Here, they are presented with a real human who is using the product in real-time, relaying the praises of their real results. This establishes an authentic trust in the reliability of your brand: it truly does what it says it will do.
Capitalize on quotes and soundbites from your influencers by leveraging their praise for your product. You can echo these quotes in the caption copy, or even build out a whole new content stream full of dynamic text with verbatim quotes from your influencers.
Create a UGC Model for your Audience to Replicate
Your influencer posts set precedence for your audience to replicate their own product posts. Watch as your user-base state recreating and reviewing your products on their own channels. Soon you’ll have a wealth of users across all channels each championing and demonstrating your product online. This resource is a goldmine since it grants you a library worth of UGC content to repost at your leisure.
More so, your influencer will help to set the standard as to the appropriate hashtags or brand accounts for users to tag to drive to your campaign. Empower your influencer partnerships with a clear and informative set of guidelines, setting them up for success as they engage in your campaign. Package together a one-sheet with helpful notes on brand voice, copy and hashtags to ensure that they communicate your brand fluently. Then sit back and watch as their audience replicates these hashtags across their own channels.
Increase Social Listening and Engagement
No matter the size of your marketing team, it is vital that you give due time and attention to social listening and engagement. Build your brand reputation by liking, commenting, reposting, and acknowledging any post that you are tagged in. Not only will this surprise and delight your followers, but it will help to establish your brand’s voice and tone in the marketplace.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky reply or re-tweet from a brand that they love?
Be vigilant and perceptive to comments that indicate any user dissatisfaction or misinterpretation. When used well, your social channels can become a vital source of PR crisis control and even a voice for customer service aid.
Plant Influencer Imagery in your Email Marketing Campaign
Bring your campaign into full 360 fruition by ensuring that you use images from your influencer campaign in your email marketing. While the social media drive is important, don’t neglect a swath of your audience who stay informed through email communication.
The reality is that 60% of consumers sign up for email lists with the intent of receiving promotional material. Comparatively, only 20% of consumers follow and engage with brands on social. More so, whereas social media posts have an average conversion rate of 1.9%, promotional emails convert at roughly 6.05%. The ROI value of email lists is significantly more lucrative.
With that in mind, if you have run media spend on an influencer campaign, it would be foolish not to maximize that spend across all of your messaging outlets. Cohesion in content is valuable, not only in maintaining brand identity but also in streamlining your look, feel and seasonal campaign agenda across all platforms. Consider the following for your next email blast:
- Tutorial Videos – Commission a product tutorial from your influencer that can live across YouTube, Instagram Stories, and be in embedded within your email body.
- Photo Carousels – Commission a photo carousel from your influencer and use these images to create a rotation of images for your email header.
- Sub-link to Influencer Channels – Include hyperlinks to your influencer’s channels, and a brief introduction to who they are and why your readers should follow them. In turn, this shout out benefits your influencer and potentially exposes their reach to a new audience
Integrate Your Influencer Campaign on Your Website
The final ingredient in the recipe: your website. Now that your audience is truly familiarized with your influencer and their association to your brand, it is time to integrate them into your webpage.
Does your influencer partnership evolve around a specific product or product line? If so, be sure to use the imagery of your influencer on your homepage which can drive consumers to the specific retail room within your site.
Your website might prove the perfect host for any bonus or additional content captured with or by your influencer. Do you have access to behind the scenes footage of their shoot? Perhaps you can commission them to write a blog piece that explains your collaboration even further?
A Final Thought
Ultimately, if you are putting a marketing budget behind an influencer campaign, it is vital that what you create is fruitful for both them and you. Position yourself as a resource for them: partnering with your brand will afford them exposure on your channels, email list, and website. It is a win-win: they benefit from increased awareness and you create a strategic, cohesive, and 360 campaign.
Want to keep learning? Check out this basic guide to influencer marketing!