The Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

The Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

The Do’s:

The key to influencer marketing lies in the authenticity and credibility of the brand’s chosen social media figures. A successful brand has real people talking about it…likeable personalities who talk real stuff, and walk their talk. A ramification of the rise in the demand for influencers, however, is the increase in the number of fake influencers. These are people posing as influencers by purchasing followers (In fact, a recent study shows that 48 million of Twitter’s total users are bot accounts!) Therefore, be thorough with your research on your chosen social media influencer: working with the wrong influencer can ruin the brand’s image. Understand your audience and select an influencer that will connect with them and give a genuine feel to the product they’re endorsing.

There are many creative methods of knowing whether your influencer marketing is successful or not. After all, tracking your progress is essential for growth. One such way is to track UTM links. A UTM code is a code that you can attach to a custom URL. It is essentially a bit of text that you can add to a link that tells Google Analytics (as well as other analytics tools) extra information about each link. Now you can check the performance of your links to know where your traffic comes from. Another way is to give your influencers a unique promo code that they can share with their followers. Doing so will allow you to directly check how much traffic is being brought by the influencer, as each time a consumer uses the special code, it can be credited to the influencer. Influencers also often spread awareness by creating certain brand hashtags. The more viral a hashtag goes, the more attention you know the influencer is bringing to your product or cause. A recent example is Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign that gained a lot of attention. Other ways of checking your progress are having your influencer make event appearances and signings, holding competitions and checking for entries and checking emails for such events.

Influencer marketing agencies can be a useful tool for brands as they reduce risks and eliminate the need for speculation for finding the perfect influencer for your brand. They take care of the entire process from start to finish to match your brand to an influencer who would work best in harmony with your brand.

The Don’ts:

The rise in the trend of influencer marketing demands a higher degree of regulation. To prepare your brand for strict regulation is advisable. First and foremost, it is crucial to clearly state in every post that it is indeed a paid promotion. It doesn’t matter how obvious it may seem that a post is an ad, the fact that it is a part of a paid partnership must be disclosed to the audience. Any ambiguity in this area, intentional or not, can bring forth disastrous consequences. It’s also advisable to not depend on your influencer to be thorough with the promotional tags. At the end of the day, it’s your brand’s reputation at risk, and it’s your duty to review each post to ensure it’s been tagged as a sponsored post. Remember to use the appropriate hashtags! Hashtags like #sp and #spon may not be fully understood by all, hence it’s safer to avoid their usage. Also burying these tags at the end of the post, till a point where not many will read them should also be avoided.

It’s no secret that Instagram is the largest and most popular platform for influencer marketing. This leads to a lot of businesses solely focusing their efforts into Instagram, but this isn’t necessarily the most productive approach. Snapchat, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Pinterest are all viable options for influencer marketing which can be taken advantage of. In fact, marketing on Instagram may turn out to be more expensive due to the high demand of Instagram promotional posts. With the amount of offers these influencers get on Instagram, it’s only natural that they will increase their prices. This is less likely to happen on other platforms such as Snapchat or Twitter, as with a comparatively lesser demand, their prices would be smaller as well. These influencers may have a smaller following, but the low pricing and stronger connections with a select amount of viewers could be worth it.

Micro influencers are influencers with a relatively smaller following (typically fewer than 10,000 followers) than major internet personalities. But these small numbers don’t tell the entire story. These influencers, if utilised correctly, can be just as profitable as those with hundreds and thousands of followers. Audiences tend to look for trustworthy and authentic personalities to take advice from and these smaller channels can form personalised relationships with their audience. This encourages the buyers to make an increased number of purchases. The company must really reflect on and analyse certain points before choosing a micro influencer to work with. Keep in mind the kind of audience you’re trying to reach- is your product made for a niche audience or a larger community? Then see if the micro influencer in mind is consistently engaging with that type of audience and the feedback they’re receiving.

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