Over the past few years, social media recruiters have seen a significant rise in influencer marketing and the benefits brands can reap when they approach it the right way. It’s gone from an emerging marketing tactic to an integral part of most marketing strategies that can be powered by your in-house social media experts or social media contractors alike. And it’s safe to say we don’t expect it to slow down any time soon.
Influencer marketing can be a remarkably effective way for brands to spark engagement, drive brand awareness, and boost brand loyalty and sales. However, in order to drive impactful results, marketing recruiters know organizations will need to have proper resources and skill sets in place to successfully measure and scale campaigns.
Documentary – New Kings: The Power of Online Influencers
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How Social Media Recruiters Recommend to Maximize Your Influencer Marketing Opportunities
As brands start to realize that traditional marketing and advertising tactics are becoming less effective, CMOs and their teams are turning to influencer marketing and social media platforms to create meaningful experiences for their audiences and drive KPIs.
So, how do you ensure your influencer marketing strategy is in the best shape possible? While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, strategic marketing recruiters believe these particular tips will help you drive results and get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts.
1. Be Aware of FTC Guidelines
First and foremost, it’s crucial that you and your marketing team are familiar with the legal regulations surrounding influencer marketing.
When brands first started practicing influencer marketing, they weren’t as transparent. Simply put, influencers neglected to state they were paid for certain posts and campaigns, and brands weren’t enforcing it.
Once the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) caught on, they didn’t hesitate to tighten up on regulations that state how influencers and brands should properly disclose their partnerships. The FTC has even directly reached out to influencers in attempt of spreading the knowledge of updated regulations.
It’s safe to say that FTC does not plan on easing up on these regulations any time soon. Thus, social media recruiters expect brands and influencers to be more transparent about their partnerships in the near future.
Simply using the right hashtags in the right place – such as #ad or hashtagging a brand’s name + Partner (for example, #MarketProIncPartner) could save your campaign from legal mishaps. If you’ve created a campaign on Instagram, you can now take advantage of the platform’s branded content tool to disclose when a post is a result of a paid partnership.
Influencer marketing is going to be more regulated and monitored, and brands must be aware of FTC guidelines to ensure they avoid facing legal troubles. Furthermore, it’s critical your social media marketers or social media contractors know about FTC guidelines and fully understand the details. Or else, missing a point could cause the whole campaign to go downhill.
2. Focus on Superior Content
Just like many other disciplines in marketing, the foundation of good influencer marketing is a strong content strategy. Influencers are basically content creators who have become masters of their craft. That’s why social media recruiters encourage brands to not only focus on the influencers they partner with, but the type of content they wish to push out.
While the type of content you create and the social media platforms you use depend on your campaign objectives and audience, it’s important to think of creative ways you can work with influencers to ensure viral content.
Don’t create generic sales ads. Make sure you allow influencers to have a say in the content they create. People want authentic and genuine thoughts on a product or service, and expect that even with sponsored campaigns.
Huge megastars on YouTube and Instagram are popular among brands to promote their products and services. However, micro-influencers on smaller platforms are becoming even more popular. Micro-influencers generally drive higher engagement and lower costs than viral influencers, who in many cases are becoming way too expensive even for popular brands. While they do have smaller followings, they bring a more personal touch and allow a more intimate reach to their audience.
In addition to the traditional Instagram posts, consider different formats of content such as live video. Think of compelling ways your target audience consumes content. As more brands integrate influencer marketing into their strategies, marketing recruiters know their teams will have to get more creative to break through the noise and set themselves apart.
3. Stay Abreast of Industry Trends
When creating an exceptional content marketing strategy, timing is important. Timing is essentially everything when it comes to social media; you could have the best idea for a campaign but if the timing’s not right, it’s a waste of your efforts.
It will take good deal of research from your marketing team to truly figure out what your audience is talking about and what they want to see at the moment. You need to keep up with current trends to get an accurate understanding of what your audience wants. While you can create the most creative campaign and partner with the biggest influencers, it won’t matter if your audience doesn’t find it relevant.
Creative influencer marketing campaigns aligned with current trends and powered by experienced social media contractors can bring you optimal results and drive KPIs like never before.
Check this out: Top 5 Instagram Marketing Trends CMOs Should Prepare for in 2018
4. Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing Tools
The emergence of tools and tech in the influencer space is creating an effective and attractive marketplace for brands and marketers. And as influencer marketing grows, social media recruiters predict more tools being developed to support it.
Just as you probably use a social media management tool to manage all of your social campaigns, you should consider implementing tools that support your influencer marketing processes and workflows more efficiently. There are various tools that will optimize workflow management and strategy. Tools like Hootsuite and Tapinfluence can help you search streams to discover influencers on social media and efficiently manage your workflow.
Video by Hootsuite
5. Track Your Performance
Organizations with influencer marketing strategies will need to know how to use data and analytics to understand how consumers are reacting to content on different platforms.
Make sure you focus your efforts on driving measurable engagements that boost revenue and sales. By using tools to track metrics such as reach, engagement, views, and conversions, you will further get insights into what kind of content works, and what doesn’t; or what kind of offer converts best.
The best part is that sometimes efficient tracking does not require any tools; you can follow your campaigns’ performance by using simple methods like UTM parameters. You can assign these parameters to any URLs. When influencers share these links, you can track actions of every visitor and how much engagement and revenue a campaign is receiving.
Marketing recruiters emphasize the importance of scaling successful campaigns properly. Your team of social media marketers must pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t. Don’t waste your resources; use data and technology to multiply your successes.
6. Establish Genuine, Long-Term Relationships
Social media marketing recruiters know firsthand that consumers want authenticity from influencers and brands more than ever. Don’t think of influencer marketing as a quick and fast way to amp up sales – you must invest in it long-term to truly drive ROI.
Instead of partnering with viral influencers for temporary projects, invest in establishing genuine, long-term relationships with micro-influencers who truly align with your brand’s vision. This will reflect a more authentic image of your brand to your audience.
Treat the influencers you work with as partners rather than temporary solutions. They will feel that you’re more invested in success. In return, they will also be more invested in your partnership and more loyal to your brand. Every influencer can be a true brand ambassador, not just a paid spokesperson.
The evolution of influencer marketing has transformed it to be an important space for brands to conquer. Influencer marketing is a powerful driving force for businesses willing to reach new audiences and ROI through social media.
Social media recruiters believe that the growing demand from brands will soon meet the supply of influencers who are capable of taking companies’ marketing efforts to a whole new level with the right content and the right strategy.