Sep 8, 2023
2 MIN READ
Influencer marketing has emerged as an integral part of modern digital marketing strategies. It allows marketers to leverage the reach and influence of popular social media personalities to promote brands and products. This approach is incredibly effective due to the trust these influencers have cultivated within their audience.
However, like any marketing method, influencer marketing is evolving rapidly. This necessitates brands to keep up with the latest best practices to maintain their competitive edge. And not to mention the ethical use of influence.
In this blog, we'll unpack the most recent trends and top-notch best practices within influencer marketing. Adhering to these guidelines will ensure your collaborations with influencers are effective but also genuine and captivating.
Let's discuss each of them in detail.
Best Practice 1 - Set Clear Objectives and KPIs
Before kicking off a collaboration with an influencer, it's imperative to establish clear objectives and KPIs.
Objectives give your influencer campaign direction. They define what you aim to achieve, whether it's boosting brand awareness, driving sales, or increasing engagement on your social channels. With a clear target, you can better allocate resources and maximize the efficiency of your campaign.
KPIs, on the other hand, are the specific metrics tied to your objectives. They help quantify your goals, making them measurable and tangible. If your objective is the 'what', KPIs are the 'how much' or 'how well'.
For example, if your primary objective is to increase brand awareness, potential KPIs could be:
Growth in followers or subscribers.
Increase in mentions or shares of your brand on social platforms.
A surge in organic search volume for your brand.
If your objective is to enhance brand visibility, then reach and impressions could be your KPIs.
If you aim to boost sales, the conversion rate can be an effective KPI.
Setting up these metrics from the start ensures a common understanding of success between your brand and the influencer. This further allows for more measurable and effective campaigns.
Best Practice 2 - Choosing the Right Influencer
Selecting the right influencer is the cornerstone of effective influencer marketing. When it comes to this selection process, it's not simply about choosing someone with a large following.
Remember, quality trumps quantity.
Instead of focusing solely on reach, consider the influencer's niche, engagement rate, and authenticity. The ideal influencer should align with your brand's values and have a follower base that matches your target demographic.
Here’s something to help you choose the right influencer.
Imagine trying to promote a state-of-the-art gaming console with the help of a beauty guru. It doesn't quite fit, right?
That's why it's important to have an influencer that aligns seamlessly with your brand's identity, values, and target audience. Their followers are going to be your potential customers, after all.
Best Practice 3 - Ask the Right Questions
Before you sign an influencer for a campaign, you need to ensure they are the right fit for your brand. Here are some key questions you should ask:
Can you share demographic data about your audience?
Understanding the influencer's audience demographics (age, location, gender, interests) is crucial to ensure alignment with your target market.
What is your engagement rate?
Beyond follower count, engagement rate (likes, comments, shares) is a more accurate measure of how actively the audience interacts with the influencer's content.
Have you worked with similar brands before?
An influencer with experience promoting similar products or services can better understand your brand and marketing goals.
How do you typically collaborate with brands?
This question will give you a glimpse into their working style and how flexible they are with brand collaborations.
Can you provide examples of successful collaborations?
Past successful collaborations can be a good predictor of future success with your campaign.
What are your values and interests?
This question helps to determine if the influencer's beliefs and interests align with your brand's, which is essential for authenticity.
How do you handle negative comments or reviews?
This can reveal the influencer's professionalism and their ability to manage their reputation, which will, in turn, reflect on your brand.
While these are valuable questions you must ask the influencers, with the right influencer marketing tool by your side, you can know some of these answers beforehand. If you sign up with Impulze.ai, you will be able to understand the audience demographics, engagement rate, the niche they focus and many more.
Best Practice 4 - Be Transparent About Your Partnerships
Transparency is paramount in influencer marketing. This not only maintains trust and authenticity but also for complying with Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
Always ensure that influencers disclose their relationship with your brand. This can be as simple as using a hashtag like #ad, #sponsored, or #partner in their posts.
Viewers appreciate honesty, and clear disclosures don't diminish the impact of influencer marketing. Instead, they contribute to the authenticity of your brand and the influencer.
The Mutual Benefit of Transparency
For Brands: Being transparent solidifies your brand's image as ethical and trustworthy. It showcases that your products or services stand tall on their merit, and you don't need to resort to covert marketing tactics.
For Influencers: Open declarations maintain and enhance the influencer's credibility. Their audience appreciates honesty, reinforcing the genuine nature of their content, even if it's sponsored.
For Audiences: Transparency ensures that audiences can differentiate between organic and sponsored content. This distinction allows them to make informed decisions and judgments based on the content they consume.
Therefore, this is a crucial best practice to maintain the integrity of your brand, the influencer's credibility, and the trust of your potential customers.
Best Practice 5 - Leverage Proper Toolset
A well-equipped toolset is pivotal in managing and streamlining your influencer marketing campaigns. With numerous influencers to track, multiple campaigns to manage, and vast amounts of data to analyze, a robust influencer marketing tool can be a game-changer.
The right tools can streamline processes, from influencer discovery to campaign analytics, saving valuable time and effort. And as your influencer campaigns grow, the tool will allow you to scale your efforts seamlessly.
impulze.ai is one such tool you can leverage here. The tool has about 250 million influencer data, including their engagement rate, likes-to-comment ratio, focus niche, and more. Also, you can check whether the followers of the influencer are fake or not.
You can identify the right influencers resonating with your audience and track and measure the performance of your campaigns, saving you precious time and resources.
Best Practice 6 - Allow Creative Freedom
"Too many restrictions stifle creativity."
While brand guidelines are essential to maintain a consistent brand image, it's equally crucial to let the influencer's unique voice and creativity shine through.
So, How Can You Strike the Balance Between Brand Guidelines and Creative Freedom
Understanding Influencer Value: Remember, you chose the influencer for a reason. Their unique style, voice, and approach to content are what endeared them to their followers in the first place. Overly rigid guidelines can dilute this uniqueness.
Providing a Framework, Not a Script: Brand guidelines should act as a framework, highlighting the non-negotiables and essential points. However, it shouldn't be a script that the influencer has to rigidly adhere to.
Collaborative Approach: Instead of dictating terms, adopt a collaborative approach. Discuss the campaign's objectives and key messages with the influencer and let them brainstorm ways to integrate it seamlessly into their content.
A real-world example we consider here is Airbnb.
When they partnered with Mariah Carey, they let her showcase her stay in a lavish Airbnb property in her own diva style.
The result? A glamorous Instagram post that not only highlighted the property's luxuriousness but also radiated Mariah's unique charm.
Striking a balance between your brand guidelines and allowing your influencer creative freedom is essential for successful influencer marketing. Influencers have a knack for engaging content that resonates with their audience. That's why they have a following in the first place.
However, this doesn't mean you should forgo brand guidelines altogether. It's crucial to provide influencers with a clear understanding of your brand, its image, and its values
Best Practice 7 - Partnering with Micro and Nano Influencers
While it might be tempting to aim for influencers with millions of followers, it's not always the right approach. The more followers, the less will be the engagement rate. In contrast to this, micro and nano influencers often provide a significantly higher engagement rate.
If you didn't know -
Nano-Influencers: Typically have 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They are often regular individuals who have gained a modest following due to their authentic content and close-knit community engagement.
Micro-Influencers: Possess between 10,000 to 100,000 followers. They have a more significant presence than nano influencers and often focus on niche topics, building communities around specific interests.
These influencers often have more personal relationships with their followers. This is one of the reasons why they have a higher engagement rate.
Moreover, their audience is usually more niche and specific. Thus making them align more accurately with your target demographic.
So, next time you plan an influencer campaign, remember to look beyond the numbers and explore the vast potential of these smaller giants.
Best Practice 8 - Drafting a Win-Win Contract
A fair and transparent agreement is key to a successful influencer partnership.
A win-win contract is not about one party having an edge over the other. Rather, both parties feel valued, protected, and motivated to fulfill their roles effectively. The contract should clearly outline both parties' responsibilities, deliverables, timeline, and compensation.
Following are some tips for you to craft fair agreements.
Clarity on Deliverables: Define the expected number of posts and type of content. Also, be specific on the messaging and branding guidelines the influencer should adhere to.
Timeline: Specify the duration of the campaign and deadlines for content submission and approval processes.
Compensation: Establish a clear understanding of remuneration. Discuss whether it's monetary, product/service exchange, affiliate partnerships, or a combination.
Rights and Usage: Clarify who owns the content rights and how long the brand can use the influencer content in its marketing collateral.
Remember, the contract should benefit both parties. It should give influencers creative freedom while ensuring the brand's objectives are met. Always review the contract carefully and seek legal advice if required to avoid any future disputes.
Best Practice 9 - Evaluate and Adapt
An influencer marketing campaign is not a set-and-forget operation. It requires continuous monitoring, evaluation, and adaptation to ensure its effectiveness and success. This is because, in influencer marketing, audience behaviors and content trends evolve rapidly.
Every campaign provides valuable insights, and the key to long-term success lies in continuous evaluation and adaptation.
Here are some tips to help evaluate and adapt your influencer marketing campaigns.
Dive Deep into Analytics: Go beyond surface-level metrics like likes or views. Delve into engagement rates, conversion rates, click-through rates, audience demographics, and sentiments.
Feedback Loop with Influencers: Encourage a debrief session with your influencers. Their on-ground experience and feedback can provide invaluable insights.
Spot Patterns: If multiple campaigns or influencers are yielding similar results (positive or negative), there might be underlying patterns or reasons. Identify and understand them.
Now, for evaluation, you need to have certain key performance indicators (KPIs) in place. These could be any metrics we have discussed earlier in the blog. And by using those metrics, you can gauge the performance of your campaign and the influencer.
It's important to regularly communicate with the influencer and provide feedback based on these evaluations. This will not only help them improve but also build a stronger relationship between the brand and the influencer.
Remember, the goal is not to perfect your strategy but to learn, adapt, and improve over time.
Best Practice 10 - Long-Term Relationships Over One-Off Campaigns
Long-term relationships with influencers are more beneficial compared to one-off campaigns. This is primarily because trust and authenticity, the cornerstones of influencer marketing, take time to build.
Seeing a brand consistently through a trusted influencer can foster a sense of loyalty among the audience. Moreover, long-term contracts can be more cost-efficient than constantly scouting and onboarding new influencers for every campaign.
So, how can you cultivate a long-term relationship?
Mutual Respect: Recognize the influencer as a valuable partner, not just a marketing tool. Respect their insights, creative freedom, and audience.
Fair Compensation: Reward influencers appropriately, reflecting the value they bring over time. Consider bonuses or perks for successful campaigns.
Open Communication: Maintain regular check-ins, not just during campaigns. This fosters a sense of partnership and keeps both parties aligned.
Shared Opportunities: Beyond traditional campaigns, explore opportunities for joint ventures. This could be product collaborations or event partnerships.
Yes, one-off campaigns can be useful for short-term goals. However, a sustainable influencer marketing strategy should foster long-term relationships with influencers.
That's it! Go through these best practices and understand the underlying reason why these are important to the campaigns.
Remember, a well-orchestrated influencer campaign makes your brand's story unforgettable. So, immerse, learn, and let your brand's narrative shine brightly through the voices of those who influence.