Influencer Marketing - You're Doing It Wrong

Calling all marketers that say “influencer marketing doesn’t work” --- You’re doing it wrong!

Someone extremely intelligent that I respect recently told me that they felt influencer marketing was on the way out because “it doesn’t work” and proceeded to tell me the details of this campaign which had my insides screaming “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!” 

With 85% of marketing and communications professionals expecting to execute at least 1 influencer campaign in 2017*, the data is in my corner when I say it isn’t going anywhere.  If anything, influencer marketing is on the rise, but the underlying execution and strategy is changing.

Let’s talk about what’s “not working”:

·       TV Advertising – Aside from live events, what consumer hasn’t found an easy solution to avoid commercials (that cost millions in ad buys, by the way)?

·       Digital Ads – Ad blockers, ad blockers, ad blockers everywhere.

·       Print Ads – Are these extinct yet?  I kid, I subscribe to a number of magazines and newspapers, but most of my time is now spent online and on social media like most consumers these days.  Can anyone recall the last print ad that caught their eye?  Was it because a celebrity was in it?

The above would be considered “traditional marketing”, which is hanging on by a thread, yet it’s still considered a “safe” investment by most brands when it comes to budgets.  But even with the above tactics, how do you prove the ROI?  Number of Impressions?  If your product can be purchased online and your goal is to drive sales, you can track the click-thru and your sales funnel, but that isn’t always the goal of a marketing campaign and certainly doesn’t cover every brand marketing and advertising to the consumer. 

Proving ROI has ALWAYS been the #1 struggle for marketing and advertising professionals, so why do we expect influencer marketing to suddenly solve this puzzle?

So, let me ask you this: what didn’t work with your last influencer campaign?  Low engagement? No measurable ROI?  It’s possible that the reason it “didn’t work” is because of poor execution or unrealistic expectations set.

Influencer Marketing is more than paying for a tweet or a single Instagram post (and if that’s how you define “influencer marketing”, you’re absolutely doing it wrong!).  If you’ve read any of my past entries, you know what I’m going to say: ENTERTAINMENT IS KING!

Influencer Marketing is most effective when it’s part of a larger multifaceted strategy, it focuses on entertaining rather than selling, and can leverage micro-influencers, social media & digital influencers, and/or celebrities.  These campaigns vary in scale and cost – Opportunities exist for budgets and brands or all sizes!  (Have you seen American Express’ #ShopSmall #AmexAmbassador campaign leveraging influencers of ALL LEVELS – you literally cannot miss it!)

Here are some questions/steps to think about before activating your next influencer campaign.  With solid execution and planning, you’ll put this “influencer marketing doesn’t work” to bed – for good:

Marketing Basics:

  • Who is your target market?
  • What social platforms do they spend the most time on?
  • What type of content do they respond to?
  • Where else do they spend time online?
  • Identify KPIs to measure success
  • Set a goal based on established KPIs (be as specific as possible – brand awareness, website traffic, sales, etc.)
  • Can these assets (images, video, blog entries, statements, etc.) be repurposed?**

Influencer Marketing Basics:

  • Research, identify, & secure appropriate influencers - Should align with the answers to the “Marketing Basics” outlined above
  • Learn the Influencers’ tone, voice, and review their existing content & style
  • Allow the Influencer(s) to use their creative genius when developing the campaign assets
  • Outline complete ask upfront – total posts, type of content, important brand messaging, etc. (Budget and negotiation tactics will be adjusted accordingly)

 

**Contact STILETTO for your next successful influencer campaign.  We are full service and handle it all, to identifying the influencers, negotiating the terms and/or fees, and final execution. 

 

 

*Statistics from eMarketer survey for 2017