Effective Marketing through smart Influencer Management
Effective Marketing through smart Influencer Management
15.11.2016 | Anna Steffi Winterhoff | English text by Faiza Bouzenoune
Reading Time 3’
Data overload has made it increasingly difficult for companies to effectively address their target audience, which for many businesses is conducive to selective perception. Most of them rely heavily on trust-worthy sources such as Influencers, who grew into a valuable sounding board for brands. But how to best capitalize on these increasingly relevant marketing players?
logger relations are still regarded as a natural extension of classic PR work and as such, could set the wrong communication approach in motion. Influencers will not respond to the usual impersonal mails or press releases. It is just as pointless to expect them to naturally promote or publish companies’ content with their own communities. Effectively addressing a target audience through Influencers requires a thought-through strategy.
The power of Influencers
Integrating influencers Management into a company’s strategy can boost its long-term success: It helps to rapidly and adequately channel the right story to the right audience in a credible and relevant manner. Individuals grow into Influencers by showing passion and knowledge for topics they advocate consistently with inspiration and authenticity. This allows them to establish themselves as trust-worthy leaders whose opinion matters to a broader consumer base. No company truly succeeds at delivering such a level of content relevance, influence, and empathic understanding for customers’ needs. All the more reasons for brands to value the contributions of such a breed and consider engaging in a long-term collaboration with them.
Understanding Influencers’ value tree
Generating tangible value for the Bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagramers of this world is a key prerequisite for a successful partnership. Engagement that generate benefits, educates or inspires is what stimulates Influencers and their faithful followers. And companies continuously strive to offer them something of personal value: whether it is the participation to workshops and events, or the distribution of product samples – almost half of the work with Influencers is paid for. This includes not only payment for content creation and product testing, but also the coverage of travel expenses. Professional bloggers insist on having their contributions labelled as “paid services”. This should be understood and endorsed. Anyone who has teamed up with influencers would know the importance of such a distinction.
Brand fit is critical to successful influencer relations.
Ultimately, it all boils down to avoiding the perception of ‘bought network”, which would be a recipe for failure. However, a skilful and smart management of Influencers will go a long way in securing a tangible return on investment for brands.
Influencer marketing at its best
Madewell, an international online fashion platform, partnered with five fashion Influencers to celebrate the anniversary of their “Bag” product category. During the event, all five bloggers instantly posted numerous pictures of the coveted object, reaching several thousand followers each. Overall, the campaign reach exceeded the million mark.
Influencers instantly channel the right story, in the right way, to the right audience.
Another aspect of Madewell’s digital marketing strategy is the publishing of user-generated content across their Instagram account and corporate blog. This cross-promotion approach fits the spirit of an influencer collaboration as both players mutually benefit from the increase in their respective reach. Word of caution here: reach alone does not suffice to attract and retain Influencers.
Defining the success picture
The best way to assess the power of influencers is through easily accessible data, such as the size of their follower base or the engagement level of their communities. The brand fit in particular, is a critical success enabler as influencers and their channels must be able to identify themselves with the company’s products. This way, even smaller channels can generate a high level of engagement and interaction with the brand. Ultimately, a large follower base is a direct reflection of the Influencers’ understanding of their audience’s specific needs. They pay close attention to the emotions displayed on the net and can quickly assess consumers’ emotional reaction to a particular product or brand.
5 Ways to secure impactful Influencer Relationship Management
Building a lucrative partnership with YouTubers, Bloggers und Instagrammers requires a thought-through approach. A few critical points to consider:
- When engaging with Influencers, focus your efforts on building sustainable relationships. Adopt a personalized approach, treat them as equal partners and strive for a win-win outcome.
- Look beyond the Influencers’ reach to identify potential candidates. Their personality and ability to fit your brand or your product – and vice versa- is just as critical.
- Never underestimate the power of authenticity. Ideally, potential Influencers would have to buy into your brand or product before you actually approach them. This will guarantee genuine endorsement and recommendations.
- There is a fine line between Influencer marketing and covert advertising. Ultimately, any brand endorsement through Influencers – regardless the compensation – needs to be visible to users. The label “Sponsored” does not suffice.
- For the sake of clarity and transparency, capture your agreement with Influencers on paper. A legal framework serves the purpose and interest of both parties.
Effective Influencer Marketing remains a complex field that requires proper planning. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you need guidance in articulating your Influencer Strategy, contact us.
For more insight on the topic of Influencer Relationship Management, click here.