Influencer marketing is probably one of the more difficult realities for larger brands to integrate into their social media strategies. For one thing, the content influencers are creating and publishing is going over a social network where audience numbers are unreliable at best – despite the best efforts of the creative. There is no clearly drawn DMA (Designated Market Area) like brands used to have with traditional media.
Another challenge brands face is having completely unique campaigns from one marketing focus to the next, requiring a different target audience and possibly different influencers from one month to the next. When all the best practices call for long-term planning and relationship building, marketers with short-term deadlines can really feel the pinch.
Influencer marketing experts tend to recommend three common tips for a more pleasant experience all around.
1. “Manage expectations internally first.”
Promising large numbers of impressions might help a project get the green light, but when a low number of business actions are taken on the back end, it can leave everyone feeling duped. Don’t make promises internally that can’t be guaranteed when it comes to the reach an influencer marketing effort can have. Audience size is important, but so are types of engagements within a social community, as well as tone. Make sure stakeholders are at least aware of what each of these terms mean and what impact they can have.
2. “Set each campaign up for success.”
Brands asking to change an agreement with an influencer during the middle of a campaign are likely to burn that relationship bridge. Pushing deadlines back is one thing, but asking for editorial revisions the night before a campaign goes live is one way to shut off access to a key influencer. Set everyone up for success by sticking to agreed upon creative or big picture themes. Micro-managing influencers never turns out well.
3. “Be careful when choosing metrics.”
While follower counts and group sizes are data available to all, only profile owners can see actions like click through rates. Maintain some control by asking the influencer to use brand-owned links, and rely less on self-reporting data. It’s also important to align desired conversion actions with the appropriate social platform. For example, you wouldn’t want to have a campaign aimed at getting a high volume of click through rates conducted mainly over Instagram, which doesn’t allow hyperlinks in posts.
Better influencer marketing means less friction between those responsible for the brand reputation and the influencers they engage, as well as those managing the influencers if the situation calls for it. Sometimes avoiding negative sentiment is just as much as marker of success as hitting campaign goals.