With festival season in full swing, everyone is talking influencers. To make sure we are all on the same page, an influencer here is defined as a person or group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others. For the purposes of this blog, we are referring to social media influencers specifically. Ideally, this influence would lead to a purchase or desired action. Influencers work so well because 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.
Currently, Facebook holds the #1 spot for most influential social platform, but as more and more people delete their accounts and change their privacy settings, we predict that YouTube and Instagram will eventually take their spot.
Here’s our response to some common questions and tips for identifying and utilizing influencers in 2018:
When is it a good idea to partner with an influencer?
Whether it be a special event, a lifestyle brand, or food, beverage and hospitality, bringing an influencer in can do great things for your marketing as well as PR. Any time you have a product you’d like to sell or an Instagram-worthy event or space, an influencer can be brought on to promote.
Is there a bad time to partner with an influencer?
Knowing your target audience is key to answering this question. Marketing and digital media professionals like Bailey and Bentley can easily help you identify your demographic and if working with an influencer makes sense.
Where can working with an influencer backfire?
Working with an influencer goes wrong in the same way a traditional marketing or advertising campaign can go wrong. We’ve narrowed it down to a few examples: Unoriginality, misunderstanding the audience, inorganic content. The perk of working with an influencer is that they have an existing, dedicated following. Creating such strict guidelines and restrictions for them leads to content that doesn’t blend well with what they already have going on on their page and comes across as unoriginal and inorganic, so give them as much artistic license as you can. We also can’t say enough about the fact that if your target audience isn’t following them, you’ll see little to no ROI.
Why do influencers make great partners?
Influencers make great partners because (as we mentioned before) they have an existing and dedicated following. Most influencers have a specific market they work in i.e. food and beverage, lifestyle, fashion, beauty, the list goes on and on. They can instill credibility and brand loyalty with their followers while also bringing personality and trust to your organization.
Okay, I’m sold. Now how do I track ROI?
Like so many marketing methods, influencer marketing presents a bit of gray area when it comes to tracking how far that influence goes and what actions were a direct response to an influencer. An easy way to track purchases is using a personalized discount code for each influencer. For example: “Use code BMF for 10% off your first purchase” will give you the ability to track how many people have taken action from an influencer’s post. It doesn’t always make sense in every situation to use a code. Unless you survey every person who visits your website, attends your party, or purchases a product, you’ll never know just how effective an influencer campaign was. Work with your influencer beforehand to discuss what kind of reporting or stats they are willing to share with you. We believe, if it makes sense for the brand and influencer, these campaigns can have long lasting return on investment. How many times have you seen an ad or promotional post for a brand and sent it to a friend or searched them on Google later? Or made a purchase months after having a friend recommend a product?
There can be gray area in marketing, but with the right strategy in place and with your ideal customer in mind throughout the process, working with an influencer can boost sales, create brand loyalty, and add credibility to your company or organization.
For information about how BMF can help you with planning an influencer campaign or marketing your brand, contact us at (504) 524-3342.
LinkedIn: Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald