The way social media was a buzz word in 2008, influencer marketing is going through the same nowadays. Back then I still remember how I had to explain, “what”, “why” and “how” of social media to our prospective new clients. Thankfully “influencer marketing” doesn’t have that much problem and is quite adaptive amongst the marketing professionals. But, now the problem is something else, it is the understanding of influencer marketing. It is not about the “What” but “How”!
If you don’t already know, influencer marketing is a type of marketing where the focus is on individuals (having high reach) than the target market as a whole. In general terms, it is widely used for online influencers like youtubers, Instagrammers, bloggers or tweeps having high online reach. On the basis of the content published, there are 4 categories of influencers:
- Educators (help followers with content having insights)
- Coaches (help followers with content and engage with them via tweets/comments)
- Entertainers (create content which entertain the followers and further engage and inspire them)
- Charismatics (create content which is based on the insights and inspire them to do more)
In my day-to-day interactions with brands, I often explain that money can’t buy everything. They have to understand that the motivation of influencers is into things which is beyond free stuff. For planning Digital PR strategy with influencers, we should aim to convert our one-time relationship with them into marriage. Everyone loves to get respect and appreciation for the work they do. Today, I thought of listing down every possible key point that I use for planning a perfect influencer marketing strategy.
Here are few valuable tips that you should know before planning the same:
The rule of a pitching to a digital influencer – the basics of Digital PR
Do not pitch directly without an intensive research. Rather understand their flow of writing, acknowledge their work on their blog/ Youtube channel comment section and engage with them on Twitter over common points of interests. In a nutshell, “First get to know them better!”
Identify common passion points between brand & influencers
It is important to find, the common passion points between your brand and an influencer before planning any content creation exercise. Bluntly, acquiring influencers for satisfying your “reach” ego won’t work in the long run, because you will soon realise that it is not reflecting onto sales or consumer’s sentiments.
Start with asking, “Why”
Why would an influencer create content for your brand? Have you ever asked yourself that why does a reader/follower like the content created by an influencer? Why would the target audience share a video? If you have an answer to this “why” then you can effectively plan the “what” and the “how” of marketing with influencers. In most of the cases, I have observed that marketers are unable to effectively answer the “why” and henceforth, get puzzled in the “what” loop of execution.
Research and create a list of influencers
Explore & create a list of influencers who are important for your brand. Having a targeted marketing approach always helps you to save time & bring efficiency to your digital PR plan.
Build relationships to reap results in the future
Always think of a long term strategy. Plan to build on associations, that will help your brand in future. Having a long-term relationship will help you build a trustworthy bond between your brand and the influencer. Moreover, they will be pleased to create content for you, join your events & recommend your brand wherever necessary.
Analyse & iterate
Your strategy should not be marketing for the influencers but to have a strategy of marketing with them. Do your regular analysis on how the content created by the influencers is performing. What is the organic reach of the content produced by the influencer for the brand. Can you invest in an improved setup for influencers for producing fine content? Iterating your plan after doing research on influencer performance is always recommended.
Influence the audience of an influencer
If the agenda of your influencer marketing program is to influence the influencer, then my friend you are thinking in 2012! The aim should be, to influence the audience of the influencers. The virtue of an influencer is in his/her reach, so at the same time we should always focus on the end users.
Understanding the ecosystem
If you want an influencer to create content for your brand then help them with amplification, reach and things required for creating “awesome” content. They will love it and aspire to create more in future for you.
The chemistry of affinity
Understand what an influencer loves the most & wants to have. This question is very subjective and depends from person to person, but the answer is “not always the monetary benefits” provided by the brand. You can share their names in research reports, in changelog of upcoming OTA of phone updates, on the website as key thought leaders, or even promote them to a new set of audience.
Planning the correct compensation
If you want influencers to attend your event, create content for you, publish video reviews or even live tweet, then they should get the compensation for the time spent in some way or the other. Planning the correct compensation method is a very crucial factor in determining the influencer’s satisfaction. It can be a great exclusive news or the content getting an appreciation from a follower!
[Bonus] Approaching an influencer
I’m assuming that you always approach influencers after doing basic research. The research of what they write, what they like, what kind of events they go to, what kind of content they create for their owned properties, etc. Your approach towards them defines whether your influencer marketing strategy will work or not. Having a mindset of throwing money for paid content may not always work and can lead to a catastrophic PR disaster.
After reading this post do tell me if it helped you in planning your influencer marketing strategy. If you have any queries, feel free to reach me on twitter @honeytech or mail to honey at armdigital.in.
Last but not the least, plan a kickass influencer strategy and keep me posted on how it went!