In this guest post, Charles Tidswell, JAPAC vice president at Socialbakers, takes a look at influencer marketing and offers his panic-free tips on improving yours…
In recent times, the reputation of influencer marketing has taken a few hits and its credibility has quickly diminished. With a few high profile and costly mistakes, including the Federal Health Department’s #girlsmakeyourmove campaign and the incident with the Australian Defence Force’s video game YouTubers, the words ‘influencer marketing’ sounded alarm bells for many businesses.
In all the panic of this mistake, many brands have forgotten that their story doesn’t need to end there. In fact, it doesn’t even need to start there. A large part of these incidences was the outlay of excessive budget, something you certainly don’t need to do.
The cost of influencer marketing can be a huge barrier for businesses, but lucky for you, that’s where micro-influencers come in. Not only are they less expensive, they are also far more effective in terms of engagement and generating sales.
The key factors are authenticity and alignment. Tapping into an authentic relationship between influencer and their audience continues to allow brands to achieve greater levels of engagement with their target audience that might be able to attain on their own.
Earlier this year, the Socialbakers team began tracking the social engagement of leading fashion and beauty brands over the course of a month.
Brands with big marketing budgets, such as Victoria’s Secret and Kylie Cosmetics, topped the list with engagement levels miles ahead of their competitors. How did they do it?
Upon further analysis into their social strategy, it appeared that time and time again, posts using high profile celebrities to promote their products helped them achieve their highest levels of engagement.
But let’s get back to reality. Most brands and businesses won’t have the budget to engage a top tier influencer. But this is okay! Influencer marketing doesn’t need to cost arm and a leg to be effective.
Looking closer to home, brands like Showpo and HiSmile are big names now but when they were starting out a smart social strategy helped catapult them into the big league. What was it? The use of micro influencers.
This enabled them to collaborate with more affordable brand advocates, tapping into that authentic relationship which in turn helped them to build a ground swell of interest for their brands. It’s influencer marketing on a shoestring budget as profiles in this space often want partnerships to broaden their audience and are willing to collaborate for a fraction of the price.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for that perfect influencer:
What do they cover and who are their audience?
Look at what kind of content the influencer covers and what their audience/ community looks like. It’s always good to ask yourself, ‘would they be interested in what you’ve got to say?’. Collaborations that have little relevance to the profile can backfire on the brand if there’s no clear connection between the product and the interests of the audience.
Look at their metrics
Looking at their performance figures is a great way to know how engaged their audience is in their content. Keep in mind that If a page has a large following but little engagement, then it can be an indication they’re not an authentic profile. To check their account performance the best method is adding up the likes and comments per post, over a 30-day period. Then you want to divide that number by how many posts they uploaded in those 30 days. This should give you an average which you then times by 100 to give you a percentage. As a rule of thumb, Between 3.5 per cent and six per cent = high engagement rate for Instagram.
Always set clear KPIs
Be clear what your trying to achieve and set realistic goals for the influencer.
If they’ve done sponsored content before, you could also ask them to share what worked well and what didn’t to give you an idea of what performance figures are relative to their channel. It’s also a great way to get ideas for what content is most interesting for their audience.
When looking for an influencer, it’s key to do your due diligence, look at the engagement on their personal posts versus sponsored posts, review comments on both to understand if there is a difference. Ask yourself if the audience engaged only by the influencer’s appearance or also by their beliefs.