As professional communicators, our goal is to persuade and engage an audience. But as often happens, if that audience is hyper-aware and skeptical they can simply scroll past your message, fast-forward, or even flag ads as “irrelevant”. That’s not to say branded content is a lost cause, for it helps to generate and maintain awareness and relevance. However, if the branded content comes from someone your audience knows and trusts, it will certainly make a stronger impact.
Enter: The Influencer.
Influencers possess a captivating ability to bolster brand awareness, reach a vastly expansive audience and maintain authenticity. One way to start building your company’s influencer relations efforts is to use the “F.E.A.R.” method.
On some platforms, the frequency that someone posts, corresponds with how much traffic is driven to their page. If an influencer posts high-quality, scroll-stopping content consistently, users will most likely share and come back for more. Like many aspects of marketing, influencer relations can be a numbers game.
It is also important to consider how often you would run influencer campaigns for your brand, how many influencers you hope to have participate in these campaigns, and, ultimately, how they will be compensated. For many influencers, their platform is their livelihood, so having a specific budget plan set for these efforts is critical in nurturing a positive relationship with your brand’s influencers.
Ask yourself how loyal this audience is, and how far it stretches. Measuring engagement is not limited to likes or favorites. It includes reshares, comments, and responses. Engagement rate can be determined by calculating the number of interactions a post generates, divided by the total number of followers, multiplied by 100%. Experts typically aim for an engagement rate between 0.5%-1.5%.
Using an influencer management service such as Klear, Grin, or Upfluence, helps ease the numbers process by automatically tracking key analytics. By determining how engaged an audience is with an influencer and how often they interact back, you can gauge the level of trust an influencer has built.
Just saying that an advertisement is authentic, is not necessarily believable. But when someone has had a genuine experience with a product and shares it amongst a trusting and engaged audience, it connects the brand to the consumer in a much more authentic manner. In a way, it’s like having a friend rave to you about their new favorite gadget that they think everyone needs.
For example, a mattress company can engage with fitness influencers to create a “Day in the Life” video that subsequently impacts a viewer in getting a great night’s sleep, thereby optimizing muscle recovery and helping to sustain their athletic lifestyle. When a creator pairs compelling and engaging content with a genuine review of a product, a sense of trust and authenticity can be established between the larger community and the brand.
Just because an influencer has over 300,000 followers does not mean they will improve your brand’s sales or generate awareness. When scoping for influencers to add to your program, it’s in your company’s best interest to ensure that the influencer aligns with the brand personality, messaging, and core values. In other words, they are relevant to your company and target audience.
If you’re tapping into the college kids, mommy bloggers, or health junkies, factor in what sort of tone your social channel expresses, as in laid back, buttoned-up, or educational. These are critical factors your brand should take into consideration when evaluating an influencer to include in your program.
Advertising and marketing have evolved with the times, and so have consumer attitudes. By meeting your unique audience’s expectations of compelling, high-quality and captivating content from their favorite influencers, you are bridging the gap between your brand and an infinite audience pool of engaged, loyal, and active users.