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Do’s & Don’ts Marketers Should Live By When Working with Influencers

First published on MobileMarketer, check out my tips for marketers to live by to set up their Influencer Marketing campaigns for success.

Millennial’s are reshaping the way entertainment is created and consumed. Brands can’t keep doing what has worked in the past; Millennials don’t even see banner ads anymore let alone click. The power of Influencer marketing is in the authenticity it creates, that one-to-one experience. How do you hit your campaign metrics while letting the talent do what they do best? It’s important to look at Influencers as partners, to understand what will work…when you do that, you will see results.

Here’s my DO’s and DON’Ts to follow when working with Influencers…

DO

  1. DO – Let Them Shine – Let the Influencer come up with creative concepts. They know their audience best and the type of content that works/doesn’t work. Make the process collaborative. Slapping a product placement won’t work and if you think it does, you are missing the beauty in leveraging creators. You want the audience to not even realize they are being marketed to.
  2. DO – Consider Them Brand Advocates – Influencers won’t take on campaigns just for the paycheck. Their livelihood is their content and if quality drops, they lose. You can almost guarantee they are already a fan of your brand or at least consider what you are doing as cool. Look at them as a customer and make the experience enjoyable so they keep coming back.
  3. DO – Understand the Difference in Platforms – Having them “just tweet” out the 10-second Vine video they do for you, doesn’t always work. Most Influencers have separate strategies for each platform. Spend the time during a kick-off call to understand how they see each platform and be willing to create different concepts for each.
  4. DO – Communicate Your Brand Safety Needs – While it’s important to support the Influencer’s creative concepts, you also need to clearly communicate your brand identity and what your dos/don’ts are. Get that all out on the table from the get-go.
  5. DO – Optimize – Use a data partner to understand what works best for each Influencer’s fan base like when to post (day/time), what hashtags to use and which filters perform. It’s also important to understand, in real-time, what’s working. The average half-life of a post is between 1 – 2 hours, giving you a solid indication of performance in near real-time.
  6. DO – Reach Out as Early as Possible – Not only do you want to make sure talent is available but the more time you give them for creative concepting, the better the deliverable will be.

DON’T

  1. DON’T – Assume All Are Created Equally – Don’t treat all Influencers the same. It’s not efficient to discuss what worked for your last Influencer marketing campaign because what’s worked for one influencer, might not for another. Treat each Influencer as authentically as the campaign should be.
  2. DON’T – Pull The Trigger Too Early – It can be tempting to automatically go to an Influencer that is popular and has a lot of followers. Resist this temptation. Agree on your target audience and campaign goals first, and then see which Influencer best aligns to that. It can be exhausting (yet fun) to spend hours watching content from a potential Influencer partner to see what they are all about. Let a partner do the due diligence for you, it’s more effective and efficient. Once you’ve identified the perfect Influencer, only move forward if you can hold up your end of the deal. To maintain channel quality, Influencers are selective in the amount of sponsorships they do every month. If they’ve agreed to move forward and it falls through, you risk burning bridges.
  3. DON’T – Waste Good Content – Everyone should have the chance to see awesome content. Put paid media dollars towards an audience extension program to reach more people.
  4. DON’T – Forget to Measure Success – Work with a partner that provides detailed reporting both during the campaign, so you can optimize, and after, so you can measure success. Share these results with the Influencer, this data gives them more insight into their audience and will encourage them to partner with you again if performance was positive.
  5. DON’T – Set It and Forget It – Once you’ve found the perfect Influencer to partner with, don’t think that your job is over and it’s now on them. There are a lot of steps from creative concepting to go-live, make sure you are engaged from start to finish so there are no surprises.

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