If you’ve ventured into the world of social media marketing, you’ve seen the profile of influencers who cater to between 1,000 and 1 million (or more) followers. These platform elites hold power with their audiences, influencing what images they see, what brands they endorse and how to interact with or believe in the influencer’s topic of choice.
Most of these accounts grew organically, capitalizing on the grassroots beginning of social platforms such as Instagram. Users quickly rose to prominence, some fame, and now they speak to huge audiences in every post.
Needless to say, influencers hold the marketing power on social media, and can make a worthwhile and fruitful partnership for your brand.
How Influencer Marketing Campaigns Work
Pairing with influencers is a fast and reliable way to get the word out about your brand to create lasting partnerships with generous ROI.
Take a look at the ways a blogging partner can help boost your brand’s marketing influence:
- Relevant niche partnerships with industry leaders: Partnerships with industry voices means climbing the ranks to increased voice authority and sitting in the company of your market’s most trusted profiles.
- Enhance brand awareness: Increase brand awareness by having influencers spread the word about your brand and mission. You can create big waves just by starting with a few ripples in the waters of social media.
- Boost traffic: Creating partnerships can lead to increased traffic to your website, to your event landing page, or to your own brand’s social media profile. Work with your influencer to continually tag your page or link to your site where you want increased traffic.
- Promote brand message: Influencers help reiterate your brand message to followers, and they do so in new and creative ways. Ask your influencer to get creative with new ways to share your brand’s message with followers.
- Grow audience and followers: By tagging your account and promoting your brand, you can gain new and loyal followers, too. If this is a goal, be sure to set metrics that you can assess quarterly or monthly.
- Share content around events and growth: Influencers will help you promote all the exciting news you have as a brand, whether it is a product launch, a new event, or continued successful growth as a company.
Now that you know the basic benefits of partnering with an influencer, let’s turn our attention to one of the most popular platforms: Instagram.
Your presence on Instagram can be authentic and personal, but it should also be carefully curated to make the most of your brand expression online. Below, we look into guiding principles around what to do (or what not to do) on Instagram.
Instagram Dos and Don’Ts
The do’s and don’ts of the popular social platform are straight-forward and meant to guide business profiles into success. If you have any questions on the do’s and don’ts presented, be sure to leave a note in the comment section at the end of the post. Now, let’s dive into the best practices for Instagram.
- Establish partnership goals: Create a sense of purpose to the partnership by creating and revisiting shared partnership goals. Goals hold both parties accountable and keep the momentum of campaigns driving forward.
Some examples of partnership goals might include:
- Increased traffic
- New leads
- More content to us
- Social footprint
- Be brave and encourage creative expression: Encourage your influencers to create content they see as the more advantageous to your shared goals. Your influencers have been online for a long time; they know what consumers like, how they’ll respond, and for when they’ll listen. When working with influencers, it is best to:
- Let the influencer take the reins on creative content
- Set a goal and parameters together, then trust the influencer to deliver
- Make suggestions about a campaign, and then take two steps back
- Be patient and picky when pairing: The partnership pairing process is exciting, but it’s not something you want to rush into. With so many popular and well-received influencers on social media platforms, it can be tempting to reach out to everyone who seems like a good fit.
However, it is in your better interest to spend time on social media to watch influencers behave and interact before striking up a potential relationship. You might consider running a professional search for an influencer, too.
What Is an Influencer Search?
An influencer search allows you to search a directory of influencers for the one that best suits your tone, brand personality, and partnership goals. You can always search organically by checking out relevant hashtags or followed accounts.
When searching for the perfect influencer pair, keep an eye on the following details:
- Target audience: Do you share the same target audience? Ultimately, you want new followers to generate leads and convert to sales.
- Active on the platform: Choose an influencer who is actively posting and avidly monitoring interactions.
- Engaged, attentive audience: An engaged audience is most likely to believe and buy into what an influencer has to say.
- Matching tone and complimentary style: Find an influencer who shares your brand tone and sentiments. Ideally, they’ll have a style that is not a mirror of yours, but complementary to your brand goals and values.
Alongside the list of actions to take, there is a list of actions to avoid: ‘the Instagram don’ts’. Take a look:
- Micro-manage: Whatever you do in a social media partnership, stray from micromanaging. While your brand is your baby, a profile is the influencer’s pride and livelihood. They’ve worked hard to generate a following, find a voice in a crowded marketplace and to stand out in the crowd. As you assemble a relationship, be discerning in your management, veering on the side of faith and trust.
When working closely with influencers, be sure to avoid:
- Giving direct copy for content: give an idea, but let the influencer create
- Determine interactions: the influencer knows their audience best
- Solely focus on macro-influencers: Influencers with the biggest followings certainly have voice authority and speaking power, but they also come at some of the highest prices and with the most scrutiny over partnership objectivity. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are accessible to work with and often have an even more engaged audience.
Some of the benefits of working with micro-influencers include:
- Audience Attentiveness
- Treat influencers without respect: Your influencer is the megaphone for your voice and brand expression on social media. You are partners in a cohesive marketing strategy, helping to get the word out of your products and services. Work with your influencer(s), not against them. The more you treat your influencers with trust, patience and respect, the more organically the relationship can grow. Here are a few ways to establish and grow respect in your social media partnerships:
- Co-create content: work together to curate, create or conceive of posts, series, videos and campaigns.
- Establish mutually beneficial goals: strategize on how each post or campaign can also benefit the influencers and their audiences.
- Work together on strategy: create strategies that work toward goals and continually revisit them together to stay on track toward a successful long-term relationship.
- Rush into it: Take your influencer relationships slowly and be most patient in the pairing process. Successful partnerships can last a long time and have great rewards, so it’s worth it to wait for the right one. Before approaching an influencer for a partnership, consider taking the following steps:
- Follow influencers
- Engage with influencers
- Interact before proposing
- This way, when you approach a potential partner, you already have a foundation and the proposal is more intentional.
Have you had experience with influencer marketing? We’d love to hear about it! Our comment section is a space for marketers and business owners to discuss and reflect on the various strategies they’ve tried out, with or without success. Together, our blog readers can determine the best approaches for their business type and enlighten the intricate (sometimes complex!) world of marketing. Leave us a note in the comments or respond to a fellow reader’s request.
Rosy Strategies can help guide you through your first influencer marketing partnership. Our team of savvy marketing experts will evaluate your current strategy and help identify the best way forward to achieve your long-term business and marketing goals. Once your strategy is in place, we have all the resources necessary to ensure a high-quality and highly effective campaign with the blogger that suits your influencer needs and preferences. Reach out to us to get started, today!