Believe it or not, influencer marketing has been around since the early 20th century but only in the past 15 years, brands and advertisers began to see its potential and we are all hopped on the bandwagon today. Yet, many do not know how to effectively run an influencer marketing which often ends up resulting in a poorly performed or a mediocre campaign.
This often happens and many advertisers will be fumbling through to understand where they’ve gone wrong.
The two main areas which many brands and advertisers fall victim to are:
1) When brands/advertisers become the driver to the content creation
2) When brands misunderstand Influencer engagement equals sales conversions
In all honesty, it is an easy rabbit hole to fall into the above – after all, brands/advertisers are driving campaigns from a brand’s perspective. Yet, influencer marketing is unique because it includes an entirely new personality into the brand’s messaging to its consumers; the influencer’s own branding.
So, how can one execute an amazing campaign that is able to translate the most desirable result?
1) Treat Influencers Like Your Consumers
Know that your influencers are not a channel or platform to create advertising content on, rather they are actually YOUR end consumers as well. Before influencers can help YOU to amplify the campaign’s message, they first need to be educated on the 5W-1H of the brand message.
A good example of a campaign that runs well is often food review content. The reason why it works is that oftentimes a food review allows the influencer to fully experience and indulge the food. A food review will never work if the restaurant owner merely sends them a flyer to promote it to their friends and family.
2) Be the Passenger and Let the Influencer Be the Driver
As how we trust our Grab Drivers to take us to our destination, trust that your influencer would be able to bring you there. Whether they took a different route that brands are familiar with (e.g. polished brand holding and positioning), know that they would bring you to the destination, given the fact that you have entered the right destination of course.
Keep in mind that you are engaging influencers because you had chosen them to speak to your consumers in the influencer’s ‘language’. Hence, it should come with allowing them the driver’s seat to lead the conversation with your audience.
3) Split the Messages into Bite-sizes
Consumers are intelligent creatures (surely, we ourselves are consumers too) in deciphering in their minds what is paid or authentic content. As much as brands are prideful of their products, do know that consumers are oftentimes ‘distracted’ with their surroundings. Being mindful of this reality often means that consumers mostly ‘see’ one thing at a time and the information they absorb from the content needs to address a pain-point in their life for the content to stick.
For example, if cooking pasta is a challenge for consumers, introducing to them the existence of an instant pasta in a cup by simply having content demonstrating how influencers are having their pasta-fix will meet its objective.
Hence, a good campaign would usually limit the information (ie. USPs) to one key messaging on why consumers should love your product! If you should have more than one, keep it to a maximum of three.
4) Invest in Long-term Trial & Error
As much time and investment it took to create the product and to build your brand, know that engaging influencers require a similar process where there is a need for trial and error exploration to know what works and what does not.
This does not mean you need to stick to one influencer for a long time to generate the desired results. Rather, give the influencers time to understand your brand and product, have each of the influencers determine which value your brand or product matches them the most and let them shine with it. If despite the ‘incubation period’ and the influencer engagement does not reap outcomes, take it as learnings to better rectify your strategy such as realigning your influencer selection or reviewing content directions.
In summary, be frisky, get creative with the influencers, and help them to understand why they should LOVE YOU – so that they can in return amplify the love they have to their followers.