5 tips to make your influencer campaigns more impactful in 2017
2016 has seen influencer marketing explode across the PR industry. Over 85% of agencies are now offering blogger and influencer outreach services as part of their core offering and client budgets are finally catching up to align with ever growing expectations for campaigns that push the boundaries of creativity, and leverage influencers who have online followings to rival even the biggest of printed publications.
Below are 5 key take-outs from the award-winning campaigns we’ve rolled out this year which will set you up for success when planning your own influencer campaigns over the next twelve months.
- Put the relationships first
In order to get the best out of influencer-brand collaborations, we have to focus on the relationship we hold with these key individuals. Agencies must factor investment time for building the mutual respect and understanding between parties to truly understand what drives influencers, and what they want to gain from the activity.
The focus needs to shift to a mutually beneficial partnership and should consider the long-term opportunities, beyond a one-off project.
- Co-create to unlock the greatest impact
It’s not new news that bloggers know their audience best. They know what drives engagement, conversation and most importantly action. Agency partners can of course, make educated predictions, and hook into the latest consumer trends to help formulate campaign plans, but inviting influencers into the process certainly removes a lot of the guess work. Influencers are living breathing platform specialists, and need to be seen as invaluable creative resource in the planning process.
- If you can’t measure it, don’t do it
At the end of the day, when we strip back the rhetoric that surrounds much influencer marketing, we are in the business of creating a social currency in the form of original and authentic content that impacts consumer buying behaviour and ultimately impacts sales.
As the business impact of all marketing communications comes under greater scrutiny, measurement and KPI metrics need to be at the forefront of your campaigns agenda. Many tools now provide us with a snapshot of performance, but in order to move forward and build ongoing optimisation into campaigns, influencers need to be working transparently with M & E teams, with shared access to site and post analytics in order to facilitate the accurate reporting on reach and engagement statistics.
- Play by the rules
As the landscape has matured, so to have the rules and legislation that surround influencer marketing. When it comes to influencers creating editorial content be it via vlogs, blogs, Facebook etc. the assumption in the eyes of the regulators is that any mention of a brand is an independent decision of the influencer as the “publisher”.
However, if there is a commercial relationship in place, it needs to be made clear. As PR professionals we need to take mutual responsibility alongside social talent to ensure full transparency and disclosure across all campaigns.
- Build in budget
Whether assigned for talent fees, or costs for unique and memorable experiences, budgets need to be built on the basis of a value exchange that acknowledges influencer’s fees for their time and creativity as well as product and participation. Agencies can’t afford to move into 2017 with the expectation that a product sample and a ‘Thankyou’ are going to result in award winning Influencer campaigns! Influencers are in strong demand, and will no doubt start to build more exclusive partnerships with those agencies (and brands) that treat them fairly and place a fair monetary value on their work.
Director of Digital Influence