The media world has changed dramatically over the past five years and marketers have adjusted their approach to reflect how consumers are getting information. One thing is certain, tapping into influencers as a marketing channel has become a powerful strategy for reaching an audience. Earlier this year, research from Ad Week revealed that 75% of marketers are using influencer marketing, and nearly 60% plan to increase that budget in 2016.
But it’s a delicate dance when it comes to who has creative control. Brands want to tap into an influencer’s audience with specific messaging. Meanwhile, creators want to earn a living with sponsorships and also maintain the trust of their subscribers and avoid “selling out.” It takes a skilled marketer to know how to strike the right balance of producing content that is authentic while delivering key message points about a particular brand.
At Enlist Moms, we create personalized influencer programs that deliver authentic, shareable content. We produce meaningful campaigns that reach broad or niche audiences through our network of subscribers, bloggers and media outlets.
Based on experience integrating influencer marketing into campaigns, here are some key points for being successful.
1) Focus on your customers, not the influencers.
A creator may have an impressive audience or fan engagement, but the most impactful campaigns are centered around really understanding consumers, what they care about and how they make decisions. Customer-focused marketing combined with a broader view of what may influence them means we can design multi-tiered programs that encompass bloggers, digital partnerships, social media outlets, and more.
2) Only work with partners who will facilitate direct collaboration with influencers and creators.
The best influencer platforms will facilitate co-creation conversations so that you’re not left “playing telephone” through a third-party. Agencies should work with brands and build direct relationships with creators.
3) Don’t underestimate the investment (of time and budget) required for a good collaboration.
Finalizing a contract with an influencer is just the beginning. Collaboration should be the expectation, which means that brands will have to write better briefs, and creators will have to accept some guidelines for working with brands.
Working with influencers is less like outsourcing creative, and more like onboarding a new freelancer to your team. Even with the best strategy, give yourself time to collaborate and review content.
4) Advocate for authenticity.
Given many competing interests, influencer campaigns can easily fall flat without the right guidance. Ideally, a creator is an authentic fan (at the very least a consumer) of the product or service they’re talking about. If that isn’t the case, everyone will have to work harder to ensure that the content is worth the partnership and investment. Consumers will reject messages that feel too contrived.
Agencies like Enlist Moms can assist brands in navigating the creative process of delivering authentic messages while working with influencers who have a deep connection to their audiences.
To read more, visit: mediapost.com
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