In a recent survey 75% of children have said they want to be a vlogger - an influencer to be specific. Of course, this is down to the fame and fortune that only a handful actual achieve. This is a business that has built itself on a "fake-it-till-you-make-it" kind of attitude. Even now, there are countless amounts of bloggers statistically proven to not be influential, yet through their content, demonstrate that they think they are.
So what constitutes an influencer? How can you make sure you're picking the right one for your brand? We've focussed on influencers' extensively over the past year, as always from an analysis and data pov.
There's more to being an influencer than the 75% of children seem to think, and certainly more than a few thousand followers (especially when you buy numbers). Needless to say influencers can influence their audience. Their followers engage with their content and usually buy merchandise at the request of said influencer - the same as every music artist for all time. The difference is that now there can be influencer's for every niche imaginable, meaning if you choose right, you can find your target audience consolidated in one place.
For example, if you were using traditional methods, you have a limited number of advertising slots with a very narrow subject choice of influencers/celebrities, tv-shows, newspapers, radio spots to advertise on. The option now is an influencer or podcast for every topic and audience anyone can ever think of. The issue then has flipped. It is not where you place your chips, it's who you place them with - which influencer engages with their audience and converts.
Using celebrities or influencers is all to gain credibility. Consumers don't trust businesses when it comes to larger purchases especially and so the demand for celebrities/influencers was born. In fact, one in three consumers reportedly trust the words of an influencer over the brand itself. Choosing the correct influencer with the data available is something many are only just getting to grips with.
What Can Influencers' Bring?
There's no doubt that some influencers' get to where they are through faking it, but those are obviously the ones businesses don't want to be working with due to the lack of engagement from their followers. When agency's research influencers' they dig into the content, whether it's blogs, youtube, or podcasts. We as an agency focus on the engagement and return gained for previous businesses.
This is a vital step as influencers' if picked right are more knowledgeable about your subject than you and can add real value by contributing and sharing information with your brand. This is great for businesses as it builds the credibility mentioned earlier and adds the value for your audience.
The Content Distribution
It doesn't take a genius to figure the more people you reach with your content the more effective it is. More eyes results in more awareness and more shares on social media platforms. This then in turn when presented almost exclusively to your target audience results in more shares, likes and eventually... sales.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for you to start this chain reaction if you're largely unknown and your social media profile is low. This is where influencers' come in. When an influencer shares a pience of content, people are more likely to share the content than if it was with someone unknown. (admit it – we’ve all done it)!
This is primarily due to trust. However, what can you do to up the odds of influencers' working with you?
One option is to ensure the content is part of your initial agreement. Unfortunately, this condition is only really fair if you're paying an influencer' for their involvement. Asking for favours' is great if you have the network to begin with, but that's not most people. Sure, you can ask if they would mind sharing it, but you can’t assume they’ll oblige.
If you are taking the route of not compensation influencers' (at least to begin with), the quality of your content will make a huge difference in whether they'll post it... or not.
Influencers' will always focus on quality to protect their own brands, which are ironically the exact influencers' every business should want to work with. If an influencer shares low-quality content and you've worked with them, you run the risk of having your own brand being diminished too.
If an influencer campaign is effective, use the initial partnership to build a more genuine relationship for the future. Here's a few things we've found from running influencer campaign's for clients:
- More detailed contributions to your content
- Speaking opportunities
- Distribution of content (whether or not the influencer in question was involved)
- The chance to collaborate 50/50 on content – i.e. create an ebook together, speak on a podcast, or appear in a YouTube video
So you're looking for the right influencer, what do you look for? As mentioned earlier, followers are not an accurate measurement of what they'll bring to your brand. Engagement, relevancy to your target audience are far more accurate. If you work with an influencer who has 100,000 followers but half of them are bought and only a low percentage of the remaining 50,000 are engaging, it's easy to see how many businesses can end up paying over the rate they should.
Influencers' who are mindful of their own business they're building will have stats ready to show from past campaigns of what they can offer businesses they work with.
Start by tracking the email address of everyone on your shortlist, you can use various software such as:
Once you have a shortlist, send a personalised pitch on the main engaging influencers'. This can be streamlined through the above software. In the pitch, focus on:
- The project you want their involvement in
- What you’d ideally like their involvement to consist of – this could mean contributing to a blog post you’re writing, but it could also entail things like writing a guest post for your blog or appearing on your podcast or YouTube channel
- Why you think they’re a great match for this project (in other words, butter them up)
- Any compensation you can offer (if applicable)
It’s critical to highlight what’s in it for the recipient. However, unless you’re offering some sort of compensation, the influencer won't get a lot immediately out of joining you. Having a long term vision and being upfront about what you're looking for brings a more successful conversion rate.
Your email should be about them couple with what's in it shouldn’t be about what’s in it for them.
Have you ever had influencers involved in your content? Do you have any tips for getting them involved, or getting more out of their contributions? It’d be great if you could share your tips in the comments below.
Need to run an influencer campaign? Get in touch now to find out why clients keep coming back to us!