From obsessively refreshing Instagram to watching YouTube tutorials for just about everything, millennials are glued to social platforms, turning digital creators into modern-day celebrities. As brands are using influencers across all niches to increase awareness and drive authentic engagements, we’ve uncovered best practices to live by when working with them:
It’s not all about the top 100. Sure, you may want a Kardashian to showcase your latest lifestyle product — but when selecting talent, make sure to look beyond just reach.
Micro-influencers, typically with 10k-250k followers, often have a higher engagement rate, as they cover a specific niche and have influence in that vertical.
Tier 1 influencers and celebrities, on the other hand, come at a higher price point and have a broad following, so are a better fit for pure brand awareness.
And then there are “Power Middle” 250k-1m followers, who have a good combination of reach and engagement and tend to be perfect ambassadors.
Build a marriage, not a one-night stand. Building long-term relationships between brands and influencers yields better results. By investing in partnerships, brands can create a content library that will unite a community with the influencer’s storytelling abilities.
Watch out for bots. Purchasing followers and bots to inflate accounts are a growing trend that can largely affect a brand’s ROI. It’s important to do a deep dive into influencers’ audience data prior to selecting talent, to verify the authenticity of their audience and ensure the campaign will perform.
Let the influencer’s creativity shine. Influencers know how to create valuable content, and understand their audience best. Make the process collaborative by starting with a clear brief of what you’re looking for, including your key messages, and then listen to their ideas on what works for their audience. Partnering on the creative strategy will lead to more authentic content.
Always disclose. Across all social networks, the FTC requires influencers to disclose Federal Trade Commission requires influencers to disclose if they’re promoting a paid partnership or advertisement. Luckily, social media platforms have created tools to increase transparency. Instagram has a “Paid Partnership with [business partner]” tag, Facebook allows creators access to the Branded Content Tool, and YouTube enables you to add an optional content declaration statement to video campaigns. If there aren’t tools in place, make sure to include hashtags (for example, #ad #spon #partner). Always tag the brand early in the copy of the post.
You can get more than just impressions. With brands shifting their budgets from traditional marketing to influencers, it is imperative to show tangible ROI for their efforts. As the industry becomes more mature, so do the metrics to measure success. Now brands have best practices and benchmarks beyond just impressions and are able to glean a multitude of insights via platforms that showcase engagement, sentiment, clicks, conversions and more.
Keep up with the platforms.After Snapchat’s redesign, it was apparent that celebrities, brands, and users were flocking to Instagram Stories to create ephemeral content. For marketers investing in influencer marketing, it was a learning lesson to stay on top of platform redesigns to shift their strategies based on where audiences are. Today all the buzz is around Instagram Stories and IGTV — but tomorrow, Snapchat could draw audiences back in with its latest/greatest tool.