THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO INFLUENCER MARKETING (Part 1)
THE RIGHT WAY TO DO INFLUENCER MARKETING IN 2021
As a $5 to $10 billion industry in the year 2020, influencer marketing offers a lot of value depending on how you use the channel and the media. While 76% of marketers say that they have difficulties measuring their ROI after campaigns, some others say they have 11 times the ROI.
INTRODUCTION TO INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer marketing involves working with individuals who seem to have a voice on social to tell your brand story. For instance, when Adidas launched its Neo series targeted to youth, with the #MyNeoShoot campaign. It was basically a chance to generate UGC by users, and to be featured in their spring season collection as a model. Selena Gomez and a couple of other A-listers were featured, and at the end of the day, Adidas sales increased by 24.2% between January 2015 and January 2016.
While Social has been around since the early 2000s with MySpace, IRC, etc, the fundamentals of marketing are still the same. It is still centered around driving demand, building brand distinction, and telling a story.
Globally speaking, we have seen marketing efficiency decrease year by year, so obviously we need to look for new ways by driving/generating stories that are engaging and relatable. This is where influencer marketing comes to help, as the main value proposition of influencer marketing is really to tell a relatable, distinct, and entertaining brand story that cuts through the usual advertising noise.
WHEN NOT TO USE INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Influencer marketing when done at the right time and for the right goals will yield positive returns, but here are a few times when influencer marketing may not be the answer for your business goals;
- When your marketing objective is reaching awareness; in this case, if you consider adding up all the costs that go into influencer marketing ie. the agencies, the perks, the travel, etc, as compared with paid social, which yes, is not exactly one to one, then chances are that you are going to have a much, much higher CPM rate when you calculate influencer marketing versus paid social.
However, some exceptions exist if your audience is very small and you are perhaps in the B2B space or your target audience generally is very small or within a certain area, then this might not hold true, but it generally applies to consumer-led brands where you need a substantial amount of reach to have any kind of bottom-line effect.
Focus on telling an authentic story through these influencers, focus on engagement, advocacy, and something that generates user-generated content. This way, you can use influencers’ content, amplify that through other channels and utilize that in TV, out of home, display, etc.
- When you are unsure of the value of your message; Don’t market with influencers if you don’t have a relevant message.
A lot of the marketers get stuck with trying to figure out, how do we now make it sexy that we have a new bottle for the wonderful drink that we are selling? It is very important to always, as a marketer, take a step back and think about, what are those moments in the business that is so unique and valuable to the users that would really have a compelling story in marketing?
- Thinking how much creative freedom can you give as a marketer? This is very important to consider as most influencers share that the top challenge they often face when collaborating with brands is the lack of creative freedom given.
Remember that influencers are big because they have actually figured out something that the audience likes and tends to value. So, it is very important to embrace that. If you can’t give a lot of freedom or a significant amount of freedom to the influencers, then maybe influencer marketing is not for you. And it’s also a lot easier just to do display or search or Facebook.
GETTING STARTED & CAMPAIGN PLANNING
Getting started with a brief. A brief is where everything starts from. The objective of this brief is, first, to clarify your own thoughts; What are you asking the influencers to do? Here your marketing objectives are made clear, you get to know what you’re going to do, how social could theoretically fit into that, and specifically where do the influencers fit in, and how does it tie to your overall marketing objectives?
Here are a few things to include in your brief when planning a campaign;
- Human Insight: What are you building your campaign from? For instance, do you know something that is inherently true about the users that you are seeking to engage and would substantially unlock business value? Let’s take TikTok as an example, TikTok, the social platform has already 500 million users. So TikTok’s human insight could be; “everyone wants to be creative and feel appreciated for their contribution, no matter how small that is”.
- Marketing Objective: Ask what is it that you are trying to achieve with this activation or campaign. It could be to increase unaided awareness of our product’s brand by 10% of each point measured via brand tracking, or to get at least 100K app downloads that can be measured through the Google Play console, etc.
- Timeline, ie. you want to be very clear about when is the creative submission by the influencers. How does that overall timeline look like, how does the social campaign timeline look like, and how are they all synced up together?
- Product Magic: It is very important to mention what is the product actually that you’re selling the product or the service. So TikTok is a global video community powered by music. Whether it’s dance, freestyle, or performance, creators are encouraged to let their imagination run wild. You can describe it in a lot shorter way, but the main idea is really what do people care about when they use your product or service?
- Campaign Message: For this, you will most likely have a creative brief that has been responded to by the agency and you see a couple of messages that would fit that objective you’re trying to reach. So, in this case, highlight what your campaign message specifically by the influencers should be, as this also has to do with how you are going to use the influencer-led content in other channels later.
You also have to consider how many influencers you need and how many do you think would be appropriate? This, however, is subjective in terms of what is usually the norm. It really depends on the size of your budget, your marketing team, and the timeline. So the thumb rule here is that you don’t want to have too few influencers because, a lot of things can go wrong, and a lot of unexpected scenarios can take place.
- Influencer Budget; This has a lot to do with how many influencers you are planning to engage, and what the overall budget for the marketing campaign is. Depending on your objectives, this could be;
- to download, sign up, and discover TikTok for yourself,
- pick up five local or global trending challenges to create high-quality videos, and
- promote your TikTok videos on other social channels.
So the objective here for influencers is really to, first, download the app. Secondly, pick some challenges on the app, as TikTok’s user interface is pretty fascinating and revolves around challenges. Then, once the influencer has done that and has created some content, they should not just promote it on TikTok itself, but also on other channels.