Where do you go when you’re in need of an opinion for a new dentist? A trusted plumber? A favorite travel destination? If you’re like most people, you’ll ask those who are close to you, those whose recommendations you trust.
It’s likely no surprise then that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and that this ranks as the #1 form of advertising. Ranking in second and third respectively are consumer opinions posted online (70%) and editorial content from various forms of media (58%).
The rapid emergence of social media has enabled everyday people to share their opinions all over the world with the mere click of a button. When people begin to share content that is valuable and relevant, oftentimes they amass large amounts of followers. While the physical world is restrained by language, cultural and geopolitical barriers, the virtual world is one large online community united in differences. This community respects the opinions of influencers. Therefore, influencers have a very powerful sway over their followers buying behaviors.
So the question becomes, how do brands effectively tap into an influencers’ audience? We’ve compiled below 5 tips when working with influencers to help brands do it more effectively.
- Don’t Be Afraid – When we talk with brands about working with influencers they’re often skittish about how to approach one another. Many brands think that influencers are untouchable because of their large communities of followers and their celebrity status. The truth is, many influencers share a lot in common with brand owners. They in essence are a brand, marketing themselves and adding value to the lives of their respective followers. They appreciate honest and sincere relationships.
- Respect Their Profession – While it can be natural to be intimidated by influencers, the opposite problem might also occur. Some brands don’t understand the many hours and the extensive effort influencers put into curating just the right content for their followers. They hear those rare stories of “Blogger X” making 7 figures and apply that stereotype to all other influencers. The truth is, most bloggers don’t make much money blogging – it’s a passion project. Therefore, respect their media kits and their rate sheets. Always be professional in dealing with influencers, because as quickly as they can become your biggest advocate, they could also become your quickest nay-sayer.
- Be Timely – If an influencer mentions that they’d enjoy working with you and you’ve agreed on terms (product trade, rates, dates, etc.) be sure to follow through with your side of the bargain. Don’t leave the influencer wondering if you’re still interested in working with them by not replying or delaying to send product or payment. Show them respect and they’ll return it.
- They Don’t Owe You Anything – Oftentimes brands will send product to influencers without any advance notice and just expect for that influencer to post about their product. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works! Can you imagine if your customers came into your business and expected to barter with you on your price and offered random objects as a trade? If you’d still like to send out product with no strings attached, so be it. But keep in mind – influencers don’t owe you anything until they’ve committed to help you.
- Be Creative – Influencer marketing is a hot new avenue for brand growth and as such it is still experiencing some growing pains. Therefore, don’t always do what your competitors are doing with their social media and collaborations. Be different! Think outside the box. Find ways to engage not just an influencer and his/her followers but your followers as well. Giveaways offer lots of neat perks, but don’t always do the same types of giveaways and sponsored posts. Make them fun and engaging. PS – Looped Giveaways are soooo 2015!
As founders of Collabor8, we’ve learned these 5 tips often the hard way as we sought to grow Arvo from its infancy. Learn from our mistakes and you can thank us later. Always strive to keep things fun and engaging, and don’t be bummed if a couple of collabs don’t bring you any results. Continually fine tune your strategy and eventually you’ll understand which types of influencers and posts will drive the most value to your brand.
Did we miss any suggestions?! If so, be sure to leave us a comment below!