If your brand hasn’t partnered with influencers yet, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities! Influencers have loyal, massive followings all honed in on a specific culture. According to a McKinsey Study, marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and these customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Putting your product in the hands of an influencer is like giving them a megaphone to speak straight to your customers. Because the world of organically grown influencers is so new, there are some things you may not know about these key players who navigate the waters between product and consumer.
1. Not All Influencers Are What They Claim to Be
It’s easy to be drawn-in by someone who has a high number of followers, but always do your research! The option to purchase followers has become the latest way to buy yourself some instant fame. Multiple services allow anyone to purchase followers for their Instagram or Twitter accounts for low prices. These programs work by introducing as many as 10,000 bots at a time as new followers who aren’t real people or possible customers. Zach Bussey did an experiment paying for followers, growing a new Twitter account to 26k worth of spam accounts overnight. Always check out a few recent posts of someone you’re interested in partnering with, and make sure that the likes and comments reflect a large following and not someone who is just posing. Measure by engagement, not followers!
2. Many Influencers are as Protective of Their Brand as You Would Be
There is a big difference between partnering with someone and lifting their content. As an influencer, I’ve had multiple nail art designs shared by brands that did not ask permission or give credit to my original photos and artwork. Always keep the doors of conversation open by getting in touch with bloggers and letting them know your interest in sharing something. This not only creates a relationship that you can come back to down the line, but also is respectful to the influencer.
3. They Have Some Great Insight
Creating a relationship with influencers by providing them products to review is a great first step. Keep the relationship going by interacting with them on their content and sharing what they are doing with your product. It’s a way to give and take socially. Influencers are definitely hungry to be shown to your brand following and get their name out. Influencers have a wealth of knowledge from knowing their community, to relationships with other bloggers, to brands. If you’ve built up a healthy repertoire with someone they can become a great resource for your brand and products moving forward.
4. Creative License is Your Mutual Friend
Influencers have become who they are for a reason. The community loves their content and trusts their opinion. Don’t be too heavy handed by trying to control their content (exempting regulated brands of course). Let bloggers create something beautiful and inspiring for your brand to share without too many guidelines. You may be surprised and impressed with the results!
5. If You've Got Nothing Nice to Say...
Part of the package that comes with influencers are their trusting followers. Asking an influencer to favorably review something before they’ve even seen it would be asking them to lie. Let them experience your brand or product first hand and create an informed opinion. Their community will be more receptive to what they have to say and you won’t be forcing anyone’s hand. If an influencer does have a negative review, don’t be scared to ask them to hold off on reviewing or posting about the item in the hopes that they’ll enjoy the next product better.
What do you think of these five influencer tips? Do you follow these guidelines when interacting with bloggers?