For Better Influencer Marketing Results, Let Your Brand Take a Backseat

By Kim Westwood

Although paid influencer campaigns give you more control over content, you’ll see a greater ROI by giving the reigns to influencers who align with your brand.

350543 / Pixabay

When influencers first emerged, many brands saw them as extensions of the media. Whether directly or through PR agencies, marketers sought to earn brand exposure by becoming a resource for imagery, information and gifts in much the same way they courted industry press.

Yet as brands began to recognize the growing impact of influencer content on both immediate sales and long-term customer engagement, their willingness to pay influencers increased. Simultaneously, bloggers began to see their “passion projects” as enterprises with real financial opportunities. This dynamic changed the relationship between brands and bloggers, turning influencer marketing into influencer advertising.

As clients, brands have more control over the content they sponsor than they do over a press feature, and they can guarantee exposure with a contract rather than simply hoping to catch a blogger’s attention. This control has made mainstream marketers more comfortable working with influencers, but the transactional approach comes at a price.

Influencers are successful because their recommendations are genuine. Brands that attempt to exert control over a blogger’s content risk eroding this trust and removing the very element that has made influencer marketing so effective in the first place.

Here are four key guidelines for running effective paid collaborations that will give you a great return on investment, while still allowing you to realize the true benefits of influencer marketing:

Let your influencers use their own words. If you feel you have to suggest copy to a blogger, she probably isn’t right for your brand. Investing some time ahead of engaging an influencer into researching her tone, past sponsored posts and overall aesthetic should give you a good idea of how well she will represent your brand.

Allow your brand to take a backseat in an influencer’s content. Many influencers’ followers are looking for advice — whether it’s where to travel next or what solutions they can apply to business problems. Trust that when followers see how your brand fits into an influencer’s daily life, they’ll want to know more about you.

Approach your campaign with a relationship-centric mindset. Staying focused on developing meaningful communication with a blogger will help you recognize which of your products best fit their style and what will appeal to their audience. You can’t achieve this level of familiarity through a single post.

Above all, select influencers whose followers are a good fit for your brand. The total number of Instagram or LinkedIn followers or monthly website visitors an influencer receives is far less important than their followers’ likelihood of becoming customers. This is why reviewing Google Analytics is so important. An influencer with genuine enthusiasm for your brand will go much further toward sparking interest among their audience than a large influencer seeking a paycheck.

As blogger payments shift influencer marketing ever closer to advertising, understanding how to preserve the authenticity that has made the strategy so effective is crucial. Letting Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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