Editor’s Note: Hey, hey! Our team at Blackwood has a podcast called The Big Brand Theory! This episode, our host, Kyle Johnson spoke with Hannah Corn, Global Social Media Manager at Lippert Components, about influencer marketing and how it can be a great strategy for your business.
“Truly the creativity and the possibilities are endless in this space. Just like anything else in marketing, it’s knowing who you’re trying to go after and what makes them tick and knowing your consumer inside and out” -Hannah Corn
| WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING |
Hannah defines influencer marketing as somebody with a sphere of influence in some medium, that doesn’t necessarily have to be digital, who endorses your brand’s product or service. Basically, an influencer is like a friend who told you to try something out.
“You are just invited into their homes and into their lives. And that’s exactly where the value is because you really would trust anything that they said”
| HOW DO THEY FIT INTO YOUR BUSINESS? |
“It’s gotta be a resource dedicated to all of the nuance, at least one person”
Influencers are an extension of your business and brand. They’re more than just brand advocates, they’re your employees and ultimately a part of your company’s family. Hannah was sure to emphasize that if this person is going to be a brand advocate, they have to be educated in your company and your brand. Lippert actually invites all of their influencers to their headquarters and educates them in all the things they’re actually promoting. That way, they know exactly what they’re recommending and if one day they’re actually at a campsite, for example, they can help others troubleshoot different components.
| HOW TO FIND INFLUENCERS |
“Is this the kind of person you would want to represent your brand, product, or service?”
Finding influencers who well align with your business is half the battle. In 2021, there are a lot of influencers in a lot of different spaces. So, there is definitely no shortage of people in your industry. Even if you’re in an obscure industry, there is probably someone on socials talking about it. So, what exactly should you be looking for?
1. Find tools that work for you
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you in your influencer search as well as maintaining that relationship and tracking the success of your campaign. Make sure to run a full area audit of the technology platforms that are available to you. Hannah also was sure to emphasize building a great relationship with the account rep on whichever account you choose. You can lean on them and get their support throughout whatever process you’re involved in. Hannah speaks highly of Creator IQ.
2. Run a platform audit
Looking at engagement, following, and their particular audience is important when deciding whether or not to proceed with a certain person. Focus on the followers versus engagement rate on free tools like Social Blade.
3. Look for red flags
Look for any and all red flags you can find. You can look for things like random spikes in followers that might speak to any shady purchasing of followers. Also look for red flags in your engagement with that particular influencer. Things like tone and strage interactions. Remember, your end goal is to work with this person for a long time. Ideally, it is to grow with them and their platform. Be sure they’re reputable and easy to work with. Like Hannah says,
“You don’t want to bring people into your influencer program that are going to be wildcards”
| HOW TO DATE AN INFLUENCER |
Dating your influencers? Sounds…weird? Well, not so much. A relationship with an influencer is like any other relationship. Hannah explains that it is best to start with a short-term contract/trial phase. See how you work together and look at the content they end up creating with you. Go from there. Sometimes, you will need to break up. Other times, you’ll end up with an amazing relationship that grows and flourishes. Remember, you company’s time is valuable and so is the influencer’s, so it’s important not to waste anyone’s time if it isn’t going to workout.
“Real relationships are a two way commitment. You get two-way value. You’re still exchanging money for services”
| CONTENT CREATORS VS. AMPLIFICATION |
It is important to note the difference between content creators and amplification. While an influencer can certainly be both, there is a big difference in the two and the way you would use them in your marketing strategy.
A content creator is a person who doesn’t necessarily have a huge following, but they make awesome content. So, by posting content created in collaboration with your brand, they’re reach isn’t necessarily the biggest, but they content is amazing and so high quality.
“If you go out into the influencer space and think of these people as freelance content creators, maybe their following is only like 1,500 people. That’s okay. They take great photos and videos”
Amplification is the idea of having a huge following and just exposing whatever your brand wants to show to lots and lots of eyes. This is equally as valuable, but might ultimately cost your company more money.
| LOGISTICS OF INFLUENCER MARKETING |
1. Work it into your budget
Like Hannah mentions in the podcast, the ROI of influencer marketing can be insane. Like, 1,000% insane. So, find a way to work it into your budget. It will ultimately save you money in your marketing budget and most likely will give you better results.
2. Plan for launches
Give yourself cushion time to get your launches together. Think about what you’re launching, if you want your influencers to have it before launch, how you’re going to send it, etc.
3. Write it down
There are a lot of little things that are important to write down. For example, you agree to a main feed Instagram post with the influencer, but you didn’t specify how long it has to be left up on their page. That’s not good, because they’re likely to take it down as soon as possible. Be sure to think through the entire process.
4. Look into involving an agency
Agencies can be a great tool to use as an intermediary between you and the influencer. Their correspondence with them could save you time and the agency will likely have everything laid off for you so you can focus on other things. Hannah’s one piece of advice on agencies was this:
“Be sure your agency represents your brand and that they’re building meaningful relationships. Make sure your influencer really knows you and your brand even though they’re dealing with a third party”
If your current marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative would be more than happy to work with you and help you meet and exceed your business goals. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – yours could be next. Reach out to us today!