At its best, the relationship between brand and influencer is one of harmonious mutual benefit. The brand achieves its goals and KPIs by gaining access to the followers of a well-matched influencer through a campaign that feels natural and relevant.
But how does a brand select the perfect influencer for its needs? One thing they certainly need to do is look beyond the simple number of followers; instead, close attention should be paid to the quality of those followers and the interactions between audience and influencer. These interactions should display a level of trust, communication and authenticity, all of which play a vital part of any successful influencer campaign.
On the subject of authenticity, it’s also important to have an understanding of how an influencer chooses to partner with brands. A sensitive, effective influencer will select products that align with their audience’s interests. One misstep can probably be forgiven, but a regular series of incongruous posts will lessen their authenticity in the eyes of the audience and therefore their effectiveness as an influencer for your brand. It’s the same case with the promotion of competing brands; an influencer may have had a successful campaign with your biggest rival, but do you really want to hitch your horse to the same wagon?
Nice to be niche
Also, consider whether big numbers of followers are what you really need right now? The larger the following the more expensive a post, but how many people who would genuinely be interested in your product will ever see that post? We’ve already discussed engagement, but a brand should also consider relevance. If an influencer with fewer followers has more potential buyers of your products within that group, and is engaged with them, then surely it is cost effective to work out a more focused campaign with that influencer.
Plus, for the price of one post from a mega influencer, you could certainly get multiple posts from a micro influencer (or several of them) with more genuine leads among their followers. Also, repetition suggests increased relevance and authenticity, which are vital factors when it comes to encouraging people to click through to sales.
Talking of success, it’s important to investigate the potential clickthrough rate (CTR) from a potential influencer’s posts, at least in order to set your expectations as to what results to expect from the campaign. Many brands enter into influencer partnerships with conversions as their priority. This isn’t necessarily the best mindset to enter into the relationship, and a brand can end up feeling disappointed.
Making the most of the opportunity
Once the groundwork and due diligence has been undertaken and an influencer partner selected, a brand will want to get as much from the relationship as possible. It’s important to give the influencer the best tools for the job in order to achieve this. This obviously means a sample of the product for them to use; what influencer worth their salt would promote a product they have no experience of?
The next logical step is to allow the influencer to provide their audience with the opportunity to experience the product for themselves through sampling. SoPost’s technology makes this possible, providing a seamless brand experience for potential customers to obtain their sample, provide feedback and then click through to purchase. This approach also provides a brand with unrivalled levels of data and understanding on the success of the campaign.
We started off by saying we would also discuss how influencers can generate stronger partnerships. Well, the simple fact is that all the things discussed here can also benefit the influencer, because the better the relationship, the higher the trust levels, the more impressive the results, the more they will be able to market themselves as a success.
It’s vital for an influencer to have a true understanding of their audience, and how engaged they are with their content beyond some simple likes and even comments. It’s what allows someone to promote themselves as a person of actual influence, as opposed to simply being an account that happens to have a lot of followers.
Here again, sampling has an important role to play, because enabling influencers to back up their promotional content by sharing free samples builds trust with their audience. It also means that a brand’s product is placed in the hands of an engaged audience, which in turn improves the potential for click throughs and therefore sales.
So, brand plus influencer really can be a relationship that works well for both sides. Just make sure the right influencer for your brand is given the right tools for the job.