Why is Listening to Your Influencers So Important?

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By Courtney Moser

Every now and then, it’s important to remind ourselves of Ferris Bueller’s wisdom: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”

Life does move fast – and the business world is even more accelerated. Between deals, deadlines, changes and campaigns, there’s often little time left for analysis and reflection. But influencer marketing is best when brands and influencers take the time to listen to each other and collaborate. A successful influencer marketing campaign is aligned with the following best practices:

  1. Build manageable campaign deadlines
  2. Set campaign goals to measure success
  3. Fully integrate your influencer marketing
  4. Pick the right social platform
  5. Find the right influencers
  6. Communicate frequently
  7. Provide feedback to your influencers
  8. Scale, and repeat

A large part of finding the right influencers, communicating frequently and providing feedback to your influencers is listening. It comes down to knowing who you’re working with – who you’ve enlisted to represent or promote your brand – and how they do business. Tied into the necessity of listening is the importance of acknowledging your influencers skill set and knowledge within your overall campaign strategy.

“The best conversationalists always start with listening… as do the best marketers,” according to this article.

There’s a reason you’ve partnered with influencers: they bring something to the table that your brand needs for a successful campaign. Not only do they have the attention of your target audience, but they are likely well versed in blogging and social media best practices. In this instance, they are the experts, and you can learn from them.

As this Forbes article says: “Influence isn’t just having a lot of followers. It’s also driven by expertise and credibility on subject matter and the relationship between the influencer and his or her followers.”

When is the best time to post on Instagram, for example? Is your campaign hashtag catchy and shareable enough? Ask – or at least be open to – feedback from your influencers, just as you provide feedback to them. Listen to your influencers’ ideas and suggestions because they are the ones who are “in the trenches.” And in this campaign setting, their success is your success.

What have you learned from your influencers? Which best practices do you prioritize when it comes to influencer marketing? Share your thoughts and expertise in the comments below!

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How Can You Clear The Path To Landing Page Conversions?

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By: Courtney Moser

Dear Influential Ida,

My influencer marketing campaign was executed with great results. We achieved a total reach of almost three million, had high social engagement and hundreds of clicks to our website… but hardly any sales. What happened?

Sincerely,

Miffed Marketer

 

Ah, Miffed Marketer, the scenario you described is (unfortunately) not uncommon. We often focus so much on campaigns, industry trends and keeping up with marketing that we forget to analyze and improve the basics. So while your campaign results are cause for celebration, there’s clearly an underlying issue that’s holding you back from total success.

In this case, it sounds like your landing page isn’t optimized to take advantage of all of your new influencer marketing campaign traffic. Once consumers are getting to your website, you’re losing them. That means that you either don’t have a landing page, or you have a landing page that’s too convoluted to be effective.

Why aren’t your new visitors converting? Let’s examine a few possibilities:

You don’t have a unique campaign landing page. Congrats, your campaign attracted the attention of a lot of people online. They clicked on your URL, and ended up… on the homepage? A random product page? Now what? Creating a unique campaign landing page can help bridge your campaign message with your overall brand website. According to Hubspot, companies see a 55 percent increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. Targeted, specific landing pages can be very helpful in guiding the consumers on their purchase journey through your site.

You have a weak landing page. Just having a campaign landing page doesn’t make it automatically effective. It’s a good start, but there are several necessary components to ensure it makes an impact and clears the path to conversions. To begin with, simplify your page. Look at your messaging, design, images and CTAs. How’s your headline? Research shows that you have eight seconds to grab consumer attention with a compelling headline and keep them reading. Do you offer quick value and guide them to relevant assets and information on your website? A long, complex landing page can hinder your conversion rate. Simplicity is best here.

You didn’t do any landing page tests. Only 52 percent of companies said that they tested their landing pages to find ways to improve conversions. A/B testing is a simple way to see what works best: longer text copy, more images, and so on. Which messaging is driving the most conversions? If you’re asking consumers to fill out a form on your landing page, is it too long? Is it easy to find the product your influencers were discussing? This testing should focus on your target audience and their browsing or purchasing motivation. If you don’t have the time or resources for testing, always go with the simpler landing page option. Quality over quantity.

Hopefully this helps clarify what you need to do to clear the path to improved landing page conversions. If you have any other questions about this, the Find Your Influence team is a great resource.

Sincerely, Influential Ida 

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Demographics Versus Psychographics: Motivating Your Audience

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By Courtney Moser

Do you know who you’re talking to online?

Unlike an in-person conversation, it isn’t always clear who your message is reaching on the internet. Putting a face to that digital name can be extremely helpful for marketers and brands trying to cultivate an authentic connection with their consumers. To do this, we typically look at demographics.

“Authenticity comes from research – really clearly identifying who your target audience is,” Jamie Reardon, founder of Find Your Influence, says. “Dialing in on demographics can help you determine which influencers reach your target audience.”

Audience demographics are the age, gender, ethnicity, location and other statistical data of consumers. It’s the hard facts behind those names online – information you may gather for an email campaign or target marketing purposes. In an influencer marketing campaign, we typically look at demographics to determine which influencers can help us reach the right audience. Contrary to popular belief, however, demographics don’t provide the full story.

To understand your audience and how to motivate them to click or purchase, you should look at psychographics as well. In the simplest terms, “Demographics explain ‘who’ your buyer is, while psychographics explain ‘why’ they buy.” Both demographics and psychographics can help your brand create buyer personas to better hone in on your audience and market more effectively – and ultimately find the quickest path to conversion.

“Marketers are used to thinking and speaking in demographics … But psychographics, which measure customers’ attitudes and interests rather than ‘objective’ demographic criteria, can provide deep insight that complements what we learn from demographics,” as this Harvard Business Review article said.

How can you use demographics and psychographics to improve your influencer marketing campaign and motivate your audience? Hubspot provides an excellent example of how you can break down this information and use it to your advantage to build buyer personas.

Demographic information:

  • Female
  • Age 45
  • Married with two children

Psychographic information:

  • Wants a healthy lifestyle, but doesn’t have much time
  • Big fan of Pinterest, browses online in the evenings
  • Favors quality over economy

As you can see, both demographics and psychographics offer a lot of valuable marketing insight. Although acquiring demographics has typically been easier, the ever-advancing internet is putting more psychographic data in reach.

Today’s analytics can help you pinpoint the reasons consumers are searching, reading or buying specific things. Interviewing existing clients and asking them about their likes and needs, and purchasing thought process, is also a good way to gain more psychographic insight. After all – if you know who is buying, don’t you want to know why?

Please share your thoughts on demographics and psychographics in the comments below. And feel free to reach out to the Find Your Influence team with any questions.

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Macro Versus Micro: What’s An Influencer Worth?

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By Courtney Moser

Jane Fonda or Jane Doe?

The question of macro versus micro-influencers has never been more relevant. As influencer marketing continues to gain power in business, best practices and tactics are under intense examination: What is most effective? Especially now that it’s shown to deliver an average of a 6.5:1 ROI, influencer marketing is in demand – and marketers are vying for the top strategies.

The value of influencers is at the forefront of marketers’ strategic assessments. There are many ways in which to measure the worth of an influencer, from words to numbers. Forbes calculates the value of brand influencers in the following equation:

Audience reach (# of followers)

x Brand affinity (expertise and credibility)

x Strength of follower relationships (engagemrnt)

= Influence

Although the above equation may seem complex, the most important point it makes is this: “Influence isn’t just having a lot of followers.” That is a common misconception about influencer marketing: not everyone recognizes that it’s about so much more than publicity or impressions. More followers or readers doesn’t always mean more engagement or a higher ROI.

The rise of micro-influencers demonstrates that brands are realizing this and placing more value on expertise, relationships and quality content. Even macro-influencers are starting to be held to this standard – it’s no longer enough to just flash an impressive follower count and hit copy/paste. Brands want substance and quality in a creative partnership.

Ultimately, however, the influencers you choose depend on your brand goals and campaign strategy. If audience reach isn’t everything to you, what is? What do you value? To determine what an influencer is worth to you, let’s play a little game called “would you rather?”

Would you rather…     increase blog views or comments?

raise awareness with the general public or a targeted audience?

partner with a “celebrity” public figure or niche expert?

increase social reach or social engagement?

Questions such as these are critical in determining the desired value of influencers for your brand. Many companies are moving toward the micro-influencer trend, but that doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone: larger brands like Zappos have found great success with celebrity influencer marketing as well.

Regardless of the type of influencer you choose to work with, you need to illustrate your worth to them as well: this is a two-sided relationship! Make sure that along with feeling valued, they also feel as if you’re offering value to them as a partner – whether that’s resources, creative freedom, products or services, feedback and more.

Learn more about choosing an influencer marketing campaign here.

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Why Negotiating With Influencers Is Hard (But It Doesn’t Have To Be)

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By Courtney Moser

What is it worth to you?

In business today, we can get so caught up with strategy, plans, cost and deadlines that we lose perspective. But, the idea of value should always be top of mind – especially when working with influencers. Both brands and influencers should ask “What is it worth?” when entering into a campaign agreement.

After all, everyone has a job to do. Some brands expect influencers to work solely for free samples or get frustrated when they don’t accept the first payment offer, but remember: this is their business, too. What is their work worth to you? What value are you offering them?

As this Entrepreneur article says: “Producing unique, interesting and relevant content for a campaign involves a great deal of work and effort. When pitching influencers, agencies should bear this in mind and propose something that will benefit everyone involved.”

When brands and influencers respect the others worth and business, negotiating becomes a whole lot easier. But let’s back up – before even entering into negotiations, make sure you’ve done your research and chosen the right influencers for your brand. Once you’ve identified the influencers you’d like to work with, reach out and introduce your brand – remember, influencer marketing is a relationship, and this is setting the stage for it.

Discussing influencer rates can be tricky, and there are no set rules. Many influencers evaluate and determine rates on a case-by-case basis, but some will have media kits with a list of prices.

“Be prepared — and respectful — of what their rate might be. If it falls within your budget, great; if not, it will help determine what caliber of blogger you can partner with. While an A-list influencer is most likely not willing to do a sponsored post for $300, a newer blogger might gladly do so and reach the niche audience you are so lusting after,” as said in this Small Business Trends article.

Following are a few tips to keep in mind when you start negotiating a brand-influencer agreement.

Outline strategy and goals: Let the influencers know exactly what your brand wants to accomplish with your campaign. They are the content and social media experts, and hopefully, your professional partners. It will be easier to work together if you have a clear understanding and visibility from the start.

Determine expectations: This is as simple as it sounds – what value are they bringing to the table? What do you expect them to produce? Discuss all factors of content and promotion, including what will be created, when it will be published, where it will be shared, and so on.

Prioritize communication: Throughout the introduction and negotiation process, keep communication at the core. This will help to prevent any future misunderstandings once the campaign begins.

Still have questions? Contact the Find Your Influence team for further campaign guidance.

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Broader & Louder: Content Amplification With Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

“Can you hear me now?”

This simple phrase made infamous by a phone company years ago illustrates the frustration many brands face online today. The internet is so cluttered – with companies, consumers, blogs, social networks, readers, advertisers, you name it – that standing out and being heard can seem impossible. What used to be an opportunity (connect with your customers anywhere in the world!) is now a challenge.

The solution for this challenge is ever evolving. Just when it seems like we have the answer (Google! social media!), there’s a software update or algorithm change and brands are once again lost in the digital hustle and bustle of progression. But, this isn’t a glass-half-empty kind of article. There are plenty of emerging opportunities for companies to be heard.

Influencer marketing presents a powerful way for brands to partner with individuals who have an influential voice online – whether that’s in a specific blogging community, a niche market or on specific social channels. This updated form of word-of-mouth marketing can help brands increase reach, awareness, affinity and even intent to purchase – while connecting with consumers and engaging target audiences.

“Partnering with influencers helps get your message in front of a much larger audience and drive conversions, as well as help accelerate buyers’ decisions,” according to this MarketingProfs article.

There are different tactics within the influencer marketing umbrella, with the most popular being content creation – in which a brand gives participating influencers a topic or idea and has them create original blog or social content around it. Content amplification, however, is equally as valuable and actually an easier process. It’s centered around the practical concept of using what your brand has: giving new life to old words, images or campaigns.

With content amplification, you can take impactful brand content you already have, and ask influencers to promote it. Marketing Land refers to these influencers as the “Megaphone” for a reason. With content amplifiers, you can repurpose clever messaging or impactful content and reach new audiences with different methods, across multiple channels.

Your branded content may be a video or article that didn’t get quite the traction you were hoping for the first time around. Or, it may have done so well last year that you feel it deserves to be seen again. Either way, influencers can help you expand your reach by linking to it from their blog, posting about it on social networks, and more.

It’s been found that a small percentage of your content actually generates the majority of shares and links. The takeaway? “Focus 20 percent of your time on creating fewer high-quality pieces of content and the other 80 on promoting that content,” according to Larry Kim in this article. This supports content amplification efforts, and illustrates the value of increasing promotional tactics with influencers – you can save your resources and still make an impact.

“Start where you are; use what you have; do what you can.” Those words from Arthur Ashe were not necessarily meant for influencer marketing, but they describe the opportunity within content amplification. Are you going to take advantage of it?

Learn more about influencer marketing best practices here.

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Building Influencer Marketing Into Your Budget

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By Courtney Moser

Nearly 65 percent of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budget this year. And with an impressive 6.5:1 average ROI, why not?

Influencer marketing is said to be the fastest growing online marketing channel, beating out tactics such as affiliate marketing, display ads and paid search. By now, you probably recognize the power and necessity of this tactic for your brand in 2017. The question, then, is not whether you should include influencer marketing in your strategy, but how to build it into your budget.

The first time you incorporate influencer marketing into your budget can be daunting – How much do you need? What should be included? At Find Your Influence (FYI), we recommend outlining your brand goals for the year, along with any planned campaigns you could capitalize on or expand with influencer marketing. Determine if you’re going to focus on driving specific product sales or increasing overall brand affinity and engagement. From there, you can approximate content needs.

Your content needs will vary from blogs to social media channels, and that will greatly impact cost. Hard numbers are difficult to dish out without context here, ranging anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands. For instance – how much will an Instagram campaign cost with one celebrity influencer? This would require a very different budget than partnering with ten micro-influencers for seasonal blog posts.

A brand just testing out the impact of influencers may want to utilize existing content and just ask them to reach new audiences with it. A survey cited in this Tech.co article discovered that 34 percent of brands plan to center their influencer marketing strategy on blogs – while 29 percent will focus on Instagram, 23 percent on Facebook, 8 percent on Twitter 5 percent on YouTube and 1 percent on Snapchat.

At the core of all content lies the creators or promoters – the influencers. Overall, your biggest influencer marketing cost will be the number and type of influencers. If you’ve always wanted to partner with a certain public figure, for example, that one influencer may cost more than 25 micro-influencers. It all depends what you’re willing to pay, what kind of campaign you’ve chosen (are they simply sending out a tweet or writing 800 words?) and what is worth it for ROI (how you’ll measure the output of what you put into the campaign).

So, what should be accounted for when budgeting for influencer marketing? Look at your goals and strategy for the upcoming year. Let’s recap the essential decisions you have to make:

Content: Will you focus on original blogs, social media or repurposed content?

Influencers: What matters most – reach, engagement, content or audience?

Measurements: How will you measure success?

If you’re ready to get started and reap the benefits of influencer marketing, the FYI team can help you organize your campaign and connect with influencers.

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Who Owns an Influencer’s Content?

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By Courtney Moser

What does “ownership” really mean? According to the dictionary, it’s the act, state or right of possessing something. That sounds pretty simple, right?

Trick question – it’s not. Advancing technology and complex business today keeps us on our toes when it comes to the concept of ownership. Just in the realm of influencer marketing, the question of “who owns an influencer’s content?” is prevalent enough to warrant this article.

The short answer? It depends on the brand-influencer agreement. The longer answer is that the influencer will always maintain ownership of the content they create, unless an agreement states otherwise. Within those ownership rights, however, it typically states that the brand they’ve partnered with has the right to share the influencer’s content on social media channels (with credit). It may address all re-purposing uses, or the agreement may need to be more specific about when and where the brand can re-use influencer content.

“In order to respect consumers’ intellectual property rights and comply with legislation, companies need to get the proper permissions from the content’s owner prior to using it for their commercial purposes,” explains this Convince&Convert article.

If an influencer signs away the rights to their original content, then the brand has the ability to use it however they’d like. This should be discussed at the very start of the agreement, as it could impact which influencers agree to the terms of the campaign. It may also impact how much the influencer is compensated – depending on whether their content will be utilized in commercials, print, internally, and so on.

At Find Your Influence, we have it written into our agreements that the influencer maintains ownership of all of their content, unless otherwise negotiated on a case-by-case basis. We believe influencers should be protective of the original content and images they produce, and we work to help make the agreement processes as smooth as possible – with total visibility and understanding all around.

Setting these legal guidelines and adhering to agreement terms is critical for a positive relationship between brands and influencers. It’s best to discuss expectations up front, and determine what makes the most sense for the individuals, business and campaign.

Do you have any questions about brand-influencer agreements? Contact our team here.

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Breaking Down Business Language Barriers With Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

Es esto efectivo?

If we have to ask if it’s effective, the answer is probably not. It’s hard to make an impact with consumers who don’t know what you’re saying. And yet, many businesses have diverse audiences who speak a variety of languages. How can you break down those language barriers to cultivate a connection and raise brand awareness?

Global influencer marketing can help companies connect with audiences across the world. Instead of just translating content, however, we encourage them to build relationships with international influencers. By leveraging influencers in different geographies, brands can keep it local for consumers and increase authenticity.

“A recent Eurobarometer survey found that 9 out of 10 EU Internet users preferred to use their native language to read or watch content on the Internet,” as discussed in this article. It’s important to meet consumers where they are, in their preferred medium and language, in order to earn trust. By partnering with international influencers, brands can make the most of their global opportunities, improve awareness and increase purchase intent.

Finding influencers in other countries or who speak other languages is mostly done the same way – with a few alterations. For example, if you’re searching through hashtags on Twitter, make sure you’re using the correct term in the other language. Once you’ve found a few bloggers covering a certain niche in a different country, you can sort through their comments or social media channels and groups to discover more.

Across all languages, quality always wins over quantity. The core ideals of influencer marketing stay the same. Following are a few best practices to keep in mind when diving into global influencer marketing.

Global influencer marketing best practices:

Do your research. You know that phrase “lost in translation?” Your campaign content will likely change to accommodate the different language and cultures – make sure it all translates appropriately and results in the same concept!

Go local. Partner with influencers who live in the specific country or are part of the culture you are targeting for campaign authenticity.

Listen and learn. Seek advice from the influencers who know their home and language best. They can help ensure everything translates and let you know if something isn’t working.

Did we miss any best practices for global influencer marketing? Share your advice in the comments below!

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Why Engagement Matters More Than Reach

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By Courtney Moser

Quality over quantity.

Not to sound like a broken record over here, but if you’re ever pitting quality against quantity — quality wins every time. Within quality in influencer marketing lies content, engagement, expertise and more.

While quantity focuses on pumping out a large amount of content to as many people as possible, quality hones in targeted consumers who are engaged and listening. Because of this distinction, we call quantity “reach” and quality “engagement.”

A higher reach used to be the ultimate marketing goal, but now we’ve seen the light and realized that it doesn’t matter how many people you’re reaching if they’re uninterested. Times are quickly changing and it’s much more important to connect with the right people – even if that means there aren’t as many.

This is especially relevant when it comes to the celebrity influencer marketing trend. Although celebrities have an impressively large reach, it’s due more to public status than true interest in what they have to say. Credibility isn’t always there. In fact, according to a recent study, we are “50 times more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend than a celebrity or internet personality.”

Reinforcing the emphasis on quality content and engagement, marketers are turning to micro-influencers to connect with niche audiences and those who are most likely to become customers. Micro-influencers are typically categorized as having less than 10,000 followers, but even influencers with a much larger following can effectively cultivate an engaged audience.

“Influencers in smaller niches may have a much better ability to connect with audiences on an emotional level. This means you should be prioritizing relevance over mass reach. When you’re searching for the right influencer for your brand, look for higher engagement levels instead of large social following,” reinforces Search Engine Journal.

Ultimately, it all comes down to authenticity and credibility, and choosing influencers who are focused on engagement and creating a true community online. Brands who partner with engaging influencers are more likely to see success in influencer marketing.

What are the business benefits of prioritizing engagement?

More meaningful connections: Influencers with higher engagement are likely closer to their followers, with potential for engaging future brand loyalists.

Increased credibility: Smaller influencers are known for more niche topics or expertise, and often cultivate a trust with their readers.

Higher intent to purchase: A study found that influencers have 22.2 times more conversions each week than regular consumers. Clearly, their purchase influence is valuable.

Social Media Today best summarizes the importance of engagement over reach in influencer marketing: “You can’t build a loyal consumer base on reach alone. Reach certainly forms something of a bedrock… But without your audience acting on your content (likes, retweets, shares and comments) there’s very little chance of leveraging that relationship to score leads and converting these to sales. This is why 73% of content creators plan to prioritize creating more engaging content in 2016.”

Have you hopped on the engagement train with us yet? If you have any questions or concerns, the Find Your Influence team is happy to help you get on board. And in the meantime, you can learn more about influencer marketing best practices on our blog.

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