Influencer Marketing Best Practices: Always Work With Kids & Animals

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Never work with kids or animals.”

It’s time to turn that old adage on its head. In the world of influencer marketing, it’s advised to ALWAYS work with kids and animals. The critique that led to the outdated phrase above – that you can’t control them – is actually a benefit. Kids and animals make your campaign more messy, yes, but also more fun and authentic.

Take Loni Edwards and her dog Chloe, for example. Chloe is a mini Frenchie with a big following – more than 123,000 on Instagram, in fact. She has worked on influencer marketing campaigns with a variety of brands, including Budweiser, Vogue, Martha Stewart and PetSmart.

Edwards says of her dogs’ fame: “Pets generate these warm, happy, fuzzy feelings… Brands are starting to reach out because they make people genuinely happy, and they want their ads to make people happy.”

Chloe’s Instagram following is impressive, but nowhere near the top: There are many pet profiles on the platform with more than a million followers. After all, who doesn’t want to unwind by looking at dogs or cats in hipster glasses and scarves? Even the infamous Grumpy Cat has the opposite effect of grouchiness by spurring smiles.

The target audience for these pet campaigns is certainly alive and well: 65 percent of U.S. households own a pet. And, pet industry spending predictions for 2016 hit more than $60 billion. From digital product endorsements to Super Bowl ad spots, pets are often the star of the show for a reason. They have a universal appeal in our crazy, controversial world.

Kids, similarly, evoke positive emotional sentiments by way of cute humor and innocent insight. Mom bloggers are some of the original powerful influencers, and they often include their children in campaigns – from photos of them enjoying a new snack bar to modeling a certain brand of clothes to quoting their priceless reactions to an experience. Kids give the real scoop on everything – offering a breath of fresh air and much needed authenticity in the world of marketing.

Discount Tire, for example, created an influencer marketing YouTube campaign in celebration of Father’s Day. They gave influencers questions to ask their kids about road trips with Dad. In the video “Our Kids Tell Us About Their Dads,” the little ones answered in funny, honest ways – like saying that Seattle and McDonald’s were their two favorite trips with Dad.

Whether they know it or not, kids have power: it’s even said that kids influence up to 80 percent of household purchases. Parents always have their children top of mind, and using kids in influencer marketing campaigns appeals to family life and what matters most. From laughing at the silly things kids say to cooing over a new baby, consumers appreciate the realness that they bring.

To learn more about influencer marketing best practices, visit the Find Your Influence blog.

P.S. For the ultimate campaign cuteness overload, we suggest working with puppies AND babies… at the same time.

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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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