How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Provide Feedback to Your Influencers

twoinfluencers

 

By Courtney Moser

It’s not all about you.

We can get so caught up in the chaos of business – deadlines, campaigns, reports, meetings, and so on – that we forget how important feedback is. The success of your future influencer marketing campaigns depends on your influencers, their high-quality content and the relationship you cultivate with them. Basically? Don’t leave your influencers hanging after a campaign!

According to Social Media Today, 70% of consumers would rather learn about a product through content than traditional advertising. And who is the content expert here? Your influencers. Let’s not forget about them and their role in telling your story, increasing awareness, driving website traffic and improving engagement.

In fact, UK beauty video blogger Fleur de Force advises companies to “approach influencers and say ‘this is our idea, how does it fit into your content?’ Nobody knows their audience better than the influencer themselves.”

Influential bloggers are followed for their unique voice and writing or photography style, so brands should respect that creativity in sponsored content as well. Recent eMarketer research found that 77 percent of influencers site creative freedom as a primary reason for choosing to work with a brand more than once.  From the beginning of your campaign, everyone should be on the same page. Clear communication is vital, and you should be working as a team toward your end goals.

Share feedback with your influencers both during and after your influencer marketing campaign for the best results. This way, there’s a positivity around your professional partnership. While the campaign is still going, for example, you can send messages about content you loved, share their social posts or privately let them know if something needs to be changed or edited. If a piece of content is different than your brand would like or expected, it’s critical to reach out to the influencer immediately to discuss before it goes any farther in the campaign.

Sending a personal message, small gift or thank you note to your influencers after the campaign is a great way to plant a seed for a future partnership. Liking and commenting on their social posts is another way to keep the opportunity for future collaboration open. Show gratitude for the time and effort they put into it, and continue to demonstrate why you’re a worthy, authentic brand to work with in this crowded market.

To learn more about influencer marketing, check out our best practices series here.

Read More

3 Reasons Your Campaign Content Failed

startup-photos

By: Courtney Gibb

 

What does success look like to you? As a blogger, creating great content to engage followers is often the overarching goal: You want your readers to get excited, comment, click and share. High-quality content builds interest and turns browsers into followers.

When you’re partnering with a brand, however, there’s more on the line and those relationships can become more complicated.  Along with engaging your readers, you have to factor in the brand’s requirements, measurements and goals.  So don’t be discouraged if a branded blog post doesn’t perform the way you expected at first.

Think of it as a learning experience, and keep improving. Over at Find Your Influence (FYI), we have identified three of the top reasons that campaign content can fail (aka learn from us and avoid making these mistakes!).

1. The brand wasn’t a good fit

You know the expression, “Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole?” It can be really exciting when a brand or advertiser wants to work with you, especially if it’s a popular brand or one that you love. But don’t let that cloud your judgment. Your fans come first. That’s why you have to make sure that the brand is a good fit for your blog, readers, and goals – otherwise your fans may be surprised, annoyed or bored with the content in your sponsored post.

And that could not only lead to lost credibility, but it may also negatively impact your engagement numbers for the campaign. Everyone loses. So, only partner with brands that make sense for your blog.

2. Your post lacked your usual passion or voice

When you’re writing a post for a brand, there’s often a lot of specifications, requirements and suggestions. It can turn into something that feels like a lot of work, and get disheartening fast. The result might be a post that hits every single requirement, but lacks your usual passion and voice—which is a problem.

The brand is paying you because your voice is powerful. If you lose your passion, you’re not producing the type of content that a brand (or your fans) is expecting. Just because the post prompt isn’t what you expected, or wanted, doesn’t mean you can slack off. After all, you’re getting paid. Put just as much work — maybe even a little more — into it as you would your favorite posts.

3. You didn’t measure the campaign correctly

Measurement is key when you’re working with marketers. If you miss the instructions on how to track your post success correctly, you’ve basically disrupted the entire marketing universe. The brand won’t know how to justify, analyze or learn from the results of the campaign. So, make sure you track appropriately.

The great thing about data is that you can usually find a measurement that works best for you and your strengths. If you think the brand should be measuring a campaign a different way, tell them! And even if the brand says no, consider adding your metric to the mix. This way you’ll have something to fall back on if the brand’s metrics don’t work out for your post.

Have you run into any other pitfalls with brand campaigns? Share what you’ve learned in the comments!

Read More

What Does Instagram’s API Change Mean for Influencer Marketing?

instagramphotoEDIT

By: Courtney Gibb

“Progress is impossible without change.”

Almost 100 years old, this perceptive quote from George Bernard Shaw rings more true every day in the digital world. Social media has to adapt and innovate in order to improve and stay relevant. Although these necessary changes may be met with initial user resistance, the ultimate goal – to improve and achieve success – reigns over any temporary upset.

Which brings us to Instagram, and some recent – and controversial – changes the platform has made to the way it collects and distributes data. With more than 500 million users, for example, it’s inevitable that Instagram’s changes won’t be loved by everyone at first. We’re talking about you, Instagram feed algorithm updates. Why isn’t content in chronological order any more?

“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post,” according to Instagram.

Instagram’s quest for innovation means that they’re anticipating user wants and needs instead of just reacting to them. The new feed algorithm is progress within their platform; another step toward the future in which quality content rules. While it’s easy to view alterations such as this through only one user-focused lens, as marketers, it’s also important to consider the business of social media.

Back in November 2015, Instagram announced that they would be updating their platform API policy to: “improve people’s control over their content and set up a more sustainable environment built around authentic experiences on the Instagram Platform.”

As is their right, the platform is now restricting what their API can be used for, and, along with the end of /users/self/feed and /media/popular API endpoints, instituting a new permissions review process. Existing third-party apps were given until June 1, 2016, to apply for review and get approved.

Mashable reported that this change announcement came quickly after a third-party Instagram app was removed for stealing users’ passwords from the App Store and Google Play. Along with providing more platform security and developer control, this API change will create a more consistent user experience – driving more traffic directly to Instagram and its ad network. And as noted by TechCrunch, the move away from an open platform gives them the opportunity to focus on their own Instagram apps.

So, how will this change your influencer marketing strategy?

Instagram’s API update impacts the ability to see Instagram’s data, meaning that an influencer partnership will need to clearly outline reporting policies moving forward. The update will also cut apps off from seeing a user’s entire Instagram feed. According to Nordic APIs, this may be a good thing in that it will clean up the platform and help get rid of fake “likes” and follower programs. If you relied on spambot apps to follow, like content, or repost content for you, a new engagement strategy is needed (#keepitreal).

It’s vital to stay up to date on Instagram changes and how they impact your marketing strategy. Please contact the FYI team with any questions about this Instagram change. And, learn more about Instagram best practices here.

Read More

How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Build Manageable Campaign Deadlines

Startup Stock Photos

 

By: Courtney Gibb

ASAP. EOD. Do those look familiar? Are you feeling tense? We’ve all cringed at abbreviations such as those added on to a request; inhaled a little more deeply and started rethinking our plan for the day.

Some urgent, last-minute requests are unavoidable – that’s just life and unpredictability in business, particularly in the marketing world. Organized and intentional influencer marketing campaigns, on the other hand, should have firm timelines to add consistency and accountability to your planning and strategy.

Let’s get one thing straight – at FYI, our team has overseen the development and deployment of more than 10,000 influencer marketing campaigns. We’ve seen a lot of different ideas and strategies come through our doors, and we’ve made some better – we’ve added to others, and still others we’ve skinnied down.

Through our research and experience over the years, the FYI Client Success team has come up with the basis for a solid influencer marketing campaign timeline. Is it definitive? Nope. It is mandatory? Still no? But those who fail to plan…well, you now how that goes.

In general, for any influencer marketing campaign, we recommend a nine-week campaign plan…yes, nine weeks. It may seem like a crazy long time at first (I want to influence NOW!), but it’s better to be prepared than lost and overwhelmed.

Here’s how the nine-week plan breaks down, in convenient equation format:

If you take:

Two weeks to select and invite influencers

+ Two weeks for influencers to develop content

+ Four weeks for the campaign to be active

+ One week for reporting and analysis

= A comprehensive, streamlined campaign timeline

Each campaign will be slightly different, depending on everything from personal preferences to brand goals. It’s important to speak with everyone involved in the campaign when setting the timeline, to ensure that it’s realistic based on workload and priorities.

And, it can be helpful to dissect the timeline even further and set daily deadlines. For example, within the two weeks set aside to select and invite influencers, the first three days could be for research, the next four days for invites and the whole second week could be open for influencer responses and questions.

The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign is both organization and flexibility. What if an influencer doesn’t respond? Move forward on a set date regardless. Will your account manager be OOO the first week of September? Factor that in and ensure back-up is available. There may be last-minute issues you can’t predict, but at least it won’t feel that stressful at every turn.

Do you have any tips or tricks that have made your influencer marketing campaigns successful? Let us know! And check out the rest of our influencer marketing best practices here.

Read More

Influencer Marketing Leader Find Your Influence Marks 50th Agency Strategic Partnership

FYI_BestPractices

 

Find Your Influence (FYI), the industry leading SaaS influencer marketing platform today announced a strategic partnership with Tempe’s Lucid Agency, marking the 50th such relationship since FYI launched their award-winning agency dashboard product in 2014.

“Reaching 50 agency partners in just 18 months is a tremendous accomplishment our entire team is very proud of,” said Jamie Reardon, CEO and co-founder of FYI. “Working with agencies the caliber of Lucid allows us to tap into their collective thought leadership, further refining our software platform to meet their needs, and ultimately building long-lasting, highly productive relationships.

Lucid Agency is an award-winning digital marketing and web technology firm that focuses on ROI-centric digital solution to marketing challenges, including interactive marketing campaigns, website development and deployment, and custom code applications. Founded by Scott Kaufmann and Ken Bonham, the Lucid team saw a strategic partnership with FYI as an opportunity to expand their influencer marketing offering.

“Lucid’s expanding client base demands a variety of expertise from our team, and we work diligently to ensure everyone at Lucid stays abreast of new, emerging, and high-margin trends,” said Bonham, Lucid’s vice president of business development. “Partnering with FYI makes sense for us, and the fact they’re Arizona born-and bred like we are is a plus, too.”

Using a proprietary influencer-scoring algorithm combined with a leading SaaS influencer marketing platform, FYI ranks digital influencers on a variety of factors, including audience, reach and advocacy. Since launching in February, 2014, FYI now offers access to more than 100,000 high-quality influencers, from mommy bloggers to celebrities and everyone in between, specializing in the beauty & fashion, lifestyle, parenting, technology, retail, professional services, financial and small business verticals.

 

By connecting to these influencers through FYI, agencies can help their partner brands seamlessly communicate to their end-users directly through the creation of third-party endorsed content, leveraging digital influencers as brand evangelists.

“FYI’s goal is to continue growing the leading SaaS influencer marketing platform in the industry,” said Reardon. “With consecutive quarter-over-quarter growth and aggressive goals for 2016, partnerships like this one with Lucid – and the 49 that came before it – are crucial.”

About Find Your Influence
Find Your Influence (FYI), is the leading SaaS Influencer Marketing technology platform connecting more than 100,000 high-value influencers to brands and advertisers. In just 18 months, FYI has completed more than 1,000 campaigns for more than 100 brands, ultimately driving more than 1B impressions across blogs, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. FYI makes influencer marketing measurable, scalable, and profitable for our agency partners.
For more information, please visit http://www.findyourinfluence.com.

Read More

Take Their Word For It: How a National Identity Theft Protection Leader Recruited Influencers to Change the Narrative, and Enter a Whole New Market

lifelock-sign-1

When done correctly, influencer marketing can help a brand accomplish three things:
1. Increase brand awareness
2. Increase brand affinity
3. Increase intent-to-purchase

Maybe it’s time to add reputation management to the list of things marketers can count on influencer marketing to do.

Take LifeLock for example – the nation’s leading identity theft protection company had gone to market with a very specific strategy: highlight the negative impact identity theft can have. But does that strategy leave potential customers immune to that messaging out in the cold?

Find Your Influence Case Study: LifeLock Identity Theft Protection
National identity protection leader changes their messaging with the help of 45 influencers and reaches millions

Overview
When it comes to protecting against identity theft, there’s no room for error. And when it comes to expanding your footprint as the leader in identity theft protection, you have to rely on more than just your reputation alone.

LifeLock approached FYI with a non-typical opportunity – the LifeLock team wanted to aggressively increase site traffic, but the company already owned the market share in their typical demographic. If they wanted to meet their traffic goals, they needed to branch out. Time for influencer marketing!

Solution
Past initiatives had earned LifeLock a loyal subscribership. consisting mainly of affluent 55+ retirees, so the Find Your Influence team worked closely with LifeLock to develop a strategy that would reposition their products and expand their market share. In the past, LifeLock had focused on the impact of identity theft — educating consumers about what identity thieves can do with personal information. But they needed to reach consumers who weren’t responding to that type of messaging.

With the help of FYI, LifeLock decided to turn their focus on other product features — specifically credit monitoring. They hired 45 influencers from a variety of demographics, including moms and dads in their twenties and thirties. Most of the influencers had experienced identity theft first hand, so they were able to write from personal experience about why solely credit monitoring isn’t enough.

They reached millions with this simple message: to effectively fight identity theft, consumers need both credit monitoring and identity theft protection, and LifeLock offers both.

Results
In just two months and with 45 influencers, LifeLock reached millions of consumers outside their usual demographics. The company were able to reposition their products and begin a new conversation, quickly spreading the message that LifeLock offers a whole lot more than credit monitoring.

Reach: Approximately 5.4 million people
Social content production: Increased 326% from May to June
Total conversations: 1,565
Average CTR: 4.47%

Are you or your brand looking to change the conversation? Influencer marketing maybe be the answer you’re looking for…learn more today!

Read More

Find Your Influence Feature Round-Up

roundupEDIT

 

Over the past few months we’ve been featured in some amazing publications, from The Huffington Post to Entrepreneur Magazine. So today we wanted to share a little link love and point you all in the directions of some amazing articles on Influencer Marketing.

 

We were just thrilled when The Huffington Post mentioned our CEO, Jamie Reardon, in a recent article on ‪Influencer Marketing– Try These 8 Steps to a More Influential Blog. http://huff.to/1yczuaQ

 

Our Co-Founder, Cristine Vieira, shared her expert advice with CMS Wire on Influencer Marketing. Read the article here: http://bit.ly/1H4UUs9

 

Jamie was also featured in a great Forbes article - Five Strategies To Influence The Influencers: http://bit.ly/1N57Gfs

 

We were so excited to be featured in Entrepreneur Magazine! Read Jamie’s expert advice on turning influencers into ambassadors for your brand here: http://entm.ag/1GAPAsl

 

Our post on seven reasons to work with online influencers was picked up by Chief Marketer!  Check it out here: http://bit.ly/1LyzA0d

 

Jamie also recently shared three tips for launching a successful and cost-effective Influencer Marketing campaign. Check out our feature on eMarketing and Commerce here: http://bit.ly/1KLamwO

 

Convince & Convert featured our “How to Leverage Celebrity Influencers for Small Business” post on their blog! Check out our feature here: http://bit.ly/1JShlDy
Our article, “Four Reasons Your Next ‪‎Influencer Marketing Campaign Will Fail,” was featured on Ivy Exec!  Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/1LBgd8c

 

Finally, we were just thrilled to see Find Your Influence featured in Inc. Magazine! Read our expert advice on why finding the right influencer for your brand is crucial to your campaign success here: http://bit.ly/1IwmnoI

Read More

Beating The Summer Blogging Blues

beatingthesummerbluescamera

Summer is the season for bathing suits, BBQs, and the…blues? It seems like when summer rolls around the temperature goes up and your blog reach goes down, which may put you in a state of the “summer blues.”  No need to stress, though, look to using the excitement of the summer to connect with your audience. Here are five tips for beating the summer blogging blues:

 

  1. Beat the heat: Everyone is trying to escape the heat during the summer, so use this to your advantage.  Share your go-to spots to visit when it’s just too hot out. This could be a local coffee shop, a favorite book store, or even a few indoor or outdoor evening events that are happening in your area.

 

  1. Beauty Time: During the summer months, many people have a lot more time on their hands. So use this time to your advantage and share something beauty related that you may not have time to indulge in during the other times of the year. Kristina of Mothers Niche recently shared a fun DIY facial, so why not give it a try and share your experience with your readers?  Don’t forget to link back to Kristina’s post, though, because sharing is caring – even in the blog world.

 

  1. Summer Reading List:  Who doesn’t enjoy a good book over the summer? It’s the perfect time to get ahead on your reading, so why not come up with a great list of books that you think your audience would enjoy? The gals over at The Indie Chicks recently shared their summer reads, so read through their post for a bit of inspiration to get you started.

 

  1. Best Road Trip Games: Come up with a list of some fun trivia and mind games for people who are traveling this summer. Create your own game, or search around for a few fun ideas to share!

 

  1. Summer Recipes:  During the summer months, people are looking for recipes that are light and healthy. So why not write a post about your favorite healthy and delicious recipe? Taralynn of Simply Taralynn has shared a lot of healthy recipes that are super easy and fresh, like this yummy looking Avocado Celery Root Salad that would be perfect for a picnic lunch!

 

What are you some of your favorite ways to beat the heat and keep your blog readers engaged during the summer months? Share your ideas with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to sign-up to be a part of the Find Your Influence team if you haven’t already! Big things are happening for us and our influencers this summer, and we would love for you to be a part of it!

 

By: Kailey Loud and Chelsea Goodson for Find Your Influence

Read More

5 Tips for Growing Your Social Media Following

Social Media Following

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up one day and magically have thousands of people following and engaging with you on social media? Well, while we couldn’t agree more, we do know that there isn’t a magical formula that can do this for you. However, we have five effective tips to share that will not only increase your social media following, but also get you connected with like minded and engaging users.

  1. Make sure you’re utilizing the right social media channels for you. Are photos your passion? Then you should be on Instagram! Are you not into inspiration boards? Then you should probably stay away from Pinterest . Go through this process for every social media channel and confirm which ones really are the best for you (or your brand, style, etc.).
  1. Facebook and Twitter are two very similar, yet very different social media sites. While it’s fine to share the same post on both channels, it’s also very important to tailor your message to the audience you’re speaking to. Keep your tweets sweet and short and save your photos and detailed posts for Facebook.
  1. Using relevant hashtags is very helpful in spreading your post further, and finding  likeminded users. Don’t be afraid to try out different hashtags to find the ones that work best for you.
  1. Follow Twitter accounts and like Facebook pages that are relevant to your interests, focuses or business to further build your social media community.
  1. Lastly, don’t forget that when it comes down to it, social media is social. Utilize your Facebook page to like and share other people’s posts, along with favoriting and retweeting tweets on Twitter. Be a good social media neighbor, because everyone likes feeling recognized and appreciated – even if it is only online.

 

By: Kailey Loud and Chelsea Goodson for Find Your Influence

Read More

Four Reasons Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign Will Fail

DeathtoStock_Clementine_EDIT

 

Let’s get one thing out of the way – influencer marketing isn’t new anymore. In fact, with brands big and small now leveraging influencers, or audiences with audiences, to build authentic content buyers crave, the focus turns to finding the right influencers to motivate your target customers.

And while that may be easier said than done, it’s key to ensuring your campaign. Whether it be who you’re choosing to work with, what you want to do, or what audience you want to reach, there’s virtually an end-less amount of factors to take into consideration.

So before you start, it’s crucial to examine each option to make sure you take your influencer campaign in the direction it needs to go. There are a lot of things that can go right – but there’s also a lot of things that could very, very wrong.

Want proof? Here are four things that could sink your next campaign:

1. Picking the Wrong Influencer:
The right influencer isn’t always the one who meets the eye. And don’t get fooled by large numbers of fol-lowers or fans…just because they have a big audience, doesn’t always mean that the influencer is right to advocate for your product.

In fact, the wrong influencer doesn’t care about your product or service – they only care about the paycheck, which betrays the authentic bond they developed with their audience. When that happens, it’s your brand that suffers the most.

“Your choice of influencer is going to make or break the way your brand is perceived, it’s crucial that the person you work with aligns with what you’re looking for,” said Jamie Reardon, CEO of Find Your Influ-ence, a leading influencer marketing platform that connects influencers and brands. “Spending time vet-ting your influencers to ensure their audience is your audience, and that they offer the third-party en-dorsement your brand needs is crucial.”

So how can you tell if you’ve found the right influencer? Find someone who’s excited about your product, not just the money you’re giving them to be excited. They should have a general interest in either the brand you’re trying to sell or the message you’re trying to send.

2. Inauthentic Content
There’s a difference between paying someone to say nice things about your brand and a whole other to have them experience your brand— and it’s palpable.

The entire point of influencer marketing is authenticity; that is, having the influencer advocate for your product in a genuine way and not in a way that comes off as forced.

In order to achieve this connection with your brand and audience, you need to allow for some flexibility. This may be hard to do because it’s your campaign, but these influencers have a following for a reason: they’re good at what they do. If you allow them to use their own voice and make it their own, it’s going to be way more effective and appealing to the audience then it would be if you were to set the criteria.

How can that work against you? Forcing an influencer to use the same canned content that doesn’t reflect the influencer’s true voice – or opinions. Trust me – the audience will know the difference.

3. Doing It By Yourself
Influencer marketing is a multi-step, mufti-touch process. Finding someone who matches your audience demographic considerations. Contacting them. Discussing their potential interest. Negotiating prices. Building a marketing platform. Ending the campaign with a good relationship with the influencers.

All told, it’s a lot to do by yourself, and your day is already full enough. Fear not – there are a number of influencer marketing tools that can help shoulder some of the load. In fact, there are a couple of turn-key tools that can take the load completely off of your shoulders.

“These days, almost everyone claims to be an expert in influencer marketing, so it’s important smart mar-keters are doing their research to find their right technology partners,” Reardon said, noting that Find Your Influence’s platform was the result of a collaborative effort led by marketers and technology strategists over a six year period. “During your vetting process, it’s essential that you find a balance with these com-panies, working with them to build connections for your platform and come up with ideas while still mak-ing the campaign yours.

“The best part? When you find the right company to collaborate with, your campaign can work seamless-ly,”

4. Not being able to measure your success
So you’ve activated your influencer marketing campaign, ad you’re positive you’ve found the right influ-encers, and even more positive you’ve got the right context mix. You’re anxious to take advantage of in-fluencer marketing’s vaunted 6.5:1 ROI, so you can show the C-suite how successful your campaign has been. But how?

Surely you remembered to build in an analytics platform to your campaign, one that tracks social shares and outreach, and follows your content from influencer to platform to end-user, and back again. And sure-ly you’ve got a team dedicated to tracking each share to ensure your influencer team is fulfilling their con-tractual obligations. And I’m positive you’ve reviewed content and placement to ensure everything is run-ning on message. Right?

Again, if measurement isn’t your strong suit, but you’re still committed to demonstrating the efficacy of your influencer marketing campaign, ROI and analytics is something you can turn to your platform partner for.

It’s true that influencer marketing is the next big thing for smart marketers, and it may very well be the next big thing for your brand. By paying attention to these four tips, you can make sure that your campaign is ready to succeed.

By: Megan Janetsky for Find Your Influence 

 

Read More