Geo-Targeting And Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

Do your marketing efforts feel like a page out of the Where’s Waldo book?

In the crowded digital marketplace today, it can be difficult to stand out. Brands struggle to be seen and heard just as consumers waver between countless products and service choices. And yet, something has to give: You have to set your brand apart by way of marketing in order to reach those consumers and impact success.

How can you cut through the clutter? Location makes the brand marketing experience more personal. By using geo-targeting to customize your message based on location, you can make sure consumers find Waldo (er, your brand) quickly and easily. With influencer marketing, this typically means working with geo-targeted influencers who reach your target audience in specific areas.

Red Bull, for example, created a geo-targeted influencer marketing campaign to promote their live tour – Red Bull Flying Bach – in Phoenix. They partnered with local social media influencers to improve awareness and drive ticket sales. Along with asking the influencers to post content leading up to the three shows in Phoenix, the brand also gave them tickets to attend the event. By honing in on local influencers and their captive audience, Red Bull successfully used geo-targeting to increase event interest and attendance.

How can other brands use geo-targeting? Rideshare company Fare debuted their services in Austin by giving local influencers free rides and asking them to post about their experiences. This simple content focused on authentic reviews helped Fare drum up positive awareness in the city that recently ousted other ridesharing companies. Of course, geo-targeting also offers a huge opportunity for any company with physical locations – from retail stores to gyms – to draw in new customers.

“As more brands look for ways to drive in-store purchases, geo-targeting for influencers will become more prevalent,” this article on 2017 influencer marketing trends says. “The targeting won’t be limited to where the influencer lives, but rather where their audience lives – shifting the definition of ‘local influencer.’”

This concept shift means that influencer marketing is advancing past basic influencer profiles to include layers of audience demographics and psychographics. As our insights into an influencer’s audience become more comprehensive, the ability to more accurately target consumers increases. By geo-targeting your influencer marketing campaign, you can gain a deeper understanding into your target audience – and by extension, find more success from your efforts.

Ready to take the next step and start honing in on the right influencers and audience? Contact the Find Your Influence team today for help.

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Event-Based Influencer Marketing

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By Courtney Moser

 

RSVP yes or no.

What makes someone decide to attend an event? It typically comes down to interest and the fear of missing out if they don’t show up. After all, no one likes to be left out of the latest happenings or feel a pang of regret at skipping an event! Society today is all about being in the know – and sharing (or flaunting) it across social media.

Influencer marketing harnesses that feeling by motivating consumers to join in on the fun by way of a trustworthy source: influencers. It’s been proven many times now that we trust people over ads. So by extension, consumers are more likely to attend an event recommended by a blogger they follow than an event promoted by way of a digital banner.

Brands have started capitalizing on this by partnering with credible, relevant blog and social media influencers to drum up buzz for events. Finding the right influencers are key here, as reinforced in this article, “the more closely aligned your event industry and your influencers’ industry, the more receptive and interested their audience will be.”

This type of event-based influencer marketing can be broken down into several smaller strategies. They include:

  • Pre-event promotion to increase interest and attendance
  • Influencer live-streaming at events
  • Post-event recaps and future promotion

The first strategy – promoting the event beforehand – doesn’t always require influencers to actually attend anything. It can be something they’re interested in or that is relevant to their readers, and they can promote and extend the invite effectively without being there. Of course, if they do attend, you can incorporate several other components into your campaign agreement – from live-streaming videos to tweeting in real-time. And an event recap blog post can be valuable for sharing details and drumming up interest in future brand events.

The most comprehensive event-based influencer marketing strategy would include all three of the above aspects. The influencers you’re working with can promote the event, attend and post on social media during, and then write a recap afterwards. This offers the highest visibility and potential results – whether you’re aiming for increased awareness, social engagement, website clicks or something else.

“When you amplify your voice, you are likely to amplify your revenue,” Find Your Influence CEO Jamie Reardon said. “Influencer marketing can impact the success of events – both online and in person.”

Can your events benefit from an influencer marketing boost? See what the FYI platform can do for you here.

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Travel Bloggers And Your Brand

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By Courtney Moser

 

“I want to go there!”

How many times have we gawked over awe-inspiring Instagram photos or Pinterest-perfect destinations? How often does it lead to Googling new cities or airfare prices?

Travel bloggers are influential for a reason: They make consumers wish they were somewhere else, they stir up the wanderlust in even the most content homebodies. In fact, 73 percent of people acquire vacation ideas from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Influencer marketing is effective because these travel bloggers are promoting their high-quality content across social media, with brands as sponsors or partners. And, 92 percent of consumers trust these type of word-of-mouth recommendations over traditional advertising.

The Northern Colorado Front Range Tourism Initiative recently ran an influencer marketing campaign around the idea of FOMO – the fear of missing out, which is exactly what travel bloggers often stir up in others. In conjunction with their #WishYouWereBeer campaign, the organization worked with Find Your Influence to invite several high-reach travel and lifestyle bloggers on an all-expenses paid trip to Colorado. Their goals were to increase buzz, drive website traffic and improve awareness for their region.

Along with posting real-time social media updates during the trip, the travel bloggers also posted three separate blog posts afterward: a recap of their adventures with photos and video, a post highlighting fall events in Colorado and a post highlighting winter activities in the state. After just the first round of posts went up, this successful campaign had already achieved a total reach of 30 million.

Creative, high-quality photos and videos are key to increased engagement and reach on travel blogs and social media. And, of course, authentic content is at the core: that’s why consumers identify with them and place their trust in their recommendations.

“Most travel bloggers would never recommend things they don’t believe in, haven’t tested or places they haven’t traveled to themselves,” Matthias, the blogger behind TravelTelling, said.

Even if you’re not a tourism office, hotel brand or airline company, travel bloggers can still be relevant for your campaigns. A restaurant can enlist bloggers to include them in a “must-visit” list for their city, while an online retail company can sponsor a “must-have” packing list. Clothing and beauty products are simple to incorporate into an influencer’s blog photos, and even less obvious organizations like banks can sponsor content about travel funds or budgeting.

When it comes to working with any influencers – including travel bloggers – creativity is paramount. How can you work with them to best connect with and captivate your audience? How will your campaign impact your goals? Whether you’re focused on increasing awareness, page views, social engagement, product sales or something else entirely, influencer marketing can help get you there.

To learn more about planning your campaign strategy, visit our blog. To ask the FYI team a specific question, contact us here.

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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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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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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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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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3 Massive Mistakes Influencers Make

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By: Courtney Moser

You know those little mistakes we all make that go largely unnoticed? A typo here, a quick after-post edit there? That’s not what this is about. The mistakes we’re talking about today go far beyond any minimal “oops” moment – and right into professionally unspeakable territory.

We’re not trying to scare you, but these mistakes could cost an influencer a campaign, their audience or even a partnership with a brand. How so? Keep reading to learn what to avoid as an influencer in the marketing industry.

1. Not paying attention to Google updates

If you’ve worked on campaigns as an influencer, you probably already have at least a basic knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). The tricky part about thinking you know SEO? It’s always changing!

SEO is highly dependent on Google algorithm updates, which occur regularly. You have to pay attention to industry news, set an alert for “Google algorithm updates,” or make sure you have a tech publication in your reader. Once an update occurs, it’s important to determine whether it impacts your blog or strategy – and then make the needed changes immediately.

In theory, Google updates their algorithm often so that they can provide users with a better search experience—higher quality content, more relevant content, and less spam. However, these updates aren’t foolproof, and it’s possible that you’re doing something unintentionally on your blog that Google is filtering for. You have to stay in the know, because if your blog includes some sort of link or tactic that Google has deemed negative, your traffic could plummet.

2. Not paying attention to the social media campaign instructions

If your site is performing well and you’re partnering with brands, you’re probably feeling pretty confident about your influencer status. But to keep growing and succeeding, you have to make sure your new confidence doesn’t result in carelessness.

Let’s look at this scenario, for example: A campaign offer comes in. Since you’ve done this a million times, you quickly scan over the instructions, skim the blog prompt and grab the hashtag. You’ll have this done in no time.

Flash forward two weeks and you’re suddenly receiving not-so-positive feedback your brand. What gives? As it turns out, those instructions you barely skimmed were important.

Is this really a big mistake? Yes. Brands trust you to follow instructions and act professionally so that they can accurately track the performance of the campaign. We’ve seen bloggers forget everything from a special link, no-follow tags and specific content instructions to announcing an event or meeting a certain deadline. These mishaps can burn bridges. Brands depend on campaign performance, and if they don’t feel like you did your job, they’ll move on to someone who will.

3. Writing low-quality content

This one seems obvious, but we see it every day. Bloggers are creating content constantly – some even juggling several brands and requirements. It can get hectic, and it’s tempting to rush assignments to try to fit more in. Bad choice: Quality always overrules quantity.

“We want the story to be great and the whole reason we work with influencers is to accelerate the sharing of the story,” Karin Timpone, global marketing officer at Marriott International, said of their focus on content excellence.

As a blogger, you’re typically both the content creator and publisher. It’s clear to everyone involved if your post is just thrown together—the brand, your fans and the communities you’re working with. A poor-quality post could mean you never work with that brand again. But even worse? You could lose the trust of your fans and connections. After a few rushed or low-quality posts, you may see your readership start to dwindle.

It’s critical to treat each campaign with respect, think about what the prompt really means to you, and write a high-quality post. Success in influencer marketing is as simple (and complex) as that.

If you need help, we hope you’ll check out what Find Your Influence (FYI) has to offer. FYI helps influencers of all levels connect with brands and manage their campaigns more efficiently. Get the details here.

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

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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.

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