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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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Scale and Repeat

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By Courtney Moser

Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Of course, there’s a fine line between perseverance and insanity then, isn’t there? How do you know when it’s time to try something new?

If your first influencer marketing campaign didn’t have the outcome or results you wanted, make a change. Don’t try the exact same method again, but keep the aspects you really liked and take a hard look at everything else. Analyze what you can improve or customize, and see if the numbers give you any clues. Were the blog post views up to par? Maybe the content wasn’t authentic enough or you didn’t partner with the right influencers. Was social engagement lacking? This can point back to content quality again, or it may be because of a lack of visibility or consistency.

When you’re analyzing what went right and what went wrong with your influencer marketing campaign, it’s helpful to review the foundation. Ask yourself these questions:

o   Were the campaign goals and deadlines manageable?

o   Was this campaign integrated with our larger marketing strategy?

o   Did we pick the right social platforms?

o   Did we find the right influencers?

o   Was planning and communication prioritized throughout the campaign?

On the other hand, if you went through the above list and felt confident in your campaign results, congratulations! Over at Find Your Influence (FYI), we’re proponents of the philosophy “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Once you’ve discovered what works for you and your brand, scale and repeat. Change up topics and your focus according to seasonal goals, but keep the foundation, strategy and basics to ensure future success.

If you cultivated good relationships with influencers, reach out and ask if they’d be interested in working with your brand again. As said in this Social Media Today article, “Influencer marketing boasts a 37% higher retention rate because it hinges around consumer loyalty.” This loyalty extends not only to consumers but hopefully to your influencers as well. An ultimate goal of influencer marketing, after all, is to turn influencers into brand advocates and ambassadors.

Blogging is often the core of influencer marketing campaigns, but social-centric campaigns are important as well for awareness and promotion. If you found certain networks that really resonate with your target audience, continue to utilize them. Share and integrate this campaign messaging with your brand social pages to create a consistent image and increase authenticity.

To learn more about influencer marketing, read the rest of our best practices here.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Communicate Frequently

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By Courtney Moser

 

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is–it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

As Scott Cook, the founder and CEO of Intuit, said in this Forbes article, times are changing. The immense amount of opportunities for global, instantaneous connections spanning people and places means that brands and consumers – and their relationship with each other – are different than they used to be.

The one constant? Communication. Although the meanings and methods may change, the importance and core of communication remains. Brands are no longer in total control of their image, for instance, because consumers now have platforms of their own in which to communicate and share. Anyone can do research on a product or service and find consumer reviews, tips, message boards and more – impressions are no longer limited to traditional advertising.

Brands can embrace this evolution of communication by utilizing influencer marketing, which empowers you to communicate to a group of people through an influencer. These influencers – typically high-reach bloggers or social media advocates – share messages, promote products and cultivate partnerships. It’s word-of-mouth marketing on a larger, digital scale.

“People expect brands to talk with them rather than at them,” according to SocialTimes. “They no longer expect brands to sell to them, but to entertain and inform them. In this new paradigm, influencers are a force to be reckoned with. Brands can strategically partner with the right personalities to spark organic conversations and seduce their followers.”

The way a brand, and their influencers, speak with consumers can create communities and impact sentiment. Successful, strategic communication that’s aligned with brand messaging can lead to meaningful conversations, increased awareness, and much more. An effective influencer can turn other consumers into loyal brand advocates.

Once a brand starts using influencer marketing, of course, communication only becomes more important – only this time, it’s internal rather than consumer facing. It’s critical to work with your influencers to align expectations from the start, and stay in the know with their timeline and content. It’s also beneficial to keep them in the loop with your company, products and launch dates so that they can better plan and craft quality content.

The Find Your Influence (FYI) influencer marketing platform, for example, includes a message center to make communication between brands and influencers faster and easier. Every time you log in to the platform, you can check your messages along with campaign goals, progress, and more. This helps centralize communication and gives brands and influencers more time to focus on what really matters in one place, as opposed to checking multiple accounts or delaying timelines.

How you communicate with both consumers and influencers matters. Influencer marketing can make a big impact, but it’s also important to ensure you choose the right influencers and platforms in which to market your products or service. To learn more, check out FYI’s best practices blog series here.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Find the Right Influencers

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By Courtney Moser

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Or is it? At FYI, we’d modify this piece of professional wisdom to read “It’s what you know and who you know,” but that wouldn’t be nearly as catchy. So instead, we’ll have to settle for explaining why both knowledge and connections matter in the world of influencer marketing.

Did you know, for example, that 92% of consumers turn to people they know for product or service referrals? And when it comes to retail research, 60% of consumers said they’ve consulted blogs or social media before shopping or making a purchase. This knowledge is critical in order to understand the importance of influencer marketing. You have to connect with the right influencers to be in front of the right eyes at the right time; to increase reach, awareness and engagement.

Ultimately, the goal of influencer marketing is to turn your influencers into brand advocates. To do this, you have to have a solid grasp on your own audience and know as much as you can about them: how old are they, what kind of blogs do they read, what are they interested in, and of course, why would they want your product or service? Then, you can connect with influencers who have similar interests, goals and high-reaching blogs or social platforms.

An influencer’s audience demographics should align with your target audience. Having this commonality provides a great starting point for cultivating an authentic relationship. Of course, relevance is just as important when it comes to content.Once you’ve found influencers who seem to fit with your brand, you should research their content and social networks. High-quality content is key when individuals are aligning themselves with your brand publicly. You want them to not only be creative and engaging, but professional and relevant as well.

So, how do you find the right influencers?

  1. Know your own audience
  2. Research their audience and content
  3. Add value and cultivate relationships

Don’t forget – this is all about relationships. It’s not just about brand sales or numbers, but adding value for influencers and consumers. As Forbes says: “When you select an influencer to work with, start by making an investment in them. Give them something worthy of sharing with their followers beyond samples and a product shot.”

Ready to learn more? Check out our best practices series here.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Pick the Right Social Platform

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By: Courtney Moser

Quick, how many influencers are on Instagram?

Trick question! It’s not that simple: it depends on your brand, products, campaign goals, audience and overall mission. So while the answer for one company may be “all the influencers!” for others, it may be very few.

Before choosing which social media platforms you’ll utilize for your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the demographics and purpose of each one. Who is your target audience and what social networks are they on? Where does it make the most sense to reach them? Examples are shown below from Sprout Social statistics:

Facebook: This social platform has evolved throughout the years from a college friends network to include almost everyone. 87% of adults between the ages of 18-29, 73% of adults 30-49, 63% of adults 50-64 and 63% of adults 65+ use Facebook.

Instagram: More than half of Instagram’s main users are 18-29, and the platform is increasing in popularity as visual elements become more important: The average engagement per Instagram post has grown by 416% over two years (2015).

Twitter: Similar to Instagram, the largest demographic using Twitter is adults ages 18-29. Their users skew female and mostly urban dwellers. On-the-go, localized tweeting can be valuable for marketers: 80% of Twitter active users are on mobile.

Of course there’s also YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Periscope, and many more – but the highly popular networks above illustrate the span of demographics and users. If your brand wants to make an impact with consumers between the ages of 50-64, for example, your best bet for a successful promotion is Facebook. Or, if you want to market a new product to a younger female who lives in an urban area, make Twitter part of your strategy.

There will definitely be network overlaps, but more often than not, it makes sense to focus on a select few for campaigns – even if your brand has a presence on all of them. A video campaign on YouTube and Facebook Live, for instance, will require a different strategy than an image caption content on Instagram. And a trending hashtag may be more meaningful on Twitter or Instagram than other networks.

If you’re working with influencers in your campaign who are bloggers first, then you can ask them to share their blog content on the social platforms that make the most sense for their medium and audience. One influencer may be more photo-focused and have the most followers on Instagram, while another may have the strongest following on Facebook. This is something you’ll have to discuss upfront with your blogging influencers and factor into your campaign goals and analysis.

Now that you’re ready to pick your social platforms, what’s the next step in your influencer marketing campaign? Learn more in our best practices series here.

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