Dos and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

Now that you know all you need to know about the basics of influencer marketing, it’s time to go over a few things that you should avoid and a few that should steer the strategy for your own business.

Do

  1. Start off your campaign with in-depth research. Get to know the influencers who are highly connected to your target audience and learn as much as you can about each of them (or at least your top 10!).
  2. Understand industry best practices. This doesn’t mean you have to confine yourself to a box of rules, however, it’s good to know what has worked for some of your competitors and what to avoid. You also may want to consider selecting different influencers than your competitors to get a fresh perspective.
  3. Think creatively. While the structural core of each influencer campaign remains the same (tapping into individuals to reach many), how you choose to flesh out your campaign should be unique to you as a brand. Your strategy should start with identifying what your audience likes/wants/needs and then translating that into a big idea that will stand out when you pitch it to influencers.
  4. Have a contingency. Not everything works out the way you plan. Let’s face it, there have been a number of failed spokesperson-brand relationships recently. Whether it’s Manny Pacquiao and Nike, Jared Fogle and Subway, or any of the other countless disasters, it will always be up to the brand to deal with the situation, and you have to consider how it looks to your target audience. Rather than go into full on panic mode, have a plan in place from the outset in case you get a bad review, bad buzz, or your influencer does or says something completely out of character for your brand.

Don’t

  1. Don’t bring on an influencer for the sake of having one on board. Not every influencer will be a good fit for your brand. Rather than force the relationship to work, it is best to step back and re-evaluate how an influencer marketing campaign fits into your overall brand strategy.
  2. Don’t work with an influencer just because they have a large network of followers. Bigger and more established is not always better. You have to make sure that those followers fit within the profile of your target audience, otherwise, it would be money and time well-wasted. The other thing to consider is that perhaps you can start a relationship with upcoming influencers and your reach will grow with theirs. Not only will that likely help your budget as you are getting your feet wet, but it will help to create a strong and trusting relationship.
  3. Don’t believe the hype. Not everything will be as it seems. As you are getting to know your list of influencers, check to make sure that it will be worth your while. If they have 60,000 Twitter followers, are those followers engaged or do they seem to not care about the content (ie. They are ghosts). The same can be said about all of the other social channels and forums. It is very easy in this day and age to buy love… I mean followers.
  4. Don’t break the budget on one influencer. If that one influencer is so perfect and you can’t imagine working with anyone else, that’s fine, but you might be limiting yourself. There are different levels of “celebrity” influence which correspond with differing levels of budget considerations. Factor that in to your decision-making.

Originally published to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.

Candace Huntly

Candace Huntly is Principal and Founder of SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working with organizations and individuals to refine their strategy and brand story. Specializing in strategy, media & influencer relations, social media, content development, and experiential marketing, she works with brands to build creative and integrated marketing and PR strategies to generate buzz and overall brand awareness.

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