image via Alpha M
Influencer marketing is one of the newest, most effective ways for brands to promote products (events, services), engage audiences, and drive sales online. The right approach can elicit tangible results increasing brand visibility and affinity by a measurable extent. For an influencer marketing campaign to be effective, however, the outreach process cannot go overlooked. Influencer outreach (Step 6 of our 10-step influencer marketing strategy) must be carefully calculated from the very beginning — several steps before the first point of contact.
Unsurprisingly, even the world’s biggest brands are oftentimes unaware of the obstacles when approaching influencers on behalf of effective advertising campaigns. Here are three influencer outreach mistakes that today’s brands and marketing managers need to be aware of:
Social media networks like YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram have become powerful tools for helping brands build their audiences and execute a wide variety of marketing strategies and initiatives. According to AdWeek, “70 percent of brands are increasing their social media spend this coming year.” To this point, each of these platforms and their contemporaries offer different ways in which users can digest content, engage with social media stars, and partake in brand marketing campaigns (ie. giveaways, sweepstakes, contests, event activations). Choosing the right platform and appropriate social media influencer will depend heavily on the overarching objectives and type of content the campaign will make the most use of.
For example, a month-long contest involving shares and high levels of audience participation will most likely have a lot more success hosted on a well-targeted blog or Instagram channel than in the form of a Snapchat. Skip this important step, and the entire rest of a campaign will likely be in jeopardy.
Another important element to establish before reaching out to social media influencers of any kind is a clear set of campaign objectives. Every type of social media influencer (and social media platform, as detailed above) has their own unique strengths in terms of what can achieved by partnering with them. For a checklist on how to measure influencer marketing campaigns including branding vs. direct-response metrics, check out our article here.
Marketing managers that have a clear idea from the very beginning of what they’re trying to achieve with a campaign will ultimately find the most success working and communicating these objectives effectively with the proposed social media stars.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when designing an influencer marketing campaign is social influencer criteria and how it’s being prioritized. To return to the example of followers, this is one of the main things that marketing managers look for, but it’s important to realize that it’s far from being everything. An exceedingly high amount of followers can certainly help with initial views, but it’s not as important as social media engagement, which effectively refers to the actions taken by end users once exposed to content. When it comes to measuring profitable action and driving sales across social media channels, influencers who have a demonstrated track record for moving the needle for similar brand campaigns need to be prioritized.
Executed properly, brands can achieve immense ROI from working with YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers, et. al. Learning which mistakes not to make throughout the influencer outreach process can play a huge role in the success of a campaign.
Outreach is Step 6 of our 10-step marketing process. Get all the steps, tips, and strategies of top brands here.