The pandemic brought an instrumental shift in all facets of life – wearing masks, virtual corporate life, altering consumer demands, and so on. Advertising was no different. It underwent a sea change.
Influencer marketing emerged as the most sought-after model for growing a brand, courtesy of the massive spike in the number of hours people spent on their social media.
This change is here to stay. Social media and the creators who rule it will remain the leading advertising channel for brands. Because that’s where the customer is.
However, partnering with creators doesn’t automatically translate into a successful influencer marketing strategy. Not all brand campaigns on social media are effective.
So, what can brands do to improve the chances of their influencer campaign’s success?
Here are the 3 pillars for a successful Influencer Marketing Strategy
1. Be transparent about the partnership
Transparency is the most important pillar bolstering an influencer campaign. There are two sides to transparency: the creator brief and partnership disclosure.
It is imperative that briefs sent out to creators lay out all the relevant campaign details. From deliverables to deadlines to remuneration, be explicit about them from the very beginning. It not only helps align objectives but also spares both parties a lot of time.
The ASCI guidelines enforce brands and creators to disclose when content is a paid partnership. But these rules are only one reason why you need to reveal a sponsored post. The more essential one is the consumer. Digital natives are too savvy by half. They can sniff out paid content in seconds. However, they are more accepting of content that openly uses the #ad or #sponsored label.
2. Be careful of the choice of creators
The right creators can single-handedly lift the performance of your marketing strategy. While it may seem attractive to work with influencers who have a certain number of followers, it’s often not effective. A more constructive method is to deep dive and search for creators who personify the vibe and values of your brand.
Why should you never force-fit a creator?
Creators have a loyal fanbase, and they can instantly sense inauthenticity in creator content. When you partner with a creator just because they have X number of followers, and the creator is merely incentivised to promote your product (instead of genuinely loving it), it shows.
That’s why discovering the right creator to flag-bear a campaign is paramount to its success. A simple example would be, say, reaching out to a creator who has some affiliation with PETA or regularly voices animal rights to market a plant-based product.
Since manually discovering creators who match the personality of your brand is a Sisyphean task, use a tech platform. Their data-driven algorithm significantly reduces the amount of work required by your marketing team.
3. Let creators be creative
The element that undergirds a successful influencer marketing campaign is the creativity of the creator. We said it before, and we say it again. You don’t hire content creators. You collaborate with them.
They are not ad buys. They are a creative extension of your team. So, keep an open mind and let the creators bring their own innovative twist to the influencer campaign. Remember, the creator built the fan base that you are trying to tap into. Hence, they know better what resonates with the audience.
Passion leads the way in influencer marketing campaigns
The core promise of the creator economy is that when you keep doing what you love passionately, everything else falls into place. The keyword here is “passionately.”
Passion is infectious, and when it shines in a creator’s content, even when sponsored, it converts consumers into paying customers. So, be transparent about your campaigns. Rely on AI to discover creators. Let creativity run free. But make sure the kernel of passion is there because that’s when campaigns bring results.