On the face of it, influencer marketing seems like a winning combination: brands pay influencers – people (not necessarily celebrities, but often well-known and respected individuals with a large following) – to talk about their products, driving sales and winning new customers. It’s a popular approach to marketing, with 68% of global marketers seeing influence marketing as a lead generation and customer acquisition tactic and 74% of global marketers reporting they will use influence marketing as part of their marketing strategy in the next 12 months.
But not every company is sold on the idea. It can be very expensive to use influencers in your marketing, and it can be a short-term. But changing your thinking about what exactly influencers are, and how you can use them can bring benefits to your marketing strategy, both in the short term and into the future.
1. Get to know your influencers
When your influencers are more than your sales people it can be hugely beneficial – for both of you. Kia Motors built up a two-way relationship with bloggers and online influencers through its Kia Social Club. By building long-term partnerships based on shared passions, such as parenting, safety, adventure, or lifestyle, Kia have been able to enable their bloggers to generate meaningful content around subjects that matter to them. The results are impressive: Social Media Examiner reports that Kia Social Club reached over 198 advocates, received 24,000 social endorsements and resulted in more than 30 million engagements.
2. Let them use their own voice
Kim Kardashian might charge $25,000 to mention a brand in a Tweet to her 18 million followers but does this really reflect well on your company, or does it run the risk of backfiring, like Lebron James’ Instagram photo of his Nike sneakers with the caption “These are simply the best!! Ultra comfy and can wear them with anything. I’m ordering 100 pair right now. #kicks #Nike #family”? His 2.2 million fans could clearly hear the thunk of an awkwardly-dropped endorsement and didn’t react well. Not only that, but trying to pass off an endorsement as a celebrity’s own words without full disclosure can contravene the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations on advertising.
So the advice here would be to allow your spokespeople to be open about their relationship with your brand, but give them the space to talk about their experiences with your products in their own voice. It will appear more natural and won’t land you in trouble with the regulators. Continue Reading »