Influencer Marketing will continue its trend as the “hot topic” of 2017. 84% of marketers expect to engage an influencer marketing program this year, half plan on spending more on influencer marketing than they did last year. And why not? By some accounts, influencer marketing is 11x more effective.
But just because influencer marketing is effective does not make success in this area a shoo-in. Successful influencer programs are fundamentally different from traditional advertising and the wrong approach can result in a costly, ineffective campaign.
Luckily, keeping three rules of thumb in mind will dramatically increase one's chance of success:
1. Influencer Marketing programs always have two audiences – The first, obviously, is the target consumer. The second – and often overlooked – is the influencers themselves. The best performing influencer messages are authentic ones. An influencer performing strictly for a check is obvious and ineffective.
2. The brand doesn’t own the message – There is an inverse relationship between message authenticity and brand oversight. The tighter the brand controls the message and the tone, the less it feels like the influencer’s message. We must throw out talking points. We must accept poor grammar and punctuation. And we must provide an amazing experience for our influencer networks to authentically gush over.
3. Measurement requirements are unique – An influencer program built upon reach is an efficient one. Social networks do not allow us to accurately measure reach or impressions. Further, by judging our campaigns on reach or impressions, we limit our definition of an influencer to somebody with a substantial reach. Other considerations such as trust in the mind of the consumer should also play a part in the decision-making process.
Secondly, the strength of influencers is given away by the name – wielding influence to shape opinion. Again, reach is not an effective measurement of this. But sentiment is. By aligning campaign strengths with metrics, we can better understand the incredible value to be wrought by a properly built influencer program.