In the social media world, influencer marketing has become one of the most effective strategies around.
And with millions of celebrities, YouTube stars and Instagram movers and shakers to choose from, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
“Influencer marketing is growing because it’s a great way to get your products in front of an audience with an authentic voice. Many brands are seeing top-of-the-funnel value by getting more eyeballs on their brand’s offering. There’s power in putting the right products in front of the right audience — with an authentic voice.”
– Nii Ahene, COO of CPC Strategy
Still, users are becoming savvier.
Even the most rabid fans can see a marketing ploy for what it is: an attempt to get their money. So influencers – as well as the brands that use them – are going to need to adjust their practices to account for this.
- What does that mean exactly?
- What should you do if you’re considering influencer marketing?
2018 brands should heed by these rules:
Best Influencer Marketing Practices 2018
1. Clearly label ads as ads.
There’s no more hiding influencer marketing in 2018. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission sent out letters to influencers and marketers asking them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products on social media.”
If you use influencers to market your products, make sure they state outright that it’s a paid ad. Using the hashtags #ad, #sponsored or #paidpost are all great options.
2. Hone in on the honesty.
In addition to labeling your ads as such, make sure your influencers really ramp up the honesty, too. Their followers don’t want to feel used or like they have to dig deep into their pocketbooks to be a true “fan.”
Ask your influencers to really weigh in on the products their promoting and talk about specific things they like about it, how they’ve used it in their own lives and other interesting tidbits that make it worthwhile for audience members to learn about.
3. Consider non-Insta platforms.
Instagram is the king of influencer marketing in 2018, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. YouTube is also full of potential influencers – especially if you’re targeting a younger demo.
Interest in Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat influencer marketing is growing, too.
4. Focus on providing value.
No matter who’s delivering it, your marketing messages should deliver value.
A celebrity holding a box of your products will certainly get attention, but if you really want those fans to buy in and become loyal customers, you need to dig deeper and show them why.
Instead of just holding your product, how about the celeb shows fans how easy it is to set up and use? Or maybe, rather than just posting a photo of your great meal kit you’re selling, how about the influencer posts a video of actually cooking that meal? Or eating it? Or sharing it with their kids or spouse?
Get creative and think of ways to personalize it to that exact influencer.
5. Expand your pool.
You don’t want to put all your eggs in the influencer basket, but don’t be afraid to bring in new blood once in a while. Take your chance on an up-and-coming influencer, or venture outside the normal two or three you use regularly. This will allow you to reach new and different audiences, as well as tap into more unique ways to frame and market your products.
As a marketer, it’s important to stay in tune with influencer trends, so be sure to follow a few on your personal accounts just to keep tabs on them. Like the platforms they utilize, influencers and their strategies are constantly in flux.
Managing Your Influencer Marketing
Aside from updating your influencer marketing strategies, you’ll also want to take steps to better manage and measure them, too.
From an administrative standpoint, tools like Tapinfluence and Upfluence can be invaluable.
Much like Hootsuite does for social media posts, these tools do for influencer marketing. They help you find and connect with appropriate influencers, manage your content and campaigns and, even, pay your influencers for their services.
Some tools even let you measure your influencer marketing campaigns and track their progress over time. Just like any digital marketing effort, watching your metrics – and making adjustments based on that data – is crucial to long-term success and a solid ROI.
You also may want to consider making your influencers partners – not just paying them X dollars for X posts.
If you really want them to get behind your products and feel invested in your success, you have to make them a part of it. Consider giving them a cut of sales generated from their efforts or a payment based on conversions they generate. This will really put the fire in them to work hard for you.
To learn more about influencer marketing in 2018, email [email protected].