Jun 16, 2022
Nine Tips in Creating Social Media Content Through Brand Influencers
"Influencers—they're the best thing since sliced bread. But forget bread; they're selling like hot cakes. They're creating huge returns, and they're only set to keep growing!" - Emily Warna
Brand influencers are the poster children of modern advertising and marketing.
Back in 2015, it was already heralded as the future of advertising and the primary tactic in social media marketing. And today, it continues to grow and become even more prominent.
Just take a look at your social media feed, and you will immediately notice how it is rife with all sorts of push advertising campaigns and all kinds of advertising. During its incipiency, social media was devoid of this type of content and posts. Soon enough, however, businesses and brands all over the world have come to realize the immense marketing power social media wields. After all, marketers can readily see social media's potential reach, considering that innumerable people are logging into various social media platforms each day. In effect, each person browsing posts and scrolling through their news feed would already form part of your audience—a prospective customer, if you may. That said, social media marketing was born.
In a nutshell, influencer marketing is a key aspect of social media marketing. At a fundamental level, it is a type of social media marketing that utilizes product mentions and endorsements from influencers. Brand influencers are individuals who have a devoted fan base and a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche. However, effective influencer marketing campaigns are not as easy and straightforward as they seem.
Some brands make the rookie mistake of working with one and thinking that their campaigns will take off from there. Influencer marketing is complex, and it is a long process that requires patience to produce positive results. One of the hallmark challenges in influencer marketing is turning your corporate brand content into educational and inspiring influencer content. But, it does not stop there. The content you produce must also resonate with your audience in such a way that they find it relevant. Unfortunately, all of these are easier said than done, but with the right techniques, your brand influencer can create content and posts that are engaging and would ultimately lead to increased conversions.
Whether you are working with influencers from Twitter, TikTok, Youtube, Facebook, or Instagram, there is a myriad of factors you need to take into consideration. Keep in mind that these are things you need to think about even before you start working with these social media personalities.
From establishing objectives and identifying influencers to managing the process and measuring the success of a campaign, below are some tips for brands to launch their own social media influencer campaign.
1.) Get everyone on the same page
Be sure to have a team huddle before you begin identifying which influencers to work with and reaching out to them. Align your internal and external teams, create objectives, and set expectations for the campaigns. In doing so, you also need to identify and define who your audience is, determine campaign goals, and establish roles.
Identify your audience by knowing who you want to reach and who your target demographic is. In this way, you can pare down your list of potential social networks to target. In setting campaign goals, know what your key performance indicators are. Is your goal based on engagement, conversion, or share of voice?
Finally, determine roles by knowing who will do what in each part of your campaign process.
2.) Create an influencer archetype
Sit your team down and define what your ideal influencer archetype looks like. To do this, assign quantifiable metrics to this archetype based on the goal of your campaign. Specifics such as reach (number of followers), resonance (number of shares), and relevance (contextual fit) should be taken into consideration.
Also, include demographic and psychographic information such as your influencer's age, interests, and location. While you are at that, you may also want to create a list of non-negotiable things such as "no profanity" and the like. By creating an ideal influencer archetype, you will save yourself and your team some time in sifting through countless potential brand influencer candidates.
3.) Understand that there are potential barriers
Like celebrities, most brand influencers are represented by agents or managers. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing.
As it is, social media influencer agents can either be a bane or boon to your cause, depending on their level of involvement and restrictions. They are helpful in the sense that they can hold their talents (brand influencers) accountable. However, they may also drive the asking price of your influencer as they will be taking a cut of the total influencer's fee. Keep in mind that most agents are primarily concerned with the interests of their clients and your brand's second. To make sure that you and the manager or agent are on the same page, be firm with them and loop the actual influencer into your correspondence.
4.) Make it legal
As a business owner or brand, you should be shrewd enough to get everything in writing.
By ensuring everything is in a contract, you can set expectations that both you and the influencer are bound to. Your contract should cover and define everything from the brand influencer's responsibilities and processes to their rights. In effect, your resources are safeguarded. Contracts give your agreements legality. They are enforceable in a court of law, which means that most influencers take them very seriously. More importantly, if they do not adhere to the stipulations of your contract or influencer campaign guidelines, you can sue for breach of contract.
In developing your influencer agreement, be sure to include the terms to monitor the type of content your influencer releases on their channel when working with your brand. As a brand, setting standards early on in the relationship is paramount as it is imperative to a successful relationship.
5.) Create an iron-clad process
A majority of social campaigns include in-house and external teams (agencies or freelancers), as well as the influencer and their agent, if applicable. With a myriad of multiple campaign contributors, staying organized is pivotal.
A way to stay organized is to use marketing technology that serves as a project management tool for your influencer campaign. Today, there are plenty of tools available for managing social campaigns. Just find one that suits your business's or brand's needs.
6.) Give your brand influencers editorial freedom to humanize their content
Your audience does not like being marketed to. This is especially true of millennials and Gen Z individuals, who incidentally are the most active users on social media. Your consumers value creativity and authenticity above all.
For content to feel authentic, your brand influencers need to have editorial freedom to humanize their posts. Businesses and brands often make the mistake of setting rigid rules on their influencer's posts, and while this is recommended, it could often curtail their creativity. As a result, their posts will feel disingenuous, and their audience can see that from a mile away.
Instead, allow your brand influencers the ability to express themselves in a human way. In this way, they will feel relatable rather than sound like they are pushing out a brand's voice to their network. Enable them to personalize your branded content to something that resonates with them and their audience. Of course, brands should still provide their guidelines, key topics, and themes but do it in such a way that you do not restrict your brand influencer's voice and creativity.
7.) Enable brand influencers to get to know your brand better
For a campaign to be successful, invest the time in developing relationships with your brand influencers. Educate them about your brand and keep them in the loop about the latest developments. One of the best ways to do this is to introduce your influencers to product development, sales teams, and even customers.
What makes this so effective is that influencers are authentic voices. Your audience is discerning enough to know whether a post is a paid partnership content or more of a paid media amplification exercise. While it may take time and effort, this builds and develops trust. As a result, brand influencers can invest more of their time into creating the appropriate content for you.
8.) Go for long-term strategies rather than short-term campaign modes
Brands that approach influencers with a long-term partnership in mind will find that influencers are more receptive to working with you. Moreover, they will even go the extra mile with you as they are most interested in longer-term engagements.
As a result, they can create content that is their best work rather than deliver a brief just to receive a one-off payment. In fact, research has found that 89% of influencers who work for brands on a retainer deem their campaigns successful or very successful.
9.) Recap and measure campaign goals
The success of a campaign is measured by the data collected at the end. Data offers proof that you have met your campaign goals. To know whether you had a successful campaign, measure the data and determine its impact.
Get everyone involved in the campaign (including brand influencers) on the same page by tracking and communicating performance indicators for your campaign. To ensure everyone stays on track, share progress as it is being made—even early in the process.