The trend’s growing.
I clicked on a YouTube video yesterday and an ad popped up first. I never really watch them, but I did with this one (mainly because I couldn’t skip it!).
It was a vlogger – AndreasChoice – who was talking about how to create a new style with her hair. Of course the way she got her hair in such a way to do the new style was thanks to washing with Nexxus and TRESemme products to get it super soft.
It’ll work, and is a great piece of modern marketing. It’s clearly labelled as an advert, the brand gets associated with a hip young vlogger, the vlogger gets exposure… the ad wasn’t stellar by any stretch of the imagination but it’ll get noticed by the right people; a young mobile-savvy audience.
The ad was sponsored by Unilever’s All Things Hair campaign. Research shows that a host of companies want to advertise via such influencer marketing techniques. So why don’t they?
Are you somebody that has experience connecting with influencers? What’s your approach and how do you do it? Let me know in the comments section below.
Fear and loathing?
Amazingly, according to research by SoftwareAdvice (a software review company), it may be as simple as marketers not knowing where to find those influencers, or how best to communicate with them.
46 per cent surveyed said this was the case, while another 46 per cent say they struggle to predict the preferences and behaviour of social media influencers.
Are they scared? Are they up for a fight? It’s something I brought up a while back; can you really trust an influencer, especially when it comes to creating native advertisements?
Of course you can. There are hundreds of successful partnerships between advertisers and content creators out there, and have been for decades before the internet existed.
The opposite is true for the creators themselves. According to the research 75 per cent of advocates are comfortable with being approached by brands. 27 per cent of brands, though, worry and feel challenged by advocates’ privacy concerns.
The picture I’m getting painted here seems pretty one-sided. Brands have all the power to make the approach and build a relationship, but they feel lost at sea.
I predict a riot
The survey’s conclusion points out that a lot of this hassle can be solved by predictive analytics software to break down social barriers, compile data, identify influencers, forecast conversion metrics, and more.
Sounds good if you can afford it, and as I’ve pointed out the right software can make your life easier, especially if it’s well complemented by the human element.
Predictive software can help combat the absolute slew of nonsense that comes out of the social sphere and organises the data into something more coherent and natural. Ever been on Twitter and left it running for a while? The sheer flow of noise is incredible to see.
But I feel that – especially when it comes to partnering with influencers – that social is the absolute key word here. As perfect as some software may be you still need to research who you want to pair up with, the message you want them to convey, how it’s going to be shared, and more.
No software is a substitute for your personality and how you represent your brand and – most importantly – the creative process that you and your chosen partners will collaborate in.
Do influencers really have the power to decide the future of your brand’s marketing? Or is it all a flash in the pan when compared against traditional methods? Let me know below!
5 key tips to creating influencer partnerships
If you’re one of those brands that’s worrying about pairing with an influencer then don’t worry; it all comes down to basic communication.
Here are some tips on how to approach social influencers:
1: Research your own audience first
Why are you pairing with somebody like a vlogger? To help spread word of your services to your audience. But who is your audience and what are they doing socially? You need to get a profile of your users and the ones you’re looking to target; gender, age, location, and more. Research what that group typically does socially and, most importantly, the influencers they follow.
2: Get a plan and budget
If you’ve identified who you want to work with and the kind of project you’re looking to involve them in then you need to outline the plan as simply as possible and the amounts you’re willing to spend. Whether on the phone or email, the easier you can outline your thoughts and how far you can go then a professional discussion will go much easier.
3: Listen and collaborate
Influencers do it because they’re good at using and projecting themselves to an audience. They’re professional and have likely indulged in other brand partnerships. They have rates. Don’t just view them as a face or a voice to endorse you; they have their own audience and you want them to interact with yours. Listen to their ideas if they have any – they may just hit the nail on the head with some of them.
4: Always be professional
It’s easy to forget to be professional on social media such is the informal nature of the medium. But people are making money and a good living from it. What’s more, if you act with less than your professional best at all times then they’re more than able to damage your brand by showing the world how you thought you could deal with them.
5: Stay in touch
Being professional and friendly in your communications will open doors. A lot of social influencers all know each other and chat amongst themselves. If you’re passionate about what you want to do with your partnership and your target doesn’t have time to work with you, they may know somebody else who’s a better fit for you and your product in the long-term.