Social influencer marketing has evolved considerably since I started my company two years ago. The No. 1 key to effective influencer marketing is a specific formula: Communication, engagement, and reputation—all started with communication. Here are the 10 most important practices I learned as a speaker and private brand consultant to influencers, companies, and marketers to make better than “best practice”:
1. Establish emotional bond in a one-on-one conversation.
Using a passionate story about why your brand is so special can motivate consumers to act. It’s a better option than shouting from the rooftop about your product or vision. If an individual is willing to spend time listening to your message and build a relationship with you—the process of communication must happen through content and videos. You will never reach a mass audience if you don’t establish an emotional bond with your audience.
2. Use flexibility and honesty in dialogue.
The most effective combination are honest and flexible. Accepting feedback in real time allows the customer to really hear what you are saying, but don’t be shy to change your mind if the results are not up to standard. Doing things quickly and without feeling rushed is important. Timing is also critical—the moment a brand publishes something online, the audience is already online consuming your content, and the decision becomes their. If a customer doesn’t like what you are saying, there are options they can take instead of ignoring the remark.
3. Focus on three elements to put down on a board.
Most influencers start by establishing their visual persona, social personality, and positive reputation. Creating a strong branded image is a digital-first strategy. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are the three primary channels. By beginning with the visual content, viewers will build anticipation around your content.
4. Attract and remain the heart of a brand.
As a brand, pay attention to what your audience believes. This has become a common thread when looking at the experience of a brand and its engagement with its audience. Consumers are increasingly demanding that businesses listen to their voice and work with their opinions.
5. Stay honest and humble.
Build a strong reputation for the quality of your content so that people trust and feel great about what you are doing. Always remember that people are not just viewing content—they are hearing the brand. It’s the responsibility of the brand to understand how their audience views the brand and build trust.
6. Be transparent and share details.
A well-established message is critical to establishing a reputation and engaging in dialogue with the audience. However, the thing that will differentiate an effective influencer marketing campaign is how much information is shared with the audience. It may be the matter of fact comment about their own products, or the claim about creating two or three changes on the same product at the same time.
7. Cut through clutter.
The campaign will have to compete with other messaging across social, text, and a newsfeed. This has become important to leveraging social influencers to open a conversation that will keep the campaign in the spotlight. A simple strategy to cut through clutter is to create a lot of relevant content quickly so that it becomes a topic that audiences have an interest in.
8. Visualizes and builds a brand story.
If it’s true that an image is worth a thousand words, think about the more visual elements to your brand. Think about what makes your brand stand out. If you cannot communicate emotionally about your brand, how will you communicate about it visually? It’s about showcasing your brand values and communicating a solid vision.
9. Prepare the content.
The challenge with “best practice” articles is that most of them were written by marketers for marketers. The real key is to look for great content that lives in the heart of your company’s direction, company culture, and your community and reach out to all the influencers in your community. You may not get the best answers or best answers for all your questions, but do you want influencers talking about your brand? Absolutely.
10. Create social relationships.
Building a connection between a brand and an individual is even more important than simply sharing content and responding to questions. These relationships develop over time, and should always be built one step at a time.
With that said, you will probably lose some influencers by asking them to write on a blank page or letting them write as they please. When you do, be sure to thank them, acknowledge their participation, and learn what they were looking for.