After years of struggling, influencer marketing has now found its place as a key strategy embraced across the industry by brands and agencies alike. More than 60% of brands have implemented influencer marketing in their 2016 marketing strategy, with this number predicted to jump to 75% by the end of 2017.
While advertising of the past was all about push, today’s digital world is more about pull – a world in which brands seek ongoing engagement from their consumers, as well as commerce. Word-of-mouth, genuine recommendations and endorsements always have and always will be the ‘Holy Grail’ for brands and through influencers, brands are finally able to implement this kind of marketing at scale.
So, how can you increase brand engagement through influencer marketing?
Quality, not quantity
Influencer marketing is shifting away from celebrities and towards everyday citizens known as ‘micro-influencers’ who have built and earned their audiences slowly but surely, post by post. Significantly, because of their ‘normality’ and ‘relatability’, micro-influencers have cultivated an extremely formidable level of trust with their communities along the way. Choosing a smaller reach equates to a more dedicated audience and a higher level of engagement.
Share creative control
Allow your influencer to present the content in a way that they know will have the biggest impact. The influencer understands what resonates with their tribe better than anyone else and if they complement your brand well, then they will know what your consumers will be more likely to interact with too. It will be the images of the influencer that will continue to keep their audience engaged.
Stay true to your brand
Choose an influencer who matches your values and is genuinely enthusiastic about your brand. This way, you will be guaranteed authentic content that has been created with true passion and shared with an equally passionate and receptive audience who will be intrigued to ask more. If picked correctly, you should only be paying for access to the audience the influencer has built – promotion and the enthusiasm should come for free.
Engage with their fans
After your influencer publishes a post, make sure you are monitoring their followers’ comments and questions. Great content will always lead to consumer queries and as the brand behind the post, it is pivotal that you are on standby to answer them. There is a key opportunity here to create real and meaningful connections with the influencer’s audience and convert them to become consumers of your brand.