Today, marketers are aggressively using influencers to market products or services. Almost every brand wishes to get a reputed personality involved in the promotion activities so that people can quickly connect with the brand. But, marketers must first evaluate the role of influencer marketing for their brand before diving into it. In this webinar transcript, the expert panelists share their experiences on the topic- the role of influencer marketing in today’s time. Have a look!
Influencers are available in every country and society. They are well-known personalities who have the power to connect with millions and affect the purchasing decisions of people. They are known for their authority, knowledge, position in the market and relationship with their audience. Since they are famous, people have a high level of trust in what they say and do. This is why marketers opt for influencers. Marketers partner their brands with such influencers so that when people think of them, they consider those brands as well.
However, an influencer is not automatically going to deliver the results in terms of your sales and promotional goals. As a marketer, you still plan this marketing well to get the desired results.
To get advice on how to do influencer marketing professionally and avoid common mistakes, Designhill thought of inviting experts to discuss this issue. This leading creative marketplace organized a panel discussion on 26th August 2020 on the topic – Role of Influencer Marketing in Today’s Time.
About The Panelists:
Amisha Gandhi – Amisha Gandhi is the vice president at Influencer Marketing & Communication, SAP. She is also the head of the Global PR, AR, Influencer Marketing, and Advocacy teams for Ariba and Fieldglass. Also, she has run across several functional teams such as events, regional marketing, and advertising.
Ryan Bares – Ryan Bares has been leading the social influencer programs team at IBM Systems since 2016 and helped businesses in building relationships for over 10 years.
Sarah Evans – Sarah Evans is the CEO and founder of Sevans Strategy and Sevans Digital PR. She is also known for her fundraising efforts when she raised more than $161,000 in three weeks via social media.
Shini Park – Shini Park is the Founder of CUBICLE, which is a digital storytelling platform to raise visual curiosity and celebrates humor and craftsmanship.
Olga Andrienko – She is the Head of Global Marketing – SEMRush. She has 10+ years of experience in brand building, brand management, audience retention, demand generation, advertising, and marketing in both B2B and B2C & 6+ years in a leadership role growing a SaaS / B2B marketing team which delivers significant market share and revenue growth.
During the discussion, the experts delivered on various aspects of influencer marketing. They showed why this form of marketing is so important and how to discover and leverage the right influencer such as micro and macro for your brand. They shared their experience on how to plan a brand’s messaging.
Here Is the Video Of The Panel Discussion With The Experts
Here Is What Experts Advise When Incorporating Influencer Marketing Into Your Strategy To Grow Your Brand
Designhill: What are the benefits of having an influencer marketing campaign or strategy at the place? How does it help in terms of brand building and lead generation?
Sarah Evans: I will talk about this from two perspectives. One is a b2b influencer and the other is talking about the opportunity for growth. This is specifically in the b2b influencer growth marketing campaign. The most effective campaigns are found to be the ones that are always on. That means they are not just moments in time but also segmented pieces. I have a new report, study or campaign and now I’m going to activate the influencers, it’s about something that is always happening.
And from my personal experience of working with the SAP program and with folks Adobe, we are activated at moments in time. We are also consistently engaged and we know what’s happening in the company.
We are treated almost like ambassadors or a third party stakeholder that gets access to the information we are made to feel exclusive, participatory. And, and we get to know information may be right before the media does or in a way that helps us amplify and use it in our voice in our own words, share it.
Also, it helps if your influencers are using your product, to understand it intimately, and can speak to it with credibility and authority. I know those are a lot of buzzwords, but they do matter. hey, it’s a combination of always being on, meaning you don’t just activate in moments of various moments and also that there are still a lot of opportunities out there.
Designhill: Why influencer marketing campaigns are more effective when it comes to reaching your target audience and building a brand?
Amisha Gandhi: We look at influencer marketing as a marketing function and not as influencer relations. hey, we go beyond just events and social into co-creating content with our influencers’ dimensions. This is important in b2b. it can help website traffic and attract people to attend a webinar. This way, you are getting into lead generation.
Then, coming over the cloud business group, it is about starting advocacy with our customers or employees. We have employee advocacy and customer advocacy, When we take our external influencers, we bring in our partners, our customers, and our employees. Also, we look at an all-up influencer marketing function, we look across in b2c, you want to come up with those campaigns that are social media-based.
This is because you can put the link out there and someone can buy Dove soap or make a car appointment to buy a car. But when you are looking at b2b, our cycle can be anywhere from six months to two or three years.
How do we engage the customer at all those points? We want to take this influencer set and plot out against the entire customer journey, which isn’t linear as well. It is a lot of digital. This year is such a different year. It is different than we thought there’s more of an emphasis on digital. people are realizing the power of words online.
This is bringing your influencers into those things and the discussions, it can even help and show you how to communicate to your audience in a very authentic way. That gives your brand lift, what I say is your influential bite by guilt by association kind of thing.
That is how I would approach it. Find lists of influencers that are covering the topic that you are looking to be a part of. To get the list of influencers, we use a tool called tracker, but there’s no Google list out there. And I know because there isn’t a long list, by the way. But it’s you who wants to get the people that know. They may even have developers in our program.
We have business consultants who have implemented our technology, and also our competitors. hey when t speak to our customers, to have that knowledge set. We have others who are very knowledgeable, a new topic that can educate our customers.
Designhill: How to find those right influencers for brand campaigns and how to connect with them?
Ryan Bares: Finding the right people is important to a successful campaign. And then there’s tools out there. If you have a budget that you can leverage to help identify the right people based on topical, or keyword search, you can also do this manually, which is the first couple of years of my role at IBM was all manual.
Use The Right Keywords
I am putting in keywords into Twitter and hashtags that I thought were interesting that we would want to identify. Then we just leverage an Excel spreadsheet, and build relationships with individuals, following them through your personal and brand channels. You can do that if you have access to those and just engage in their content.
A lot of times it is important to let them know that you are observing what they are posting as it relates to your brand or your campaign. Let them know how it’s interesting, and you find what they are saying impactful in the marketplace. It’s huge on the program that was mentioned earlier at the top of how do you build relationships.
Build them into a community and have this sense of relationship building first. This is better than saying that we have this one thing coming up, and in a blip of time and it’s gone. And it’s fleeting especially in the b2b space where things do take time. We have to build those relationships over some time and build credibility in the space.
Designhill: How should people go about finding that particular fit person for a business?
Sarah Evans: It depends on the size of the company on the strength of the brand. If the brand is not strong, then you will get a hard time getting the attention of the big influences. They are always on the lookout for something new. But it’s just their information.
Start with Micro-Influencers
Well, capacity, even though it is limited, and I would start with micro-influencers with smaller ones. , Twitter probably is the first platform, at least what we use. And in the beginning, we just identified people who already mentioned us. Then we understood who had bigger or higher authority, who was just already promoting us. Those are potential ambassadors we work from there.
When we were small, I picked the people that were raising stars, and we started growing with them together. hey, we amplified their presence they amplified ours, and also ultimately built this small community of people who are growing their influence. t all connected things to us, which will multiply the impact.
Also, we categorized people from the digital cum software space. We knew that there were people who were influencers and who spoke from the stage, then there were bloggers, book authors, and university professors. hey with those different audiences, we knew that speakers needed content quicker. They were always speaking a lot of time, so t always needed new data, new information.
It could add a couple of new slides for each conference. that you need just to send them a couple of good content pieces. Then, to blog often and with them, we try to amplify their content and tag them and that’s how we got their attention.
With authors, you don’t need to catch up every half a year because to write a book you just need to understand the right time. Then with university professors, these are the ones who build the future generation. Hey, we also consider them as having a huge influence. But this is not t are not as active on social media, but they have a strong impact.
With each of the technology categories, we started with the people who had a smaller influence, we amplified their influence as well.
Designhill: What are some key metrics that businesses should evaluate or consider while they are searching for the best influencer for their business?
Shini Park: Well, when you are a brand and I must work in the luxury fashion well, luxury, lifestyle, and fashion industries. From the brand’s perspective, the most important thing is to clarify objectives with your team. This is because there are different strategies that you need to approach and apply to your influencer marketing project.
Let’s say there is a campaign depending on your objectives. hey, is it sales or is it brand awareness? Is it more about bringing and enriching the culture around the brand? Is it promoting an event? Or, is it just clarifying the objectives and understanding what influencers can do? Even a micro-influencer or macro-influencers have their role, depending on what kind of visual niche it caters to. Or, to have a different nature of engagement with each other.
A Complex Market
To paint the whole picture, influencer marketing is quite a nuanced business right now. The environment has grown so much that we have so many different levels, characteristics, and personalities within influencer marketing. you have to understand that the research needs to be a very big thing. This is before you start engaging even anyone into a professional influencer marketing campaign.
When it comes to building existing relationships, it is important to reach out to customers that are reaching out to people who are already your customers. And I personally from an influencer point of view, although it’s funny because I do not use the word influencer just because of how vast this landscape is.
But from an influencer point of view, when I want to catch the brand’s attention, I go and buy something. I call it an investment. I go to the product, I just call it my excuse to shop. And I just buy something and now I work with no. Hey it’s a very good and authentic way of engaging with someone where you understand that it’s a conversation.
Fake following is a concern
The fake following buying. The research stage is the most important stage of influencer marketing. This is especially when we already had suggestions where the staff personally need to follow these influencers. You need to have this personal connection to vouch for the professionalism as well as their content on this influencer. That is essential before taking it to your clients.
The following is easy, but then figuring out who has a fake following And understanding that this, the engagement is a little off. There’s something in the gut instinct where you notice that this person has a lot of following but very small, genuine response to the content. it’s not even about the ratio of likes and comments and all of that, because that’s just nature.
But, it is just seeing the nuance of the responses coming from the audience. That is important. Hey, research is the most crucial mandatory part of influencer marketing.
Designhill: What are these key parameters or key points that brands should consider before executing and planning this whole campaign?
Amisha Gandhi: While it’s fun to work with influencers and do these wonderful creative campaigns, as marketers, we always come up with these great ideas. We sit back and understand what the business outcome is, what the business expectation is of your campaign. This we want to know not just from the marketing perspective but also from the business.
We work closely with sales, our business, and our product leaders to understand their expectations and goals in doing a campaign. We work closely because we are a larger company working with many different teams, whether it’s the global demand general team or the events team. I’m the social media team and have so many things on my team.
Think of the regions
But when we look at pulling off a very large global campaign, we also have our regions to think about. Therefore, if you are a small business, you still have those things whether you run it yourself and you are the one person or you have other team members that are running those functions. You need to make sure that the people are the teams and the right people that need to be at the beginning of the project right. Then, we talked about the influencers.
Those two things will help you design and craft influencers you want to bring into this campaign. When we collect influencer content, we always collect extra, because we can use it for social and amplification. But, sometimes we may not get the answer that fits in or, we wish we did. We say that we don’t want to keep wasting people’s time and be cognizant of influencers’ time to take their feedback before starting your campaign. You are doing those four steps, but then you are also taking the feedback in, which is important because sometimes we think that is a fantastic idea.
We come out with AR influencers, this is old news, you should be talking about this or, did you think about framing the conversation or campaign this way? Talks such as this give us the best chance of being very effective in reaching our business objectives. And I do share those leads by doing this campaign by saying I’m hoping to achieve X, Y, and Z What do you think? If it’s achievable or not. You take all of that, you put your campaign together, you get everybody on board.
Give a line of sight to influencers
When you execute, make sure you give a line of sight to your influencers, when you are launching. If it gets delayed, we sometimes create a WhatsApp group for events, a jam site, which is an SAP tool to get all the content up. You need all the background materials, so they are not digging through their email, and you want to make it easy for everyone involved.
When we execute, some of our influencers share their stats with us, and we know them well. At other times, we have our tracking tools, campaign codes. You want to make sure that you have all the measurements in place. Remember the outcomes because, in the end, everyone will say that you did all this stuff. When you are speaking to executives and want to get more budget, even if you are a small company, you present your CEO, and you need to present an executive dashboard.
This is the impact it had on this campaign and for the business and it’s important we do that whether you are in b2b or b2c. I talk a lot to the folks at L’Oreal and other places but look at sales. What was the impact on sales from this campaign? And we look into a tracking link to see that this influencer is putting out there and creating a lot of conversation.
We look at everything because, in the end, we want to be able to take a look back at the campaign and say, this was successful in this regard. But, next time it would be better if we had more social videos or this influencer kept talking about it more than anyone else and this person is engaged with us.
Know more brand engaged influencers
That also helps you over time figure out which influencers are engaged with your brand. And when I say engagement, that does not mean endorsement of your brand. They are there to talk about the topic, and to help educate their audience and you are along for the ride, you get included in that. Those are some key things to keep in mind.
Know your business outcomes, bring the right people to the table, make sure influencers are the right ones, and get feedback from them. Make sure you set up your measurement so that you can go back and have those things adjusted along the way. Do checkpoints as well, but you can do that if you are on your own. This is because when I started it was just me and no budget, and I had to go pitch to all my other SAP counterparts for this program. Now it is a little bit different because it has become a kind of practice across.
Share the Outcomes
We are even getting into things, ABM on the b2b side with influencers. You get pretty deep if you want to, but again, you need to have the business case and you can only do that by sharing the outcomes. Also, it helps you learn and decide what is working and what’s not. This is something that we apply for the launch or something and it may not necessarily work for a procurement audience or financial audience.
We have to consider those things. It’s not that this topic is very complex because it’s not a cookie-cutter approach, even on the B2C side it depends on your brand and your brand values and what you are trying to activate.
Ryan Bares: There was something that you talked about in terms of the feedback from influencers. There is this question of how much of the message is given to the influencer from the brand versus letting them kind of decide on how best to connect with their audience and we are always on the side of collaboration with the influencer.
We never tell them what to say on social media and how to interact with their network. We sort of guide them to our goals or outcomes and what’s desired, but is a collaboration. They know their network best and they know the space probably better than we do. We get into our silos and our marketing people in our house. This is how everyone is talking in the marketplace.
Start conversation with the influencer
When we have a conversation with them, we tell them that’s not what’s happening in the marketplace. That is old news, or this is what I’ve noticed. I saw this in a deep in a Reddit thread. And this is what’s new and exciting. I put much more into letting the influencer spread their wings. It does make some people uncomfortable internally at times. And you have to sort of have a crisis management plan for that.
But, we’ve never come across anything serious or detrimental because the influencers want this to be a relationship too. They don’t want to put themselves in a bad space because we all talk to each other in the influencer marketing space.
It should be an open conversation
Amisha Gandhi: You could have those open conversations. Tell that the influencer midstream switched jobs to competitors and we can’t have you in our company campaign anymore. In one such case, the influencer said that she understood. At other times, you just have to be clear and say, we are not comfortable with these topics, and please don’t address them or how can we handle this? And your influence may say that’s not. I’m not into that and I don’t want to be in the campaign. And that’s okay, too.
When you don’t have the conversation, something happens that could have been prevented because it just wasn’t clear to the influencer. We hear that a lot from the influencer side like tell me if you don’t want me or if you want me to avoid something because we’ve been burned in the past.
Designhill: How should we measure the success of an influencer marketing campaign and what are these important KPI’s that one should track?
Olga Andreanko: When I work with brands on the PR side of things I often talk that people need to see your brand or experience it five different times in five different ways. This is to make them remember to have a lasting impression and take action.
One of the murky water areas of both PR and influencer marketing is that you can’t always gauge that interaction and then prompt them to make a purchase decision later on. I do talk about the softer side of things. What did that touch look like? What do we think resonated? Are there potential opportunities to follow up with people, based on that interaction? Or, are there ways to then use marketing to target those folks who interacted to designate another touch?
Assess Your Influencer
You have to think about what influencers are good at influencing because it changes if it is b2b or b2c. If you have a product, especially makeup products, you can do things like tracking URLs. And so there’s an immediate purchase decision. People say that my favorite influencer uses this mascara, so I want to buy this mascara right now.
Well, my favorite b2b influencer might be talking about a product that’s cool that I don’t need right now. But now I get a new role or a new project. And now I’m going to go and find a reason for that product. I remember that person talked about it saying hey, I’m going to go and use that. Do you start to look at what people are good at influencing? Is it a purchase? Is it awareness? And how do you measure that?
Some of these are still unanswered questions. But it is important to think about and be aware of depending on what you are selling in what market.
Designhill: Which are the metrics to measure for calculating the ROI for this campaign?
Ryan Bares: We look at two things. Are we trying to build the brand or the business? If we are trying to build the brand, what are some of the metrics we might be tracking are? What’s the engagement on these social posts, if the influencer is tweeting or putting things on LinkedIn or Instagram? Are we getting likes, comments, retweets engagement on the platform? If we are trying to build a business, then what is our engaged visit from that visitor from the tweet?
For example, if influencer tweets and we tag our link or URL to come to an ibm.com web page, what’s that engagement look like? Are they dropping off right away? Are they engaging with that page? Are they filling out a form to get into our nurture campaign?
Ensure they are engaged, visitors
My team sells expensive hardware. People aren’t going to probably make a purchasing decision off a tweet. But they are going to potentially sign up for a newsletter, a webinar, or similar things. They are going to get them into the nurture, but we want to make sure they are an engaged visitor.
Those are the things that we look at, through our back end metrics on if. Someone saw an influencer tweet based on our URL that was tagged, they came to our website, did they fill out a form? Did they engage with that web page, and therefore, it was successful? We don’t want someone to click and bounce right away. We want them to be an engaged visitor based on our benchmarks.
Designhill: How will it grow with the changing world so how do you see the future of influencer marketing in the coming times?
Olga Andrienko: I don’t think that it’s going to change much. The platforms change it just depends on where your audience is. You need to identify the influencers within them. Within the space, your audience is most active, but influencers come from the word influence. What you need to understand is that influencers become and will grow their authority because they are constantly searching for something new. they’re eager to share it. And this is like the influencer.
They were doing this, but even free of charge. So before they would start charging for the ads, for example, beauty bloggers, they are eager to try all of the makeup. They just put the camera and will be doing it even if nobody pays them. This is because they are passionate about it. And so in that case, in that sense, I don’t think that influences are going to change much.
They will be passionate about the industries and the products that they will then want to expose. They will choose their platform that fits their personality best. Your goal is to match your audience and find influential people within that space.
Amisha Gandhi: I would just add to that by saying when we talk about influencers it’s influencer marketing has, influencers been around since the dawn of time, right. Since humans have had opinions, right? And sharing right? Where do we use to get all our stuff from our friends and now social media? But I agree with you that the channels may change.
Growth Opportunities are Immense
I will see more growth in influencer marketing. I belong to one of those companies called Training London, and they have a community of users and have their own Facebook community and Instagram community. People are sharing and talking about the product themselves, they are not influencers, but are influencers in that space and community for that product or brand.
We see that in b2c already. But you are going to see more of that also on the b2c b2b side, where you have those sorts of customer advocates pop up even more. Then it gets blended in with those quote-unquote external self-made influencers advocacy and the advocates, whether you want to call them brand advocates or customer advocates, are on the rise.
Everyone is talking about employee experience. You are going to also see brands. They will allow and you are going to see more of their employees help the brand itself by becoming brands themselves. In the advocacy realm, we are going to see more growth
Designhill: What are the skill sets apart from social media skills that influencers should possess to reach out to more and more brands?
Shini Park: In essence, brand partnership with influencers is enabling them to pursue some paths and professional capacities that they never even imagined trying. It is getting that financial endorsement or even if it’s support or encouragement emotionally, an unpaid activation, you still get that kind of boost that grows this influencer.
So, brands must understand that this is not just a sort of a transaction. It is a nurturing system where you let the influencers grow within their own personal and professional journey as well.
The brands must enable influencers to grow professional skills, whether you are a photographer, you are a web designer. I come from a graphic design background, and I’m a photographer, but through brand relationships, I ran relationships. I have challenged myself to grow in these little means and now I’m able to produce a big campaign around a 360 approach to the campaign.
We work with brands in a very different manner, along with influencer marketing, we offer influencer marketing for myself, but I also tag on, do you need white card services on the same campaign? Because this is something we can do and this is something that you enabled us to or myself to be able to do so.
Influencers should be professionals
As an influencer, it’s important to be first of all professional because there’s depending on different industries as well. I guess in my fashion and beauty industry, there’s a lot of youngsters that influence sir jobs or maybe their first jobs. Maybe they’ve never had a job where they had to report to a senior or, or anything, so they don’t have this professional experience and understand what return of interest even means to a brand.
And I know, a lot of my peers don’t understand what a debriefing document is, much less a briefing document. It is professionalism just to be a responsible adult and also understanding that it’s a transaction also at the end of the day, it’s not just a, a rock star, you are a pretty person here you get some money.
It is just possessing your baseline professionalism, but also nurturing your own through your own sort of background, I suppose, or your interest professionally. It doesn’t matter the more varied the more sort of rich the background of influencers I want to see a fashion influencer, who has a biology degree I’d love to see what happens there. I just want to see this kind of marriage, a mesh of professionals coming together, working together to enrich in the space of influencer, the influencer landscape.
Designhill: What are the key metrics that businesses should look for while they are choosing the influencer?
Leverage Influencers Reach
Ryan Bares: When we are discovering influencers and deciding whether or not to work with someone we very rarely leverage their reach. How many followers they have on social media because anyone can make an influence and influence someone else to make a purchasing decision. Their reach can be important in some aspects. It’s not necessarily where we start.
What I look for when evaluating influencers is their engagement in their content that they are currently sharing. Are they creating new content? Not just retweeting and amplifying but creating actual content that has a voice in the space also, Do they have an audience engaging with that? We also leverage our employees. Who do they follow on social and who do they connect with are so subject matter experts or SMEs and leveraging their networks to see who they are talking to?
How do we see who they are networking with and engaging with? I evaluate how people are engaging with their content? And they are producing new content that is important for us. Do they have a voice in the space and not someone that just retweets a bunch of stuff or shares other people’s ideas?
Designhill: What advice would you share while onboarding an influencer?
Sarah Evans: In some countries such as in the UK and US, influencers have to disclose that they have a partner or partnership or corporation with the company. And if the influencer or the company doesn’t disclose that then there could be legal implications. What we did to protect ourselves, we have now an agreement and so we share free accounts with influencers.
Get the terms-condition clear
We do not ask anything other than product feedback, which ensures that influencers use the product and we assume that they are going to share. But what we have in this agreement is that we reserve the right to say that they are the user. We can share the feedback publicly. In this way, we are protecting ourselves in the sense that we will announce that they have a free product. And even if they will, if they say they don’t, and so not it’s not implemented in every country, but since then their marketing grows, then there will be more and more.
It would be smart for companies to protect themselves in a way that they just have some agreements, even if it’s a pre-product, then it would be great to protect the company with it’s a four-page. It is just a small thing. We send it to DocuSign. We even send it with the Google Form.
They need to fill in their name, their surname and the email address. Their automated DocuSign fills everything from this form already the forum sign from our site is sent to their email what to do with clicking the link type their surname and it suddenly went straight back to us. hey it’s four
Designhill: You see a difference between working with an influencer to market a product versus when it comes to marketing service?
Give influencer experience of your service
Amisha Gandhi: When you are working with an influencer and a product, a software product, it is still almost a service. This is because you are not going to show it. But you are talking and describing the software or if it’s real product hardware, you can describe it.
However, you will not be showing it, even if it is on the b2c side. When you think about a product, and you are working with the influencer, sometimes we can show them demos. So, they can see what the user experiences are and they can experience it themselves. When they are talking to their audience, they have a real kind of hands-on experience with it. Therefore, giving some sort of experience to the influencer about the service so that they can talk about it from an experiential point of view, is very important.
You can have some statements prepared to help your influencers tell the full story. But don’t expect it to always be 100% positive. And we have to mitigate that. If you can do that, then that’s great. Also, through that experience, you give to them on the product or the demo, they will give you the feedback, and you can inform them.
Give them the knowledge at least
If you can’t give the experience at least give them the knowledge so they are equipped. Most influencers, if they can’t experience the service, if you give them the right amount of information, they can represent it correctly. They will ask you the questions they need to represent this well to their audience.
Remember that they have built an audience. And that’s what you are tapping into. They built up a community. And if they don’t ask the questions, they know their community will. They do a good job of that. And by the way, if you are having this always in a relationship with influencers when influencers hear about you good, negative or positive, they will come to you. They will say, hey, I was at this conference, and I ran into your customer, they were saying this, just thought you’d want to know right?
And that’s helpful to us in that two-way pattern. I know that on the b2c side, that happens as well, where it will say like, my audience had all these questions. Maybe we are monitoring it because we weren’t in a campaign per se, but this is happening.
So, they can help you even, mitigate some issues with your audience. But when you are looking at a product or service again, the best you can do to replicate the experience or give them a hands-on experience is important because then they can walk them Talk that they are talking about with you.
Designhill: What are the biggest mistakes that people should avoid when it comes to influencer marketing that they should avoid?
A big mistake they do is that they want everything to happen instantly without building the relationship first. That was one thing about influencer marketing that takes time. If that is not advertising things, if you sponsor and pay for cooperation, then you can expect results to come faster.
But if that is organic and that’s more of a relationship, so just don’t expect it’s more of a Give, give get then just asking the promotion and mentioning straightaway.
Sarah Evans: One of the most important things, especially in the b2b space, is not taking advantage of bringing your influencers together in a community aspect. Many times when people not only feel connected to the brand but feel connected to the other community members, they can create better opportunities.
Also, I find that the better way to build your brand influence is to allow others the opportunity to build up their influence. They can do that by connecting and building that relationship and getting access to one another.
Shini Park: I always struggle with the first email that we receive from brands, especially brands that we have never heard of before and we don’t have a relationship with. I always find that the first DML is the first tone that sets the tone for the entire relationship. It doesn’t hurt to be nice, be respectful, and show that you have researched your career as well.
And speaking of career, it’s also very important not to make a mistake that this influencer is just an influencer full time because a lot of people are juggling multiple jobs and t have so much skill set. They use all their skill sets.
I also would say setting expectations internally. is important with management. A lot of times you’ll get requests to go build a top 10 influencer program. But how do you set expectations, because if you start with the end in mind and decide your outcomes, you are not going to leave people upset at the end? They thought that maybe you are going to have all these new views and responses on your web page. They set expectations at the beginning.
Build A Community and Relationship
And understanding your goals so that you can communicate that when your executive who might not understand in the trenches every day. What is truly influencer marketing at your company and what you are trying to achieve is important. It’s easy to get started quickly and send all these emails and people sign up, but realistically you need to build a community to build the relationships. You have to make sure people currently understand what you are trying to achieve.
Amisha Gandhi: I agree with what everyone has said. Just keep in mind that influencers are not there to build up your social media metrics or do your job. One of the biggest complaints I do hear from our influencers when they are working with brands is that if you are asking them to do work, pay them for it because it’s work.
And there’s value to that and to their time and their expertise, and be kind in your first invite. It sets the tone for the whole relationship and asks them what they are looking for. Also, don’t make it all about you.
Designhill: What are the biggest mistakes that people should avoid when it comes to influencer marketing that they should avoid?
Influencer marketing is amongst the most effective ways to achieve your business goals in terms of sales and brand promotion. But you need to use influencers as a strategy for brand promotion. The experts suggest to set expectations first and then pick the influencers accordingly. You should also educate them about your product or services, which benefits your brand in so many ways.
So, consider the advice you get from the expert panelists when planning an influencer marketing strategy for your brand growth. You should be planning it professionally well to extract as many benefits from it as possible.
While using influencers to market your products or services, do not forget to have a relook at your brand’s visual identities. Your company’s logo, business card, website, brochure, etc must be no less than impressive to make a lasting impact on the target audience.
You can outsource your logo design and other design work to Designhill, a leading creative marketplace. Get started to have your visual identity work done professionally with this marketplace.