Mish and Erin from Melbourne PR agency, Modern Currency, share their thoughts on influencer marketing, where to find quality influencers and predictions for working with them in 2020...
1. It’s no secret that influencer marketing is HUGE these days, and has even surpassed some more traditional marketing techniques in popularity and preference. What are the benefits of using an influencer to promote your brand?
The benefits can be significant if the influencers you partner with truly fit with your brand ethos and positioning. The key is to do your research; take the time to ask questions of the influencers (or their managers) when initiating contact like how do they work, when will they post, will they take the time to
learn about your brand so they represent it properly, will they agree not to post about other brands like yours in the same timeframe, who follows them and where are they from.
If you work with genuine influencers – by genuine, we mean those who know their followers are savvy and won’t appreciate them swapping and changing views, follow them because they’re educated on what they’re sharing – then you can see spikes in sales, increased brand engagement & awareness and a more informed community of followers on your own accounts.
2. What are some of your top tips for finding quality influencers?
There are a variety of services available where you can list your opportunity or job, and wait for replies which can be a timesaving process, such as Scrunch and Tribe. Manually searching using Google Advanced Search, or using hash tags, checking to see who brands have been tagged by within Instagram, can also be equally handy.
Don’t hesitate to ask for insights from influencers too. Where are their followers from? What age demographic do they fall into? Do they have previous examples of success or feedback from other brands they’ve worked with, where what they’ve done has seen brilliant results? Get the facts so you can move forward more confidently.
3. From a PR perspective, what are your thoughts on Instagram making likes private?
It really shouldn’t matter because you can ask the influencer for engagement insights. It is also really important to remember a lot of actual ‘likes’ or ‘double tapping’ was dropping off anyway, with many of us just looking. This is registered as engagement and views, which is really what you want to know.
If the influencer/s you’re interested in have strong views and overall engagement this is what matters. Plus, ensuring they are prepared to really listen to what you want to achieve, and can represent your brand in the way you hope for it to be seen. Influencers will and should, have their own style, which is also why you’re choosing to work with them – but they still need to partner with you properly – partner, being the key word.
4. So without viewing an influencers like count, how else can we tell if they’re genuine?
As mentioned above, looking at their overall views and engagement (which they should be prepared to share with you before you sign up together) is key. Additionally, that the influencer is prepared to acknowledge the key outcomes you hope for. Honesty is crucial; manage each other’s expectations by laying it out from the outset and if the influencer/s agrees, this should give you confidence with the partnership.
The other thing to look at is how many brands does the influencer work with, how often do they swap and change from competing brands (if that is important to you), do they take the time to create thoughtful, engaging, creative content and are they willing to share insights with you as to feedback, engagement, comments, DMs or any other insights they have about their own success.
5. Once we’ve found a genuine influencer who aligns with our brand, what are your top tips for a successful collaboration?
Being upfront from the outset with a clear brief on what success looks like to you, as the brand, is crucial. Ask for their feedback as to how realistic this is too. Provide good information to them to draw from for their posts and stories, ensure you meet timelines on your side so there cannot be any reason for
them to delay on what has been agreed.
Make it clear, and agree, on the key messages you really need to see, what you are providing them with in terms of remuneration (contra and cash or whatever the mix is) and keep on top of communication with them.
6. The influencer and social media landscape is constantly changing, what are your predictions for influencer trends in 2020?
There’ll be more drop off in people liking and commenting, as we all become more voyeuristic. Social media continues to provide a way for us to look but not engage and with this being seen as less important, we predict social platforms will look for other ways to ensure they can attract us as consumers but also support those making money through being an influencer.
More platforms will pop up without a doubt such as TikTok, Lasso and appealing to those of us who are looking for something new. As marketers, many of them won’t need our attention in the same way but ones to watch will be video creation, live streaming, or group messaging types of apps especially if you’re working to reach Gen Z, Alpha or Millennials.
Instagram and Facebook will continue to dominate by creating tools and options that replicate those of other platforms as they did with snapchat; More data and reporting features will keep coming through so that marketers and brands, influencers and celebrities endorsing products can proof their worth and also meaning less need for some of us to use any other tools other than what Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google or YouTube provide within their own suites.