Four years of blogging, I found my title has changed a few times through out the years. First, I was a fashion blogger, then I became a lifestyle blogger, and now I am a full-time influencer. Four years ago, I was dreaming someday I could make a living out of blogging. Now I do, but technically I am making a living as an influencer. What I didn’t see at that time was how big Instagram became. In the last three and a half years, I have worked with more than 500 brands and witnessed this market growing super fast, from infant to mature. A few months ago I participated in this Allison+Partners Influencer Marketing Study and below is the result. I will share more of my personal experiences and tips in later posts.
Our study found that despite becoming a staple in today’s marketing mix, there is a divide between marketers and influencers holding back the true potential of influencer marketing. The divide spans the spectrum from the length of an ideal engagement to the essential question of return on investment. The study also sheds new light on what each think will bridge that gap, as well as how putting more rigor around process and measurement will help increase effectiveness and credibility for the craft.
Influencers can improve their relationship with marketers by understanding how to work together in these five key areas:
OBJECTIVES: What does success look like and how do you get there?
Always know the goals of the campaign and what you’re being measured against so you can create your content with that in mind. A goal of engagement or awareness is much different than that of downloads.
Know how much content and what type of content you need to create to help with those goals.
Don’t limit reporting on objectives to the end of the campaign.
AUTHENTICITY: Look beyond the numbers to verify authenticity.
Know your follower demographics and don’t work with brands who don’t appeal to your audience.
Stay true to yourself, don’t join the competitive race to get the most numbers. Don’t buy followers or engagement.
Only work with brands you really enjoy. Do not work with too many brands. Bigger brands want more authenticity and exclusivity.
PARTNERSHIP: Move from a transactional relationship to a partnership.
Be open to a variety of different partnerships and be sure to you negotiate and create full packages for the brand.
Be open to partnerships of all types, not all brands have the ability to sign you on for a year.
If you’re creating a long-term partnership, ensure that you’re negotiating fairly.
Share with marketers what type and tone of content perform best with your audience.
Speak up if you disagree.
Think beyond the creative brief.
OPTIMIZATION: Share what’s working and what’s not.
Watch and monitor your content after it goes live, share questions you cannot answer with the brand and learn from your content while it’s live. Ensure you’re responding quickly and accurately about the brand and your experience.
Learn from your content as it goes, if you can see it performed poorly or really well. Dive into comments to understand what happened and how you can optimize the next round of deliverables.
METRICS: Uncovering results is a two-way street.
Create an objectives-based dashboard.
Provide your marketing partners with as much data as you can. Always share your actual impressions, views, saves, etc. The more data you share, the better story they can tell to show that you were successful which could lead to longer-term partnerships.
Add content to the numbers. What insights do comments and engagements reveal?
Don’t be afraid to show metrics of past campaigns upfront to show your value to the brand.
By communicating better, implementing more process and developing concrete methods to show value, marketers, and influencers will be able to see the full and realized potential of their partnership.
Share with us what you think about influencer marketing and let me know if you would like to see more posts like this!
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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