Back to basics with Influencer Marketing
With Influencer Marketing coming increasing scrutiny the world over, perhaps it’s time to go back to basics. Starting with picking the right influencer for your brand.
A decade ago when Influencer Marketing came into existence, marketers focused their attention to a few affordable celebrities and a limited pool of bloggers. As time passed and digitisation exploded, marketers and content creators realised the potential of Influencer Marketing, and with that came a bigger dilemma - identifying the right influencer for your brand.
An influencer is any content creator that you hire or inspire to be a brand advocate, who drives your brand message to a larger but specified market in an organic way. If done right, they can help to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and eventually promote sales. But let’s face it, only a few have what it takes to make apt use of their skill as a social media influencer.
Celebrity Ambassadors vs Influencers: Know the difference. The former is a category that has magnetic brand loyalty and credibility and incredible reach. But it has exhausted as a trend. Especially when compared with the subtly that the latter category can bring.
Micro and Macro Influencers: Celebrities or macro influencers charge exorbitant amounts for a single post, today. But not all influencers will cost you your entire marketing budget. Your budget would be put to better use if you identify micro-influencers who understand your market better based on their cultural or regional sensibilities.
Think & Plan Before You Assign: Identifying the right brand ambassador can be time consuming. Slowly invest time and effort in analysing the influencer pattern and create a road map for your brand journey before you approach them. Test, learn and then scale accordingly. Remember you are the marketer and they are the facilitators of your marketing plan.
Make It Official: Formal contracts and deliverables ensure that your road map comes alive without a hitch, and your social media partners don’t need to worry about earning their bread and butter so they can focus on their job.
Collaborate on Content Creation: Being flexible and giving them creative freedom will work in your favour. Focussing on the creation of interesting content rather than trying to sell the brand increases acceptance of sponsored content.
Don’t Sleep On It: A balanced mix of pace and frequency influences the mood of the consumer.
Track Like a Nanny: For the desired quality of brand communication to be maintained, one needs to set milestones, define boundaries, measure outcomes and integrate feedback as it comes through. As an attentive and active marketer, you ensure that everyone is on the same page and if needed, you are ready for any immediate damage control.
(The author is vice president – marketing, Havells India. Views expressed are personal.)