The emergence of social media in marketing has drastically revolutionized the ways marketers and brands engage with consumers. Moving away from more traditional digital tactics, brands have started leveraging influencers to amplify their messaging, assist with reaching out to new and existing audiences, and, ultimately, to aid in driving increased sales. A recent study conducted by Demand Gen Report suggests that 87% of B2B buyers give more credence to content with influencers. Yet, many brands are not fully embracing influencer campaigns with B2B companies running only 11% of ongoing influencer marketing programs.
With the rise of ad blockers, more strict European regulations around privacy and use of data, and the continuous decline of TV and radio viewership, brands will soon compete for visibility on social channels. 2018 will be a crucial year for brands and agencies to steer social media away from a media-focus approach to a more community and influencer-based model.
With a stronger focus on innovative ways to reach out to consumers on social channels coupled with the goal of standing out across competing brands, agencies and brands should be focusing on three elements when approaching social influencer campaigns:
KPI and ROI:
- Have clear objectives regarding an influencer strategy and align them to your brand’s goals.
- Stop attributing success solely to leads and begin to think about engagement and how people are communicating and recognizing your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
- Closely track your brand’s efforts by using UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) tracking codes and pixels.
- Don’t treat influencer marketing as a standalone tactic. Integrate the influencer campaign into your brands’ content, social, paid, and email strategies.
- Include influencers working with your brand in your marketing strategy. Invite them to strategic meetings; have them work with your brands’ content team to create product videos or other content; invite them to events.
- Track your brands’ influencer campaign within your overall digital campaign. Did the influencers help grow your social channels, and time spent on site drive by user-generated content?
- Build strategic partnerships with agencies or vendors that specialize in influencer marketing for your brand’s target audience.
- Influencer platforms provide flexibility in how your brand runs its influencer campaigns by offering management services and/or access to influencers. Think carefully on which approach, in-house or otherwise, is best suitable for your brand.
- Create strategic partnerships with influencers and/or smaller specialized boutique agencies or vendors.
If your brand wants to engage with your audience on a deeper level and cut through the clutter of your competitor’s content across social channels, integrate influencers’ campaigns into your brand’s monthly digital strategy. Set clear expectations between your brand and the influencers; make sure to track your collective efforts and link them back to your brand’s overall digital marketing goals. The power of influencers is letting them unfold your brand’s story with their unique and authentic voice.
“The power of influencers is letting them unfold your story with their unique and authentic voice.”