Our last installment of the Real Talk series focused on helping your influencers understand your brand messages, while also spreading the word via their own personal style. Picking up at where we left off, you’ve now provided the influencers with your brand’s message pillars and given them the guidance to use their creative freedom to spread the word. So what’s next? – actually executing the campaign. This is a crucial point of your relationship with your influencers. You can’t look at the campaign with a set it and forget it attitude. Using influencers can reduce the time on your plate usually associated with content creation during a campaign, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t involved with the execution. You must be readily available to your chosen influencers every step of the way – including during the entire duration of the campaign.
Throughout the course of a campaign things often don’t go as planned. It’s likely that a situation will arise in which the influencer will need assistance. Someone from your team should be ready to engage with them when and if they have questions. Influencers can range from highly experienced to first-timers, but no matter their experience level, situations can arise where you must be ready to jump in to help them, guide them, and sometimes even solve a problem.
Here are some common situations that you could run into:
BRAND Obstacle: stay relevant
At times, your brand may have fluctuations in the quality, functionality, service, or style of the product/service influencers are promoting or representing during the campaign. Being that your influencers are in essence your brand ambassadors, they should be informed when something within your company or products changes. Influencers will be engaging with your target market on a continuous basis, so they must have up-to-date information. If they don’t, the trust they’ve already formed with their audience, the audience you hope to connect with as a brand, could erode..
INFLUENCER Obstacle: relieve the pressure
Like we previously mentioned, your influencers may range in experience in their new position. Sometimes crafting the right message can hold a high level of pressure and it’s not uncommon that those influencers will have questions on how to best represent your company.
Remember, you are the subject matter expert and if you walk them through their problem area they will gain a more well-rounded understanding of it, which means they can more accurately represent your brand with their followers.
Also, there is the chance that a personal emergency will arise for your influencer. Changes are unforeseen and it’s important to be prepared to have back-up plans, when necessary. With that in mind, you may want to craft an influencer wait-list.
CRISIS Communications: monitor content
It’s not just for the benefit of the influencer to make yourself available, but also for your brand. If an influencer posts something they shouldn’t, how would you handle it? Or what if one of their followers comments with something that puts your brand in a situation where escalated response is needed? Someone from your team should be constantly monitoring what your influencers are posting and the reaction of the community. Influencers aren’t always the best people to respond to certain situations. You need to know when and how to step in. If one of the situations described here comes up, remember to communicate with the influencer involved so you’re coordinated in your response. The influencer should be made aware of the situation and given guidance on how to proceed going forward.
Though your influencers can be seen as separate entities to your organization, they are major players in achieving your brand goals. Today’s marketing structure is so highly reliant on word of mouth that it’s important to be involved throughout every step of your campaign in order to make the best direct impact.
Other posts in the Real Talk Influencer Marketing Series: