Real Talk: Influencer Relationships Beyond the Campaign

Real Talk: Influencer Relationships Beyond the Campaign

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In our Real Talk series, we’ve guided you through the many stages of working with influencers for a campaign: including analyzing and choosing influencers, creating your campaign, conveying your brand, and making changes during a campaign. In this final installment, we discuss what happens after the campaign ends.

While the campaign is still fresh in your memory, you should document your experience with each influencer. Save the feedback and the results they drove for your brand. It may even be helpful to record a score for each that you keep in your records. If you do a campaign in the future and want to consider using some of the same influencers, you want to have an indication of your experience with them. If you run many paid influencer campaigns, the more documentation you keep, the better.

Next, provide feedback to the influencers you worked with. This is good for you because you may want to work with them again, and it’s beneficial for them because it helps them learn from the experience. This is especially valid if they’re relatively new to being a paid influencer. They may want to work with additional companies in the future as an influencer and your feedback could help them refine their content and approach.

Focus your feedback on three areas:

  • The quality of their content (uniqueness, alignment with your brand/campaign, reception by their followers)
  • Their efforts to drive more from their content (engagement, sharing, etc.)
  • How well they operated within the parameters of the campaign

In each area, tell them what they did well and what they could improve in the future. Make sure you’re constructive. You don’t want them to feel defensive. After all, they just helped you with your campaign. After providing your feedback, ask for their feedback on the campaign and how you ran it as a brand. There may be things you should change about how you run influencer campaigns that you could only learn from these influencers.

After you’ve shared feedback with the influencers and received their feedback for you, make sure you continue to actively follow them to see what they’re doing and saying. Continue to engage with them, when appropriate. You have a chance to turn this relationship into more than a business transaction. If they enjoyed the work they did for your brand, they may share your content from time to time without any prompt, making them a non-paid influencer. Organic sharing from influencers is even better than a paid campaign.

Taking on an influencer campaign isn’t just merely about having someone promote your brand, there are many facets to it and hopefully our Real Talk series giving advice on the stages of an influencer campaign have been helpful. Feel free to use these posts as a blueprint for running your own paid influencer campaign to get as much out of them as you can.

Real Talk: Creating Your Campaign & Finalizing the Influencer Relationships

Real Talk: Creating Your Campaign & Finalizing the Influencer Relationships

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Last week we kicked off our Real Talk series on influencer marketing with a post on how you can use Mattr to analyze and choose influencers for a campaign. Today we’re following that up with a post guiding you through the next phase of the influencer marketing lifecycle, creating the actual campaign.

You’ve done your research and decided which influencers you want to work with, but what now? How do you establish a relationship between your brand and these influencers?

The first step is creating the influencer campaign.

Set your objectives. What is the purpose of the campaign? Are you trying to raise awareness for your brand or an event? Do you want to increase engagement or create brand advocates? Determining your objective is very important because it will help dictate what your influencers will do for you.

Outline the tactics. What exactly will influencers be doing? They’ll want to know this, so you need to have answers ready for them. Are they taking photos? Videos? Of what? Where? When? You should have all this documented, along with examples of what you would consider perfect pieces of content. This helps them understand what’s expected of them.

Determine your KPIs. How are you going to assess if your campaign was successful? The first thing you need to do is figure out the metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs), you’ll use to make that determination. If your objective is focused on brand awareness, then shares could be a KPI. If your objective is engagement, likes or comments could be one.

Benchmark goals. Your influencers need to understand what they’re striving for, otherwise they’ll be doing things without any sense of what’s good and what’s not. After you determine your KPIs, assign a specific goal number to each. 250 shares, 75 comments, 125 clicks. In doing this, your influencers have a target and something to strive for, which should make them more efficient and effective.

Set the timeline. What’s the duration of the campaign? How long will the influencers be working with your brand? This is an important decision since it will affect your budget.

Now package all the earlier components of the campaign into one document (objectives, KPIs, tactics, etc.). After hiring your influencers you’ll send them this document, but you want to have it prepared beforehand in case any influencers have questions about the campaign. By preparing the document in advance you’ll be able to answer those questions.

Once the campaign is outlined it’s time to hire the influencers.

Using Virtual Agent within Mattr, you can hire influencers directly. No need to involve agents, lawyers or contract specialists. We’ve done all that for you to take the hassle out of the process. We use a pay-by-engagement model that’s simple and doesn’t include the lengthy negotiations that can accompany other payment models. The only area where negotiation might be needed is in those special circumstances where the influencer may receive something other than monetary payments, such as free products, free tickets or hotel stays or a product discount.

After hiring your influencers, answer any questions they might have about the campaign and make sure they’re comfortable with their role.

Next up, you’ll share more information about your brand with them so they’re informed on creating content that aligns with it. Check back here next week for more info on that topic.

Digital Marketing Won’t Work for Gen Z

Digital Marketing Won’t Work for Gen Z

Ever wonder how Vice Media became such a digital marketing powerhouse? Vice creator, Shane Smith, had this to confess: “Young people have been marketed to since they were babies, they develop this incredibly sophisticated bull**** detector, and the only way to circumvent the bull**** detector is to not bull****.”

Vice

Cynical Target Markets

He’s attributing their success to a unique editorial approach that resonates well with their target audience: Gen Xers and millennials. Hardened by economic hardships and distrustful of institutional organizations, both generations are cynical and hungry for authenticity. Such insight into disenfranchised generations’ values has helped cement Vice’s status and powerhouse ranking among legacy media companies.

But I’d also venture to say that advancements in technology catalyzed real change in how news organizations and brands have addressed their audience over the years. Vice blossomed at a time when video production costs have gone down and quality has gone up; and when viewer engagement is easier to quantify too.

This was hardly the case three decades ago when direct marketing was first introduced in the 1970’s. It was mainly used to send mail-in campaigns, promotions and coupons to the Baby Boomers. But marketers eventually realized it generated poor leads. This generation valued trust and loyalty, which gave rise to telemarketing as a replacement to direct mail where two or more calls were involved to determine a consumer’s needs and motivate them to purchase. As demographics became more diverse, so were the challenges of marketers to reach their audiences. And as they saw success rates flourish, they also became greedy for more. So robocalls and auto-dialers were introduced to expedite processes and to scale efforts quickly.

Marketers Turn Consumers Away

Isn’t that the kicker? When technology advances the way we communicate, marketers manage to turn consumers away. Consumers always find a way to switch us off. Even during the golden age of email communication with Generation X, spambots and scams eventually ruined a perfectly good way to make a genuine connection with this generation.

Now, millennials are hyper-linked by social media where they “construct personalized networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups.” Their immediate access to information has enabled bilious cynicism. Their distrust in political and religious institutions have contributed to low levels of social trust. Yet they embrace all things digital and demand transparency. As brands increased their publishing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks, millennials saw through it, leading them to be more likely to trust the opinions of complete strangers, or influencers. When technology automated relationship-building with influencers, they felt commoditized, thus turning down brand offers for potential social media partnerships.

As we’ve seen in the past, one marketing activity has been replaced by another, largely driven by consumers and their ability to switch their attention off if they feel a brand “doesn’t get them”.

Baby Boomers moved from direct mail to telemarketing.

Generation X moved from telemarketing to email marketing.

Now millennials have moved from social media to influencer marketing.

Technology, Digital Marketing and Gen Z

The next two generations of consumers, namely Generation Z, who will grow up with full access to internet and technology, will be interesting to watch from a digital marketing perspective. Past precedence has shown that the marketing methods that work today won’t resonate with those in the prime buying generation — millennials.

Will influencer marketing stand the test of time with this generation? Will they soon opt-out of Snapchat Stories? Or perhaps they will demand complete transparency in their influencer marketing, leading to a decrease in paid influencer marketing and a rise in open and honest influencer marketing. Maybe it will become known as advocate marketing or loyalty marketing. Only time will tell.

Will your brand be able to quickly adapt its marketing to keep up with these generational shifts?

 

Other posts you may be interested in:

Influencer Marketing Secret to Steal: Get Psychographics

Loyalty Programs Require Part Emotion, Part Data Science

How to Add Authenticity to Your Marketing Strategy

Influencer Marketing Secret to Steal: Get Psychographics

Influencer Marketing Secret to Steal: Get Psychographics

Understanding consumers requires more than mere demographic segmentation by age and location. Yet surveys and focus groups take too much time and too much investment to facilitate. Today, thanks to mobile devices and social media, it’s easier to glean insights about consumers and analyze their personalities by diving into and dissecting online conversations and reactions.

This real-time personalization is what we, at Mattr, are betting on. Marketing is about painting a story with the consumer by building the right campaign for the right audience.

A few years ago, our team identified the big 5 personality traits we saw in social media users by analyzing only their posts: extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, consciousness, and openness. From there, we used an expanded brand segmentation model geared towards brands specifically, which are described as either wholesome, daring, reliable, sophisticated, or rugged.

These descriptions then mapped out to specific personality types. For instance, wholesome people generally have high levels of agreeableness and high levels of emotional stability, but low levels of neuroticism. Or for the daring descriptor, this might capture individuals who are spirited, imaginative, and generally up-to-date. Generally, they possess high levels of openness and low levels of conscientiousness. Using similar techniques, we were able to analyze someone values on social media based on STEEP, which is an acronym for: Social, Technological, Environmental, Economical and Political. We learned to identify how green/ environmental a consumer might be, or how budget-conscience they might be.

Integration

Let’s not jump ahead and forget demographics altogether. Age and gender play an important role in the output analysis of certain psychographics. We also consider the differences in industries. Certain clusters of traits will attract certain industries and not others, and vice versa. For instance, Red Bull and Disney will likely not have audiences with the same cluster of traits. So we have to make sure that we’re making the correct correlations with all the variables intact.Brands such as Best Buy have used psychographics to plan out new store layouts. But with companies that are new to the game, it’s our job to educate and provide proof that this concept works.

Why Does This Matter?

Companies are spending a lot of money on social media and it’s getting more difficult to see the return in value. They’re beginning to take it a level up with influencers by using the data we supply them to craft their message that fit their audience’s values.Similarly, we encourage our clients to create content that specifically targets their consumer’s personalities.

Privacy Issues with Psychographics Data Mining

Luckily, we haven’t heard from anyone concerned about being observed by marketing companies. Generally, people know that if they’re tweeting, it’s in the public domain. They could certainly make their tweets private. In fact, we used our own tools to boost our own marketing efforts by just reaching out to a select group of SXSW influencers. We heard nothing but good things from each of them. At some events, when we talked about using social data and money, we heard things like, “Oh wow I didn’t know this was out there.” We’ve progressed to a point where people generally know that their data might be used for those purposes.There’s so much data available now that you just have to filter it down or look at different pieces at a time. The technology is getting better and more advanced to the point where you can use and process all this data quickly. Validation is becoming a lot easier.

What we should remember is that a consumer is a real person and they want to hear from other real people. Exploring psychographics for your influencer marketing efforts can give you the advantage when optimizing  your message.

You may also be interested in:

Measuring the Success of Influencer Marketing

Loyalty Programs Require Part Emotion, Part Data Science

The ‘Mad Men’ Marketing Era is Long Over

Measuring the Success of Influencer Marketing

Measuring the Success of Influencer Marketing

When it comes to Influencer Marketing, it seems like analytics are often a forgotten piece of the process. While much attention is given to identifying influencers, researching them and the paid conversion that happens in order to bring them on as an influencer, the analytics of the arrangement is often an afterthought.

Effort requirements are almost always part of the contract with an influencer. For instance, if Holiday Inn commissions an influencer to run an Instagram Loyalty Program campaign for them, that influencer might be asked to produce X number of Instagram photos per week on their personal account.

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Those ‘effort’ metrics are all well and good and certainly help a program, but to truly measure the impact of an arrangement with an influencer, the brand must go deeper into the numbers to find the value. What is happening after posts are published?

How deeply a brand goes into that value calculation depends on a number of factors, including budget, available human resources and tool allocation, to name a few. There’s no absolute right way for measuring the success and effectiveness of an Influencer Marketing campaign (in fact, this often varies based on the campaign goals), but there are a few best practice recommendations we always give to our clients.

Three baseline metrics to pay attention to are Impressions, Reach and People Engaged. These are all KPIs supporting increased awareness and/or engagement for your brand, and they can all be directly tied to the work your influencers are doing on your behalf. Determine benchmark measurements for each of them, so that as your Influencer Marketing campaign increases, you can compare the data to your benchmarks. They should all show healthy growth. If you’re using a platform or tool to manage your Influencer Marketing campaigns, it should measure these for you. If you’re going the organic route, you can measure them manually, but it takes a good amount of time to do so.

After you’ve completed a few Influencer Marketing campaigns and have measured the progress you’ve seen from them, you have enough information so you can set goal KPIs for your influencers in the areas of Impressions, Reach and People Engaged.

Some brands may want to go deeper to measure the impact of their Influencer Marketing activities. For those, here are a few additional recommendations for metrics to measure:

Brand Sentiment – measure how online discussion of your brand is changing from negative to neutral to positive

Brand or Product Mentions – gauge how frequently your influencers are getting their followers to mention your brand or product

Clicks to Website or Online Purchases – if you’re trying to drive people to your site or to make a purchase, you can give each of your influencers trackable, tagged URLs to share with their followers. This allows you to measure the direct impact of each influencer’s activities.

Resource Allocation – because of successful influencer marketing campaigns, was your company able to allocate more budget or resources toward another goal, which boosted profits, awareness or engagement by X%? This is an advanced metric, but one that can help with showing real, business results and can even be used to obtain additional budget.

The exact metrics you use will vary by program, but the important thing is that you’re doing some kind of measurement to gauge the progress, success and effectiveness of your influencer marketing program. Since you’re paying these influencers, you want to see that they’re driving real results for you.