Not only has social media revolutionized the way in which people communicate, it has also given birth to an entirely new approach to acquiring information-- now, 70% of consumers employ social media when making purchasing decisions, in turn creating a high demand for influencer marketing. With its ever-growing traction, brands often reserve a colossal budget for influencer marketing as it has become an integral part of their marketing mixes.
Likewise, influencer marketing has democratized who can become famous, providing brands with the utmost diversity. Scrunch alone has a database of over 20 million influencers for brands to review and collaborate with.
Given these points, it is no surprise that the influencer marketing space has yielded a collection of what many deem (including Scrunch) to be best practices all influencers should consider when partnering with brands. This article will codify these best practices in an effort to help influencers maximize their success, content quality, and capital for 2018.
Here is Scrunch’s list of best practices influencers should adhere to when wanting to stand out amongst their peers online and ensure awesome influencer/brand experiences.
Authenticity is paramount
An influencer’s personality is his or her most powerful tool online because it is the singular device that distinguishes him or her from other influencers. For this reason, it is essential for influencers to maintain an authentic presence that aligns with their values and interests. This best practice may seem obvious, but it can easily be forgotten in the instantaneous sphere of social media. Oftentimes, an influencer will broadcast a disingenuous presence online in order to secure a partnership; this is a bad strategy as it will not only jeopardize his or her reputation but also the brand’s reputation. A successful influencer is typically considered a valuable member of the community in which they inhabit. For this reason, authenticity is crucial; influencers risk their community presence with illegitimate practices. Likewise, a brand’s reputation and community are at risk if they engage with fraudulent influencers.
Ultimately, remaining authentic showcases a level of confidence that will be attractive to brands and will also make it easier for brands to seek out relevant partners. To warrant authenticity, influencers should find their niche and hone their craft by creating content all the time.
Respect is a universal virtue
The brand/influencer partnership goes beyond the average business transaction; it’s an intimate, considered relationship between a company and an individual. As an influencer and as a person, it is always best practice to treat marketers, agencies, and brands with respect, and in turn, brands will treat you with respect. Not only will this mutual respect help an influencer build a stronger relationship with the brand, it will also lead to future partnerships. Respect encompasses a multitude of best practices, but here are the ones that our awesome campaign managers at Scrunch believe to be the most significant:
- Be professional. First and foremost, it is always wise to approach your social media influence as a business. Brands will not want to work with influencers who do not respect contracts and/or deadlines.
- Be responsive. “Don’t go MIA in the middle of a campaign.” For an influencer, communicating effectivity should come as second nature because it is the most critical part of the job. Every interaction between the influencer and the brand, and vice versa is a reflection of the kind of people they are which is why it is always a best practice to be accountable.
- Follow the brief. This may sound ridiculous, but occasionally our campaign managers have to do major damage control when influencers don’t follow the campaign brief. Remember, this is a business arrangement and you need to hold up your end of the bargain. The likelihood of repeat campaigns going to influencers is determined by this!
Stay on top of your sh*t
When influencers are proactive and take initiative, it shows brands they care about their work and will care about their partnerships. In any field, diligence is considered a best practice and when you’re working with so many moving parts and stakeholders (like in Influencer Marketing), it’s a must!
So, what does this look like in regard to influencer marketing? Here are three ways to show brands you are on top of your shit!
- Keep an up-to-date media kit. Influencer marketing is fast-paced, and oftentimes influencers don’t know when or where they will be contacted by brands which are why keeping an up-to-date media kit is always a good idea and a best practice. Essentially, it is the equivalent to a person keeping an up-to-date CV. To learn how to create a media kit and what it should include, follow this link.
- Seek approval. Send content through for approval before publishing to ensure the content direction and key messages reflect what the brand envisioned. Yes, you are the content creator and that is why you have been engaged, but checking in with the brand is a great way to show them you have their best interest in mind.
- Follow up. Send the client/brand the results of the post within a week of going live, including public and private metrics such as impressions, reach, and page views etc. The future is data, showing a brand that you are ahead of the curve by providing reporting on your work earns a giant gold star in our books!
Create content that is worth promoting
Not only should an influencer’s content be authentic, it should be consistent, valuable, and expressed with authority. When applied, these three elements ensure quality content that is worth promoting. Consistency is key because it builds a person’s influence. Content should be meaningful and valuable to its intended audience, not half-hearted. The majority of consumers purchase products because they know the products will create or add value to their lives. In influencer marketing, it is the influencer’s job to effectively represent the value of the product and brand. Lastly, the content should be expressed with an authoritative voice. It is up to the influencer to become the expert on the product or service or brand they are promoting. Do the research, and it will pay off because everyone wants to follow the expert.
These best practices for influencers are deemed most important to us at Scrunch. To learn about best practices for brands, check out this article you may find similarities!