Four Tips to Sharpen Up Your Influencer Strategy

26 Jan, 2017

If you’re like most marketers, you’ve already had at least a dabble in the world of influencer marketing and you’re planning to dedicate more budget to it in the coming year.  If that’s the case, you’ll find the latest research by influencer discovery platform Bloglovin’ an interesting read.

That’s because Bloglovin’ have recently surveyed over 20,000 digitally savvy women on their platform – drawn from all over the world but predominantly from the US – to discover how and why they engage with influencer content.

There’s plenty there to help you sharpen up your influencer strategy.  Better still, you don’t even have to read it, as we’ve summarised the key points below.

Go multiplatform to maximise your share of voice.

Instagram and Facebook are the leading platforms for women to follow influencers on, but 88% of the women surveyed follow their favourite influencers on more than one platform.

So by running an influencer campaign on just one platform, you’re missing out.  A multiplatform approach would enable you to increase your share of voice and frequency amongst your target market without the risk of message saturation.

If ever there was something that epitomised ‘low hanging fruit’, this is it. Go multiplatform.

Use more micro-influencers rather than fewer uber influencers.

The trend is towards building campaigns from a number of micro-influencers – niche influencers with relatively small numbers of followers – rather than fewer uber influencers, those with a wider, more disparate following.  Bloglovin’s research suggests that this trend is entirely justified.

That’s because the number one reason that women follow influencers is ‘they post about a niche topic I enjoy’ – mentioned by almost 2/3s of the sample.

The fact is, the tighter the niche, the more engaged the followers are and the more impact your collaboration is going to have.  Clearly, this approach involves more management time, but – in our experience – the incremental engagement achieved more than justifies the extra effort.

Strive for authenticity.

When asked what would keep them from engaging with an influencer’s sponsored social posts, 61% of Bloglovin’s survey respondents said, “[If] it doesn’t feel genuine.” So authenticity is key, but how do you achieve it?

Well, one way is to engage with influencers who have already mentioned your product organically in previous posts – then it doesn’t feel like it’s a bolt from the blue for their followers.

The second tip is to do your research and only engage with influencers where your content is going to blend seamlessly with the rest of their feed. That means picking partners whose niche area, and whose philosophy on that niche area, dovetails neatly with your product’s attributes and philosophy.

The other key to authenticity is the messaging itself.  It has to feel like it comes from the influencer, rather than include too much overt brand messaging.  That means ceding a large degree of control to the influencer which, on occasion, can have frustrating results. Better that though than a piece of content that feels ‘fake’ to their followers because it conflicts with their usual style and tone. Then you might as well just flush your budget down the toilet.

Careful scheduling helps to boost credibility.

Finally, timing is absolutely key – particularly when working with large groups of influencers.  Bear in mind that your target market is likely to be following more than one influencer in the same niche. A campaign breaking across multiple influencers in one niche on one day can make the content feel ‘inauthentic’ – something mentioned by 34% of women in Bloglovin’s survey.

Although breaking a campaign with all influencers on the same day may feel neater from an operational perspective, a little ‘staggering’ is preferable to optimise credibility.

The Cream Influencer Network.

So there you have it. If you think ‘niche’ rather than ‘uber’, ensure your campaign utilises all of your influencers’ platforms, keep the content authentic (even if that means ceding some control over messaging) and schedule the release carefully, then you’re well on your way to maximising the effectiveness of your influencer campaign.

The Cream Influencer Network works brief-by-brief with each client on bespoke influencer projects. The difference over others is that we work collaboratively with brand and influencer to ensure the production of authentic seamless content. With average campaign engagement rates 250% higher than comparable campaigns with talent networks for the equivalent spend and reach, we are confident that our influencer network allows followers to inhabit the same worlds as the influencer and the brand, and therefore attain the coveted status of being genuine and trusted.