In order for your influencer marketing campaigns to really resonate with potential consumers, you’ll need to find the right influencers to represent your brand.
Influencers who match your brand’s core values and image will likely develop an affinity and genuine connection to your brand. As such, sponsored posts published in collaborations will fit seamlessly into the influencers’ social media channels, rather than stand out as obvious paid product promotions, which will assist in helping you gain the trust of their followers over time.
The three A’s
When searching for the right influencers to collaborate with, it’s important that you keep these 3 key learnings in mind: affinity, authenticity, and advocacy.
Try collaborating with influencers that already have a natural affinity with your brand. A simple way to check brand affinity would be to monitor your mentions and hashtags on your social media to see if any influencers have been chattering about your brand. If they do mention your brand, the influencers and their audience probably already have a connection to it, so invite them to your campaign and see how they perform. If they perform well, they are likely a good match for your brand — shortlist them for your next campaign!
For brands who aren’t tagged or mentioned often, the best way to find influencers would be to constantly test a group of influencers to see who generates great results. By constantly testing new influencers and retaining the ones who have performed exceptionally well for another campaign, you’ll eventually identify a large pool of influencers who embody common values and have a natural affinity towards your brand. These influencers have the ability to produce sponsored content for you that will seamlessly fit into their social media profiles. The sponsored content won’t seem out of place; rather, because the content stays true to the influencers’ styles, it’ll likely be received positively by their audience, which will work to enhance your brand image and contribute to the success of your campaign.
Investing in long-term relationships with compatible influencers will bring great value to you. When brands establish and sustain long-term relationships with influencers, influencers will develop a more visible and authentic connection to your brand. When an influencer’s audience sees this connection, they will perceive the brand-influencer relationship as genuine; rather than perceiving brand-influencer collaborations as just paid product promotions. They will see that the influencers they follow are working with brands to create something meaningful.
The infamous sponsored photo Scott Disick posted on Instagram (pictured below) illustrates why authenticity is vital in any campaign. In his collaboration with BooTea Shake, Disick published a caption that included the brand’s instructions, which brought the brand (and influencer) embarrassment and unwanted attention. It also revealed the lack of authenticity behind the collaboration, as Disick was provided with the caption to include with his post. As such, BooTea Shake was not able to utilize two important aspects of influencer marketing: collaboration and creativity.
Collaborating with influencers is not only about finding a famous face to promote your brand, but also finding relevant influencers who are willing to collaborate with your brand to produce engaging, creative content.
Influencers who have a natural affinity and an authentic connection to your brand will be strong advocates for your brand. They’ll be happy to promote your brand because they are genuinely passionate and enthusiastic about it, and what they say about your brand will be wholly authentic. Receiving truly amazing recommendations from influencers because of their loyalty and passion for your brand is vastly different from good recommendations from influencers who are not true fans of your brand — the former will stick around for a long-term partnership, while the latter will likely be a one-off partnership. Building long-term partnerships is valuable, as it will boost consumer trust and make for a more effective campaign.
Remember, trust is essential to any campaign’s success, and when you collaborate with influencers who are well aligned with your brand, you’ll be able to find more success with influencer marketing.