School is back in session, fall is in the air, and people are getting back into their everyday routines. For marketers, the summer slump is finally over, and although influencer marketing should never be taking a summer vacay, many brands have saved their big influencer campaigns for arguably the most important quarter of the year. Autumn brings many opportunities to get back into the game: comfort foods, football, the start of holiday preparations. Since influencer marketing is no longer a new idea for brands, having the same old influencer plan or simply rerunning last year’s campaign is not good enough. If you want your brand to cut through the social noise and make an impact, you have to step up your influencer game and as many influencers would put it … stop being #basic. Here’s how to make your influencer campaign not so #basic.
Don’t Fall into the Same Routine
It makes sense that once you find success in a campaign that you’d want to use the same techniques as before. Many brands see how well a campaign does and then do their best to replicate that plan in order to get that same engagement each time. But audiences are intuitive, and many people notice when an ad seems to be calculated or repeated. The best part of having a social media campaign is knowing that social media is ALWAYS on, and your audience is always there, even during your “off season.” This gives you the opportunity to mix up your campaign details, strategy and timeline.
Instead of a seasonal campaign, a lot of brands are starting to try year long campaigns to gain data on their engagement during every season. Having a campaign run throughout the year also gives you the chance to leverage brand ambassadors instead of just one time influencers. Brand ambassadors are influencers that you have a long standing relationship with and who can post often about your product. And even on social repetition is key to really building brand recognition and driving action. This can also mean letting go of some control when it comes to posting dates. No one knows the audience better than the influencer – they’ve managed to build such a great following for a reason – so sometimes letting them have input on when to post can be your best bet for the highest engagement. Especially since the more control the influencer has, the more authentic their posts appear.
Trying a year long campaign is not the only way to mix up your influencer plan. You can also try starting your campaign earlier in the year, you never know what insights you can gain until you try new things, so do something different!
Try New Mediums (Yes, there are more social platforms than Instagram)
There is no doubt that Instagram is the front runner when it comes to influencer marketing. You can find every type of influencer, it’s simple content to approve, and it’s an easy medium to track and gain insights from. But, just because Instagram is the norm doesn’t mean it’s for you. At the very least you should not limit yourself to only one medium. You should choose platforms based on where your audience is. Also be aware that certain types of content do better on different mediums. Videos on Instagram tend to get lower engagement than images, however videos on Facebook can potentially be shared and viewed millions of times. And don’t underestimate the power of Pinterest or YouTube. The audience there may be niche but they are mighty.
If your audience is primarily on Instagram, you still have the chance to branch out with content. Instagram Live and Instagram Stories provide opportunities to try new things and see what works. Even the start of IGTV will potentially be a game changer with long form videos in influencer marketing.
Branch Out with Your Influencers
The influencers you choose also provide a chance to shake things up in your campaign. The influencer’s audience is just as important, if not more so, than the influencer themself. For instance, an influencer may be a millennial mom on the west coast but maybe a lot of her audience is located in the east coast. Or, perhaps you are a food brand that usually leverages foodie accounts, but instead you could try a mom influencer posting a meal for her family that night. The size of your influencer can also vary. If you always use one or two macro influencers, try using many micro or mid level influencers, or vice versa.
Call to Actions
You hear over and over that engagement is key. And it’s true, engagement is one of the most important parts of your influencer campaign. But what good is that engagement if it’s not going to turn into anything? Having a call-to-action for influencers and their audience is a way to gather data beyond the post. Maybe you are running a new promotion or a coupon for the product, so have your influencer talk about that in the post and lead their followers to a clickable link. Using a bitly link for your destination is a easy way to keep track of clicks as well as see where they are coming from and on which days. It’s also important to learn where to put this link to find the most success. Try different places with each campaign. Maybe the link is in the influencer’s bio for 24 hours, maybe they leave it on their website for a week, or maybe they post it in an Instagram story as a swipe up link. Runnings tests will help you learn what works best for your product and your influencers.
There are many ways to mix up you influencer campaign. We are now in the sweet spot of influencer marketing, where the game is new enough that there aren’t set/hard and fast rules – you make your own rules and decide what’s best for you. But, it’s not so new that you have to play it safe and do the same old #basic things you’ve done before. Cheers to trying something new!
MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.