Jennifer Sudo, Managing Partner established performance influencer marketing for M&C Saatchi Performance in 2021. Here are some tips for managing successful campaigns.
It’s no surprise why advertisers want to partner with influencers. When done correctly, a well-thought-through influencer strategy can create long-lasting and engaging relationships with their followers, and in 2022 it felt like many brands turned their attention to this tactic.
When it comes to influencers, TikTok is the current channel of choice for many advertisers, and for good reason. In our paper; ‘What TikTok users want, a guide for performance marketers‘ we found that TikTok users are primed to buy goods they see on the platform (92% are purchase-ready and 56% have purchased a product they saw on the platform).
However, advertisers should not forget Instagram, YouTube, and other social media channels for influencer strategies. From an efficiency point of view, the chances are many influencers are on multiple platforms, so brands could work with the same people on cross-platform strategies or focus on the platform with the highest likelihood of reaching your buyers. Which will differ depending on the advertiser and their goals.
The rise in brand-supported influencers has led to reports of decreased organic reach, which is where a performance media strategy working alongside an organic/content plan can bring good results. Utilizing both organic and paid strategies working together can ensure KPIs are met.
To get the best results when working with influencers, it’s important to ensure the final content not only fulfils brand goals but also is valuable content for the platform users.
Tips for running influencer marketing campaigns:
- Create a high-level strategy before engaging with influencers
First, you should have a clear understanding of your goals, the messaging that’s important to your brand (or client’s brand), and how you want the campaign to proceed. But don’t be too rigid in your original strategy. Remember that one of the reasons why you’re working with influencers is they have established a meaningful connection with their audiences. Working with influencers is not a top-down approach where you give them exact directions with no room for improvisation. If you’ve picked the right set of influencers, you should expect feedback and collaboration. They will have a good idea of what is right for their audience, and also have to protect their relationships with them. They may be unwilling to use certain phrases, and you should respect that. The goal is to make the content as genuine as possible, and that means looking to their expertise and how they’ve connected with their audiences for the most impactful creative.
- Find the right influencers using data and social insights
Use platform native discovery tools (TikTok’s Creator Marketplace is an especially good example), third-party software, or your internal data to find influencers who are reaching your target audience. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions or request case studies, especially if they are creators who have run many campaigns. Make sure to be comfortable with their total body of work, not just the sponsored content. Some brands are more risk tolerant than others, and some are comfortable with edgier content. But don’t just stick to the same influencers everyone else is using and consider smaller ‘Micro-influencers’ too. This may take a little bit more upfront work, but finding and partnering with influencers before they become huge may be more cost-effective and create a lasting relationship.
- Help them tell meaningful and authentic stories
Ultimately, working with creators means you should trust their creative direction, a decision that may be disorienting to some marketers used to more control. Rest assured, many influencers have ample experience marrying their vision with the brand guidelines of their advertiser partners. And if you’re working with newer influencers with fewer campaigns under their belt, you may need a steadier hand but don’t overdo it.
Too many guidelines or rules will likely turn off the creators, and their audiences will see right through posts that are too prescriptive. Not everything can be the best thing ever.
- Focus on authentic content, not volume
Part of the reason why social media is such a great medium for advertising is that a smart idea with a powerful, creative vision can go viral, regardless of budget. Always think deeply about what makes their brand special and collaborate with the right small universe of influencers to craft content that will resonate with their audience and beyond. Don’t “spray and pray” by working with a bunch of influencers based just on their reach. And while virality can happen in many different ways, the easiest way to jump audiences (e.g. encourage an influencer’s followers to share with their followers) is to produce great content.
- Secure ad budget, but allocate wisely.
Paid media support can be especially valuable for some, but not all brands, depending on their goals. It is best to see how posts perform organically before deciding which ones to boost. Paid support can be especially valuable to create targeting and other ad parameters you can’t with organic posts, including adding a call-to-action button that users can click to take an action.
Influencer marketing is a robust, growing field that can help so many brands connect deeply with their target audience. And getting influencer marketing strategies right can be a powerful approach for any brand looking to reach digital-first consumers who spend significant time on these platforms. But we must commit to working with influencers in a measured, methodical way to keep the vitality of these platforms and to ensure brands benefit from the most important asset of those influencers: their unique voices and their bonds with their followers.
Interested in how we help brands manage successful TikTok campaigns? Find out more with these useful related resources:
- eCommerce TikTok case study example
- Audio subscription TikTok case study example
- Listen to Jennifer Sudo talk about how to manage successful Influencer campaigns on recent podcasts with both Business of Apps and also a second podcast with Singular
- Free paper: What Tikok users want; the essential guide for performance marketers
Contact us to set up a call with Jennifer Sudo to ensure your campaigns reach their goals.