Influencer marketing: 6 pro tips to stand out

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In this increasingly saturated and competitive field, it's up to brands to deploy all their talent in order to attract the attention of influencers and conquer the hearts of their followers. To help you in this long road, here are 6 pro tips that will allow you to stand out from the competition. 

In 2020, 66% of marketing managers planned on increasing the allocated budget for influencer marketing in their enterprise. Some groups, like for instance the giant Estée Lauder, already dedicate most of their marketing budget (no less than 75%) to influencer marketing. 

As of 2020, 50% of posts issued from a collaboration are labelled with the tag "#ad". This saturation of social medias could lead to what is known as "influencer fatigue" which is why now more than ever, influencers are very aware of whom they pick as a partner and of what brands they promote to their communities which is why you, as a brand, need to strive harder than ever to catch their attention and open them to the idea of working with you. 

Pro tip #1: Start collaborating on the long term

Influence is an area of marketing in which the human dimension is essential and primordial. During your collaborations with content creators, your relationship with the creator comes above all else.

Less and less inclined to become advertising machines, influencers are more inclined to take on fewer partnerships, but more durable ones. Brands that wish to profit from their services stand a lot to win by working with these creators on the long term. What should be your objective as a brand? To transform them into true ambassadors

Long-term partnerships equally benefit both parties involved. They allow for a relationship to flourish, and for there to be trust between the brand and the creation, which is essential for a profitable collaboration. Through time, the brand and the influencer really get to know one another. This means the influencer is much more in tune with the brand's values, to its needs and its way of working, which means he can propose satisfactory content with ease. On the other hand, the brand gets to really know the influencer, which helps to prevent certain misunderstandings and mishaps (like sending the wrong color foundation, a piece you know they will dislike, etc). 

Better yet, developing a relationship allows the influencer to truly take the time to test your brand's products, therefore sharing a much more honest and authentic insight. The influencer also has enough time to create very curated visuals and publications, and even share some insights from the community with you and your brand.

Moreover, a long term collaboration guarantees a prolonged presence on social media and thus better visibility with the desired audience.

Finally, contrary to a one-shot collaboration, a long term partnership suggests a more profound adhesion of the influencer to the brand's values. Such a cooperation will always be perceived as more authentic. A great plus once we understand how crucial authenticity is in the eyes of the consumer. 

A canonical example of an effective long-term partnership is the fitness brand Gymshark, who has built its commercial success through an influencer program composed of very athletic influencers. Through time, these influencers became true ambassadors, and they assure the brands' promotion year after year, guaranteeing incredible commercial results

Pro tip #2: take care of the "influencer experience"

To conquer the hearts of content creators and win over their favors, brands must carefully plan out the "influencer experience". Influencers are true consumers/ambassadors, and must be as such treated as premium clients as well as thought leaders. 

It's thus convenient to get to know them, so you can propose products specifically adapted to their profile. The packages sent on their way should be the focus of all your attention to make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible. To achieve this, elegant packaging and dedicated notes or postcards are particularly appreciated. They are proof of the care with which you prepared the package, and are one more brick in building a close relationship with the influencer

Finally, don't hesitate to multiply the contact points with your ambassador and to propose him new incredible experiences. There are many occasions you can use to solidify your relationship with your influencers: product launch events, press trips, masterclasses, webinars and even a tour of your offices to discover your fabrication processes. 

For instance, not too long ago the luxurious brand Louis Vuitton took this approach by sending young Paola Locatelly to its gardens in Grasse. It was an instructive, refreshing trip through which the influencer created her own perfume and took her community along with her. 

Pro tip #3: interact with influencers on social media

To many social media users, collaborating with brands constitutes a distinctive sign, a synonym of success. Partnerships with brands elevate the profiles they collaborate with, which has led to a curious phenomenon: fake partnerships. 

Interacting publicly with an influencer will surely attract his attention positively By reposting one of their publications or mentioning a content creator on your profile, you'll guarantee him an extra layer of visibility and credibility, which you can easily do automatically with social media automation tools like Jarvee.

In this sense, the "regram", very appreciated by influencers, is the most obvious solution. You can however follow other techniques, obviously: exchanging with content creators on the comment section, tagging them in publications that may interest them, publishing a caption taken from one of their posts, inviting them to collaborate on your blog and even letting them take over your social media for a day. So many interactions that can reinforce your relationship with an influencer and allow you to stand out from your competitors

However, don't over do it with this technique. Engaging excessively with an influencer or in an unlikely context could have negative effects for you. Be sure to understand the influencer's activities and values before contacting him or her. Tools such as Hivency will be a precious aid in this process. Thanks to artificial intelligence, they will allow you to carefully target the influencers that could potentially be open to your projects. 

Pro tip #4: propose personalised and exclusive offers 

Launching exclusive offers will allow you to charm the consumers, but also the influencers. 

Influencers especially appreciate personalized promotion codes and exclusive giveaways. These operations effectively allow them to give back to their community and reward them for their loyalty. They're also a good system to increase the engagement with the community. Finally, they cement their authority as influencers. 

On the other hand, for consumers these exclusive offers come with the feeling of belonging to a privileged community, and evidently facilitate the buying step.

Nowadays widely used on social media, promo codes and giveaways must be always be included in campaigns where the main objective is to stand out.

In 2017, Adidas, a pioneer in influencer marketing, created this sensation of exclusivity with an innovating concept that mixed promo codes and exclusive access to products. The brand made the choice to commercialize its new sneaker "Glitch" through a mobile app only accessible with secret codes. A small group of influencers initially communicated said code, and then each consumer could use it or share it with its own net. This was a brilliant campaign, that spoke to football passionate and gave buyers the feeling of being part of a larger, secret project.

 

Pro tip #5: encourage original and authentic content 

To stand out from your competition, try to avoid very obvious product placement. Seen time after time on social media, they risk tiring out consumers and influencers too. 

Influencers are much more than simple opinion pieces, a lot of them are also content creators that have developed a unique and personal editorial line. To stand out, you should propose collaborations that motivate them and allow them to fully express their creativity. Allow them to propose original content, in accordance with their universe. 

Lately, the YouTuber "Un Créatif", a specialist in advertising analysis, has been collaborating with the brand Rhinoshield to "launch" their marketing strategy. This audacious partnership is fully aligned with the editorial line of the videographer: he intends to underline the honesty of the announcer and the quality of his products. 

Pro tip #6:  collaborate with micro influencers 

To fight against influencer fatigue and stand out among the masses of sponsored content, micro and nano influencers become essential.

At the head of relatively small communities, they have a true relationship with their audience. They exchange daily, as would friends or colleagues. They're truly close with the consumers, much more than any other profile or marketing channel.

Micro-influencer marketing is best if your objective is to establish a direct, honest contact with your target audience. 

Thanks to these 6 secrets, you know have all the keys to stand out from your competition and profit fully from your influencer marketing strategy. One last tip? Do an audit of your Instagram account. This will allow you to see your strenghts, your weaknesses, and also your improvement areas. 

Photo credit: Cottonbro via Pexels 

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