As a food influencer myself, influencer marketing is something near and dear to my heart. After reading about influencer marketing for class, I was inspired to create my own golden rules for Influencer Marketing, based off my own experiences working with brands as an influencer partner.
- It’s crucial to choose an influencer that makes sense for your brand. In my case, I’m a food influencer, so I work with a lot of different food/beverage brands. However, I’ve had clothing brands, health supplement brands, and everything in between reach out to me. I think it’s totally fine to work with an influencer outside of your industry, but make sure that they’re still relevant to your audience and that you’re relevant to theirs. For instance, I’ve worked with a clothing company that released a line of pizza-related clothing, so I paired the outfit with a greasy slice of pizza and it worked for my page.
- Make sure you work with influencers who actually use your products. Ultimately, you want influencers to become brand advocates and to be able to answer questions about your products. If they don’t use the products, they can’t answer questions/become the brand evangelists that you’re trying to create. Plus, when you have them actually actually use your products you can get useful feedback about how to improve those products!
- Working together seems intuitive, but it’s crucial to actively partner with influencers. Just handing them a product or a check and hoping for the best may help get you a few likes/follows, but it doesn’t help build any sort of partnership. Work with the influencer actively – take a part in the creation of the content (it is representing your brand after all), cross promote the content to your social channels, find ways to repurpose the content on your social/site/blog etc. Also, if you have a great experience with an influencer, ask them if they’d be open to working together again on a future campaign! Building lasting relationships by actively working together is a great way to expand your network and build your brand image by developing a true partnership with an influential person.
- It seems as though laws are being revised on a monthly basis at this point, so be sure that you’re staying abreast of any changing laws as they apply to influencer marketing. Be sure that you make influencers aware of any specific guidelines that could possibly land them/you in hot water, and do your due diligence to make sure that they follow through appropriately. In my case, brands that send me products in exchange for social posts will often specify that I need to use certain language/hashtag appropriately (#ad).
Influencers can be an effective, inexpensive, and fun way to build your brand and spread your reach to networks of people that you may not have reached otherwise. However, be sure that you’re choosing the right influencers, actively engaging with them, and playing by the rules to reap the best results.