Influence marketing is more complicated than just cutting a check to a popular social media user. An influencer marketing campaign needs to be honest and authentic to be effective.
So, how do I make my influence marketing campaign authentic?
A cooking metaphor: The influencer and the brand are the core ingredients. Some pair well and complement each other, some come together like a 1970s cookbook. No, Linda, I do not want marshmallows and carrots suspended in gelatin, thanks all the same.
The point is, you can’t force the fit… and we need to be considerate of the diners audience.
So while an audience may look good demographically speaking, brands need to look deeper to get at beliefs and ideology. Ensure values match, in other words. This is the fertile ground in which authentic influence campaigns grow.
Another mistake we see all too often is brands that want to overly script or stage the influencer’s content. It can be tough to let go of the specifics of messaging or delivery. However, content creators with influence know their audience and their own brand. They know what works.
Marketers can (and should) create guidelines, do’s and don’ts, brand ideology etc and work with the content creator on talking points and so on. However, we should resist the temptation to dictate to the influencer. We have to trust that they know their audience and their content best. We’re trying to tap the trust an influencer has with their audience, not dictate how it should be used. Approach the engagement as a collaboration and partnership and you’re already half-way there.
How to create authentic influencer campaigns
Find the right influencer fit
Look for content creators whose audience demographics match those of your target market but more than that, look for those that share your values and ideals.
Give creators artistic license
Not free reign necessarily but enough flexibility to produce content that feels authentic to their own voice and aesthetic.
Establish a rapport
The best influence marketing partnerships are just that, a partnership. Establish a rapport with your influencer partner so they’re on board. When you get buy-in from the content creator, the result will be material that feels genuine and authentic.
Look beyond the leading (AKA vanity) metrics of likes, views etc. and take a deeper dive into the results. Look at shares, reach etc. to really evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign. Think about how you can make improvements going forward.
How to be authentic in influencer marketing
It all comes down to these basic principles: Find content creators that align with your brand and your brand values. Look deeper than demographics. Create a partnership with the content creator; bring them on board as much as possible and make them a part of the team, not just an outside resource. Honor the creator’s artistic sense and trust them to know their audience and content best. Measure your success and share details with the influence content creator to bring them “under the tent.”
BENlabs can help
You can’t manufacture authenticity or shortcut trust but you can give them a helping hand. BENlabs Smart Partnerships uses AI to pair brands with the ideal influence creators. Similarly, Predictive Analytics lets you see how successful your campaign will be before it even launches and gives meaningful data at every step from beginning to end.
We can help your next (or your first) influence campaign be the hit it deserves to be.