Why Influencers Are Brands Too

It’s no surprise there’s a constant increase in brands working with influencers across campaigns to drive a number of objectives such as awareness, or influencing purchasing behaviour. This boom has grown faster than Justin Bieber’s tattoo collection and shows no signs of slowing down!

The influx of influencers within the digital space means it’s getting more challenging to generate cut-through in a noisy landscape, from influencer saturation to the blurry rules and regulations around best practice. Influencers are now promoting everything including bikinis, banks and cars, as brands scramble to put a little more oomph into their products and services through partnering with authentic voices. With this in mind, it’s even more vital to be creative about how we incorporate influencers into the integrated comms mix.

So how do you make sure your branding efforts stand out from the constant influencer white noise that’s present in the industry? Here are some key tips on how to drive impact in your influencer marketing efforts.

 

Listen to Your Audience to Find Your Ideal Match

When you’re trying to identify social media influencers for your brand, follower numbers should not be your only measure. It’s important to identify people who are not only likeable and trustworthy, but have social proof that they are an authority in their field.

Don’t be afraid to dive deeper into your brand’s target audience base to discover what drives them, and map out the key criteria to create a consistent benchmark in how you engage with your influencer partner. An example of just two attributes you can consider are content quality and reputation. What key topics are being covered on their feed? What press coverage has the influencer received? You can do a full media audit using content marketing tools such as Buzzsumo. This is one of several tactics used within Magnum’s influencer marketing offering Magnetic. An in depth content audit can reveal their own branding and what they’re passionate about so this is why we’d exercise the tactic during the discovery phase of influencer marketing.

Another important criteria is their attitude. What does the influencer really think of the brand? Have they used the product or service in the past? Ask your influencer general questions to get a genuine overview of how they perceive your brand. Only then will you get a bigger picture of your ideal influencer mix.

 

The ‘Where’ is just as important as the ‘Who’

Another important tip is working with influential voices in your target communities and understanding the best social platforms for your audience. A great example is when Kim Kardashian launched KKW Beauty and used the type of communication beauty lovers felt most comfortable connecting with.

Kim worked with the who’s who of the beauty world, instead of relying on Instagram, she turned to YouTube instead. Why? Kim was able to use her own influence to drive her brand and tap into YouTube beauty influencers and their dedicated communities. She used YouTube as a key creative channel to demonstrate her new range and allowed consumers to see her collaborating with the likes of Patrick Starrr, one of the biggest personalities on the platform.

If your influencer is active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, be sure to review all social media even if they aren’t all a focus for your campaign, it’s important to get a feel of their tone of voice across all platforms they have a presence on. Know your audience, look into the platforms they use and find the authorities in that field.

 

Authentically Create and #Collab

It’s no secret consumers are becoming less trusting of traditional advertising and Millennials are more likely to have an ad blocker enabled than those in any other demographic group.

Customers today are more informed than ever and the last thing they need is someone trying to say that you’re the best. Once you find your superstar, engage with them to create that bond. Remember influencers are brands too, one size does not fit all. Younger consumers are more adverse to advertising and it’s worth investing in quality creative content as opposed to a generic one-off post.

“We did it for the gram” has become a phenomenon for brands working with influencers to promote teeth whitening, protein or appetite suppressant lollipops Kylie Jenner swears by. One-off product posts aren’t a new concept and it’s painfully obvious to consumers a brand has paid them $$ in exchange for short-term endorsement. We should be integrating influencers throughout the marketing mix and thinking about the longevity of the partnership.

Personalise your approach and find out how they want to interact with your brand. Bounce ideas and work together to deliver the message. Align your goals with your influencer to be seen and heard by their audiences.

An example of a brand who has done this well is Aussie e-commerce store Whitefox Boutique who partnered with health and fitness guru Sarah’s Day to create her own activewear line.

Part of the success of the campaign was that Sarah played a big part in the design and process of the range. The designs authentically reflected her personality, and as a result, put the brand in a positive light. With Sarah being involved from start to finish, the collaboration allowed her to stay true to her brand image and create trust with her audience.

Invest time, effort and creativity in working collaboratively and don’t go for a quick win.

 

Going Beyond the ‘Gram

With the social algorithm constantly changing, it’s becoming more challenging to get your post on the feeds of consumers.

Make the most of your influencer partnership and go beyond just Instagram. Utilise other key channels and tools such as blogs, Instagram stories, social amplification and earned media.

Social media is increasingly becoming a pay to play space. Leverage the targeting capabilities of these platforms and speak directly to your relevant target audience through paid social media. Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, you can now target your influencers’ content directly to relevant followers. This will allow you to infiltrate your target audience even better.

We’ve seen huge traction through layering amplification and social retargeting as part of the Magnetic process. The message coming directly from a real person tends to resonate greater than a brand message, especially if you have a strong call-to-action. This has been tried and tested across a range of clients at Magnum from services like Australia Post to eCommerce websites like JBL.

It’s also important to consider if your chosen influencer has broader media appeal, beyond a digital platform. Work with them to see what opportunities you can secure for your brand to deliver your message. A proof point in influencer’s success amongst earned publications is Cosmopolitan’s recent competition calling readers to vote for their favourite influencers to be on its September issue cover.

 

Make it Count

Take time to work with your influencer to be sure your content is genuine and honest.

Map out your different audience personas and match them with the correct influencers and be sure to setup your owned channels to ensure it’s the best experience for new people clicking through from influencer activity.

You can make your message count, even in a noisy and content rich environment. Take time to learn what drives your followers and select the right people who are capable of delivering your message to the masses. It’s important that we evolve our relationships with influencers to maintain authenticity and create campaigns that are genuine and enjoyable for your audience.


Magnetic is a 6-step model that provides an end-to-end solution for all elements of influencer marketing.

 

By Magnum & Co’s Senior Executive, Shinta Huynh.