Influence That Matters: Five Tough Questions to Ask Your Influencer Marketing Agency

Influence That Matters: Five Tough Questions to Ask Your Influencer Marketing Agency

Influence That Matters: Five Tough Questions to Ask Your Influencer Marketing AgencyThe appeal of using third-party creators with built-in, loyal, and highly engaged audiences is easy to understand in an age when a brand’s digital presence is more crucial than ever. Content creators have an inside track when it comes to shaping and driving consumer behavior because brand trust is hard to earn.

There are real risks that too few creators, brands, or their agencies take seriously.

These risks can include the ongoing epidemic of fake followers (and engagement), the constantly multiplying examples of inattentive influencer publishing inauthentic content, or the more-present-than-ever danger of teaming up with creators whose past content and views may hold unwanted surprises.

What are we left with? An enormously powerful tactic that has the potential to drive outsized return on investment, but also presents significant barbs and traps for the unwary.

The trick to threading the needle between the two sides is to make sure we are asking the right questions of our agencies and partners.

These questions should be included.

Tiffany Mitchell caused a controversy when she shared pictures of a fake motorcycle accident. The posts looked like an advertisement for Smartwater. The importance of partnering with creators who value authenticity over clicks has never been more important for brands.

1 What are we doing to make sure the people we work with are legit?

It is more important than ever for brands and marketers to be vigilant and to have the right partners in their corner in a time when it is easier than ever for digital personalities to inflate their online followings.

To audit the legitimacy and integrity of a creator’s audience and engagement, as well as to ensure that a potential partner is not engaging in disingenuous practices like staging fake photo shoots to give the appearance of a lifestyle that is far from reality

A seasoned influencer partner or team with the right processes and tools can evaluate any potential creator that might seem like a fit for your brand or campaign for the quality and legitimacy of their audience, their engagement and their content.

Many of the brands that had partnerships with her did not know that she had a history of racism and fatshaming in her social media postings. It is crucial for brands to make sure that the creators they partner with have been thoroughly vetting, including their past social media content, for red flags and past views that may drag them into a controversy. It is important for brands to make sure that the creators they partner with have been thoroughly checked for red flags and past views that may cause a controversy.

2 What are the steps we are taking to make sure we don’t have a problem?

Even if an individual has a long track record of creating quality content, a sudden revelation of racist behavior is just one of the many pitfalls that brands have to navigate.
There are many ways in which a strong marketing team can help limit the chance of an embarrassing revelation. It is a good idea to use a tool that searches through a potential partner’s social media history for key words, phrases and problematic content. Even sophisticated automated tools can only go so far, so it’s important that your influencer marketing team is also manually vetting the candidates they’re considering partnering with

Which brands have this person worked with before?
Is this person a publisher of potentially damaging content related to illegal drugs, violence, racism or things of that nature?
Have they ever voiced opinions that were not acceptable to start with?
Does the content and reputation of this person reflect on our brand and our core values?

These are just a few of the important questions that every influencer marketing team needs to be asking their creators. Failing to do so will cost you a lot.

Scott Disick didn’t just reveal the inauthenticity of his content and endorsements when he accidentally left the posting instructions from his sponsor in the copy of hisInstagram post Finding influential partners who make a point of only partnering with brands that they have a real connection with was inadvertently shone a light on by him.

3 We don’t know if we are treating our people as creative collaborators or mercenaries.

It is possible to combine a powerful brand and compelling storyteller in a way that is compelling to the right consumers. This can lead to a partnership that not only reinforces the best of what a brand can be and is but also drives meaningful business results.

The flip side of that coin is when it is clear to everyone involved that the creator is a hired gun. A sponsored creator cares little for the brand or product they promote.
The most famous example of a mistake along these lines was in the year 2016 To kick off an ambitious new campaign, Naomi Campbell published a sponsored post with Adidas that included copy straight out of the brand’s instruction email for the promotion. It was an embarrassing error and also a revealing one, as it exposed the inauthenticity of the relationship between Adidas, Campbell and her audience.

These kinds of fails are not a rare occurrence. It’s crucial for brands to ensure they’re setting themselves, their influencers, and their campaigns up for success, not only by being hyperselective about who they partner with, but also by truly collaborating.

There is a meaningful meeting of minds when two separate brands join together to tell a single story. Not when one brand is a mercenary of the other brand.

It seemed like a match made in heaven when a model and an ice cream company collaborated on a social media campaign. The content was not followed by industry disclosures for sponsored content. A hasty edit fromNikki to include proper disclosures in the post copy caused a sizeable backlash.

4 What are we doing to make sure we are following the law?

The amount of sponsored content published daily by leading brands that fails to follow fundamental disclosure guidelines is staggering. This is a problem not just for the brands that break the rules, but also the marketing world as a whole.
As governments, oversight organizations and even consumers themselves ramp up their scrutiny on bad actors, it’s essential to ensure the partners you’re working with to help bring yourinfluencer marketing to life are steadfast in their efforts to ensure that all relevant disclosure guidelines and all legal considerations have

The Tim Hortons team-up with Canadian mega star Justin Bieber was not just a great example of the right brand partnering with the right creator in an authentic and compelling way, it also drove real and measurable results for their business far beyond just engagement on social media. The CEO of Tim Hortons called it one of the most successful traffic driving initiatives in recent memory.

5 What is the definition of meaningful success?

Too many PR agencies and influencer marketing firms want to report on how many impressions a given activation generated or how many followers aninfluencer has The obsession with these types of metrics has never been more meaningless.

Let’s start getting serious. It is now possible for brands and marketers to not only define and establish meaningful goals for their digital marketing campaigns but to also transparently track, report on and maximize their success in the future.

Awareness and engagement driving campaigns have a place. Absolutely, they do. If your partners seem to think that conversion-focused campaigns are impossible, inefficient or just too hard, then it’s time to rethink whether they’re the right people for your campaign.

The reality is that conversion-focused KPIs can and should be the driving force of influencer marketing campaigns, where appropriate and monitored correctly, the results can compete with almost any other digital channel or tactic out there.

All it takes is a team that values putting data at the heart of who they collaborate with, and that also cares about how they leverage those partners to drive, measure and be held accountable to real results.

In almost any brand marketer’s arsenal, influencer marketing can be a powerful tool. If not carefully approached with care, purpose and rigor, that promise can be wasted.
This means asking tough questions of ourselves and the agencies we work with, from the moment they are first approached, all the way through to content creation and performance tracking Care and precision are required in every step.

We are always just a phone call away, should you ever need a partner that is more focused on detail than you are.

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