So much of the conversation about how to create a successful influencer marketing campaign is about three key steps: (1) Find the right influencers; (2) Engage with those influencers to be advocates of your brand; (3) Measure the results of the actions that influencer has taken. These are all incredibly important, but there is a missed opportunity if those are the only three steps on which you focus.
Quite often the focus at step two is on how to get influencers to share your brand’s content – how to amplify your own content marketing through these relationships. List after list will give you the top strategies for getting influencers to share your content. But what if you were to flip that the other way around? Turn your influencer marketing campaign into a feed for your content marketing efforts! The influencers are the content creators and you are the content sharers.
You’ve chosen the influencers with whom you are working because they are actively engaged in a particular area. And we’ve already talked on this blog about the credibility that influencers have with other consumers. Harness their passion by both encouraging them to create content and by using that content – be it a blog post, video, photograph, tweet. Share it on your own brand’s channels. The influencer has the opportunity to gain additional exposure by being seen on your brand’s social media accounts. You, as the brand, have fresh content to share, and you can magnify the efforts you have put into working with influencers. It is a mutually beneficial endeavor.
Since measurement of impact is so critical in influencer marketing, don’t forget to include the results of sharing influencer-created content in your campaign metrics. The traffic or actions taken as a result of your sharing influencer content may be a secondary metric for success, but it is a good one to keep an eye on.
So how do you encourage influencers to create great content?
Here are some ideas…
Don’t require it. The best content is one that your influencers create organically because they are truly enthusiastic, not because you’ve made publishing content a requirement for getting free product. If you’ve found the right influencers who have a genuine affinity for your brand, they are likely to want to share more about whatever you have to offer – and in a much more genuine way. That’s the kind of content that ends up being worth sharing on your own channels.
Give influencers a goal. These efforts are more specific than a broad campaign to create user-generated content but some of the same principles apply. Provide influencers with a prompt for what you are asking them to do. People are far more inventive when you give them a sandbox to play in and not just a broad sweeping request to be creative. Ask them to do something unexpected with your product and share the results (check out Tyson’s “Why Should Cookies Have All The Fun” campaign). Give them a theme or idea that relates to your brand and have them create something that doesn’t even use your product (check out Air Canada’s #LoveForAmsterdam or #LoveForDubai campaign).
Connect your campaign to something timely. There are likely certain times of the year or events that are a great fit with your brand. Capitalize on them and connect them to what you are asking influencers to create. (This can also be a great way to accomplish the previous tip of giving influencers a goal.) The connection doesn’t even have to be a direct or obvious one. You don’t need to be a sports brand to connect with the upcoming Olympic fervor. For example, if you sell bracelets, you could ask your influencers to create something related to the Olympic rings.
Encourage different types of content. You likely have built strong partnerships with bloggers, but some campaigns may lend themselves to people who have a strong presence on other channels. Many of the bloggers you work with probably have a great presence on Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. You can get great visual content that is easy for you to share by suggesting to your influencers that they use these channels in addition to or in place of blog posts.
Say thank you. Not every piece of content an influencer creates will be the right one for your brand, so don’t make promises to share all of the content you get and then get stuck in a tough situation. But even if you decide not to share a particular piece of content, do thank the influencer for it! You’ll build stronger relationships with your influencers and spur them to continue creating great content.
We’re interested in hearing what you have done with content that has been created by influencers with whom you have partnered. How have you encouraged them to create great content? What have you done with influencer content that has been successful?