When partnering your brand with a celebrity influencer, knowing the proper ways to safeguard your message can be the difference between success and disaster.
As more and more brands decide to utilize digital influencers to reach untapped demographics of consumers, there inevitably comes a time when controversy sours the phenomenon. It is not secret that influencers sometimes create scandalous firestorms, and more recently a few have made national headline news.
With so many brands becoming hesitant to entrust their image to a potential liability, there is massive opportunity for those who know how to properly position their brand to capitalize. Parts I and II of this post will each highlight two ways marketers can avoid the dangers of influencer marketing.
1. Represent Your Audience
It is simply not enough in the current marketing climate to merely know the audience you are trying to reach with your product. To stay on the cutting edge, marketers must now be able to provide their consumers with the content they desire. This means that your brand message must be excessively tailored to fulfill your established values.
Approach the search for an influencer from the mind of who you are selling to. If you are targeting young professionals, identify the trends in that age group and select influencers who represent those trends.
When searching for an influencer to partner with your brand, seeking relevance should be as important as influence. Rather than chasing the individual that will gain you the most exposure, marketers should turn to those that have engaged followers that will boos the influencer to consumer relationship.
The logic is simple, reaching many small influencers who have a hardcore fan-base can be much more effective than a larger influencer whose fans may not care about endorsed products, which can greatly increase the efficiency of campaigns.
2. Aim for Authenticity and Transparency
Another pitfall of influencer marketing lies in the product’s connection to consumers. Leaving an impression is certainly important, but shock value or even viral status does not last forever.
A lack of connection to a product has been the downfall of many campaigns, leading marketers to favor advocacy over influence. Advocacy differs from influence in that the talent encourages conversation about the product and requires active participation from both marketers and influencers who desire to equally benefit over a longer period of time rather than a simple one-time transaction.
Shallow partnerships have plagued the industry and have left some consumers feeling disillusioned. Marketers can short this by finding influencers that may already use their product or have a glaring need that can be filled, but it is important to keep the relationship two-sided.
Keeping a brand’s message authentic does not necessarily have to be affected by fears of overexposure either. Provided that influencers are clearly passionate about producing content with the product or service and bringing it into their lives or professions, consumers will connect with the brand message and adopt it for themselves.
To ensure that their message remains authentic, marketers should only partner with influencers who are willing to format their content to fit the needs of the brand. Close coordination is essential to tailor the tone properly and safeguard the inevitability of mistakes in a campaign’s execution.
A well-crafted brand identity will come to directly represent the values that their customers hold, which produces brand loyalty and guarantees future sales.
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