How to excel at influencer marketing in this new world
As we all navigate through the new world, we’re having to shift the way we interact with one another, how we complete day to day tasks, and how we run our businesses. COVID-19 and the nationwide stay in place order has caused companies to rethink their marketing strategies, including influencer partnerships and activations.
While some companies are forced to cut budgets, others are investing more heavily behind influencers during this time, and for good reason. Influencer marketing is strategy that brands are prioritizing because:
- People are seeking connection through social media now more than ever
- 56% of people are spending more time on social media each day – AspireIQ
We shared our thoughts on how to navigate partnerships, and now we’re here to provide useful tips that can help you excel at influencer marketing despite potentially limited resources.
Partner with influencers that you’ve worked with in the past
The best relationships are with influencers who are avid fans of your brand and advocate for you even when there is no formal campaign in place.
Partnerships with genuine brand enthusiasts are beneficial for multiple reasons. By having a previous affiliation with your brand, the influencer will be able reference previous posts that promote your product or service to avoid looking like they are selling to their audience. Plus, influencers are more likely to work at a discounted rate or for a free product if it’s with a brand they love.
Many people are empathetic to everyone’s situation during this time. Be transparent that you don’t have the resources to pay your normal rate, but offer a longer-term partnership down the road when budgets are back up.
Switch to a commission-based program
If you don’t have the budget to pay an upfront fee for a social post, ask your network of influencers if they’d be interested in joining an affiliate program which pays them on a commission basis. Brands use affiliate marketing to connect with new customers and drive more sales by working with individuals — the affiliates — who promote their products in exchange for commission.
The great part about an affiliate program is that affiliates are not limited to influencers with large followings. Your loyal customers can also be affiliates. Anyone who is a genuine fan of your brand, and who would otherwise advocate for you, has the power to drive sales on your behalf. If someone already recommends your products to their friends and family, adding the bonus of a commision payment will strengthen their relationships with your brand and encourage their support even more.
Repurpose influencer content across all of your channels
Many brands are not able to create original content due to work from home orders. Influencers can be the perfect solution for inexpensive, yet high quality content because they act as single-person creative agencies. Compared to hiring a creative agency, brands can save up to 10x on content by leveraging influencers. Influencer content can give marketing channels such as websites, emails, and owned social an authentic feel compared to studio-created content. By leveraging the stories of each influencer, you can provide your audience with social proof they seek when making purchase decisions, creating a community-first approach to your marketing.
The value of influencer content doesn’t stop there, it can even have an impact on lower-funnel initiatives. Social commerce platform Curalate found that emails featuring influencer content saw a 55% increase in click thru rate and 11% increase in revenue. Paid social posts featuring influencer content saw a 31% increase in return on ad spend when retargeting users with influencer content on Instagram.
High performance plus cost efficiency is a winning combination that makes influencer content a no-brainer solution when it comes to quenching your content shortage.
Pivot messaging to focus on a charitable cause
Just like businesses, influencers want to make sure they are posting content that resonates with their audiences and does not appear tone deaf to the millions of people suffering during this time. Encourage brand partners to lean into messaging around what your brand is doing to help your communities during this time.
For example, AspireIQ ran a campaign called “Aspire for Good” that asked influencers to spread awareness on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and encourage their audiences to stay inside. The campaign was unpaid, yet we saw more than 200 applications within the first day. Influencers are open to creating content that supports a good cause. If your brand is already doing something to give back to the community, creating an influencer campaign around it will allow you to boost awareness at a limited cost.