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Social Influencer Marketing: Top 5 Things You Need to Know Before Diving into the Field of Influencer Marketing

Written by: Paige Samson

Social Influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity among brands, especially with those who want to be efficient and targeted with their advertising spend. Before diving into this vast and exciting space, below are some things you need to know!

1) Be Careful in Your Selection of Influencers

Looking for social influencers to promote your brand/product can be a daunting task, and it’s easy to want to try to simplify the process in an effort to get moving with your campaign. Now, does your influencer marketing checklist look something like the below?

  • Does the Influencer fall into the proper brand category? ✅
  • Does the Influencer have a large following? ✅
  • Does the Influencer have lots of likes? ✅

…So you’ve now checked all these boxes, which naturally means you have found your influencer, right? WRONG.

When selecting influencers, you absolutely must pay attention to engagement levels; and more importantly, to the type of engagement. “Likes” don’t do it justice. Look at the comments on the posts. Look at how many there are and if they even make sense (there are plenty of bots out there, with nonsensical comments… you’ll know them when you see them).

2) Think About Your Audience

It’s very easy to fall into the mentality that a platform isn’t relevant because it’s not the platform you personally use most or the one you typically hear about when it comes to influencers (we see this happen with Facebook ALL the time). Remember that every platform has a specific audience and you must honor that.

3) Allow Yourself to Relinquish Some Control

I know, I know… this goes against everything in my nature too, but it has to happen. Think about it. The reason you chose the influencer route is because you want to connect your brand with a person with whom your consumer connects. Now, if you force your influencer to adopt your brand voice, guess what? A) your consumer is going to see right through it; and consequently, B) your goal of “connecting” with them will be lost. So just breathe, and let the influencers take control… they know their voice and they know their audience.

4) Take Note of FTC guidelines

Yes, I know we all like to think no one is really going to take legal action if we don’t follow the rules, but that’s where we’re wrong. As influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity among brands, the FTC is taking note and cracking the whip (and updating the rules all the time, mind you!). Brands such as Warner Bros. and Lord and Taylor (to name a couple), have learned the hard way, as have the influencers in more recent cases. So, bottom line: Disclose! Disclose! Disclose!

5) “Financial Relationship” Means “Contractual Relationship”

Just like any other business relationship, if any money passes between hands you absolutely must have a contract. This not only ensures that both sides are held accountable for their roles/obligations in the relationship, but a contract also serves as a safeguard should disclosure requirements be breached.

So there it is. Now you’re ready to take on the big, bad world of influencer marketing!