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Article Substance

15 November 2022

Influencer Marketing 101: 5 Best Practices for a Solid Strategy

How to leverage these effective platforms for your brand

At Substance / Radiance, we believe a strategy that’s fully integrated into your other digital efforts is key, and we don’t gatekeep knowledge. According to Rakuten Marketing, 80% of consumers purchased something following a recommendation from an influencer. That’s not negligible.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a marketing tactic adapted to social platforms that’s somewhere between traditional marketing and public relations. It consists in relying on thought leaders — in other words, influencers — to promote goods or services.

By using a third party to talk about your brand, you’re introducing yourself to new engaged audiences interested in a specific niche. Instead of interrupting their social media browsing experience with an ad, you’re integrating your messages within content they already consume. This way, you’re captivating their attention and benefitting from a higher engagement rate.

5 best practices in influencer marketing

1. Base yourself on a calculated strategy.

Your influencer marketing strategy cannot be designed in a vacuum. Relying on a previously established communication strategy and deriving influencer campaigns from it is crucial.

Like any other marketing tactic, keep your target and objectives in mind. Consider which platforms to focus on, how many content pieces are necessary, and which key messages to share at what times. And never neglect your media strategy.

You cannot properly direct the influencer without answering these questions first. For optimal results, you need to guide the talent to align their content production with your objectives, which isn’t possible without a thoughtful strategy.

2. Identify the right content creators for your goals

Not all profiles are equal! Choosing the right influencer for your targets and objectives is key. You just need to keep a few things in mind.

First of all, the major advantage of influencer marketing is its authenticity. Posts in collaboration with your brand need to harmoniously fit within the thought leaders’ content. Go for talents that would naturally talk about your brand, even without a partnership. The closer your key messages and the influencer’s platform are aligned, the more authentic the content will be, and the more effectively will it resonate with the target audience.

Also take into consideration that the selected profiles represent your brand to some extent. The people you chose are not ambassadors per se, but they reflect you, so make sure to bank on people that embody your vision.

3. Choose the size of the influencer’s community

The size of an influencer’s community plays a considerable role in strategy. You might have a tendency to think the bigger, the better. Wrong! There are several types of profiles: celebrities, macro-influencers, niche-influencers, and micro-influencers. The goal is to pick different influencers for different objectives.

With their high number of followers, celebrities and macro-influencers offer a wider reach, so they’re the way to go to increase brand awareness. But it’s a higher investment, and it’s sometimes less efficient for conversion since they’re far removed from their followers. If you’re targeting a specific market, make sure the majority of their community is in your target audience.

Niche influencers centre their content around specific interests instead of around their lives. Their community isn’t necessarily small, though! Macro- and niche-influencers allow you to reach a wide public, but benefit from a better engagement rate. If you’re targeting a specific clientele with precise interests, a mix of macro- and niche-influencers will increase awareness while also maximizing engagement.

Micro-influencers generally have higher engagement and conversion rates because of their type of content and their number of followers. Their smaller public allows for a certain proximity and a privileged relationship with their community. This type of influence resembles word of mouth, like advice from our friends or family, which incites people to buy more.

4. Take advantage of co-creation

Co-creation is an agile approach that banks on the expertise and vision of content creators. While some campaigns let influencers post only on their channels, co-creation suggests reusing the content produced by web personalities on your own platform. This way, the influencer is simultaneously wearing the hat of artistic director, stylist and photographer.

This tactic allows brands to produce large scale creative projects, no matter their budget. With a lower production cost than content created in-house or with a production company, results are authentic and engaging, with a lifestyle vibe that’s difficult to achieve in a studio. The product placement is natural and organic, for content that flows as well on the creator’s platform than on your own.

5. Stay on top of new platforms and their advantages

The constant evolution of social platforms can be difficult to follow. Stay on top of these changes to know where to find your target audience and elaborate a cross-posting strategy to maximize your impact.

As a more mature platform, Facebook reaches older people. Once the newcomer, Instagram is now in a more stable period, mostly attracting a public aged 18 to 35 and staying the go-to platform for influencer marketing.

As for younger people, TikTok’s explosive arrival triggered an exodus towards the platform, and many predict the giant’s takedown of Instagram in the near future. What does this entail? We can notice a pronounced excitement for short videos, no matter the platform. It’s important to abide by the codes of each network to optimise the content we’re paying for.

Still, some are very similar and allow you to post the same content on two different platforms to target different audiences with varied habits. This is what we call cross-posting. On top of saving on production costs, you can maximize reach for increased awareness.

In short

Influencer marketing is a valuable tactic for your social media efforts. We you choose content creators for your brand, you benefit from their network to reach an engaged audience while fostering a positive opinioné Don’t forget: content creators are still people and not machines. Maintaining a privileged relationship with your talents goes a long way.

Now, your turn. Put our best practices to work and grow your influence. And if ever you need a hand for your digital strategies, we can always have a chat.

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