Working with Influencers: How to make adverts feel like a genuine recommendation
I’ll start off by saying I’m no expert in influencing. Yes, I’m an Influencer, but I’m still a small one and I’m still very much learning the ropes. But through making many mistakes I have learned a thing or two which I’ll be sharing with you here today.
Firstly, social media is not what it used to be 2 years plus ago. This time last year, although my account was smaller, I got more engagement, my audience would “like” my adverts just as much as they liked a regular post and I got a lot of work. Fast forward to right now and the Influencer market is saturated, audiences have grown weary of adverts, engagement is down on the whole Instagram platform and most businesses and creators are having to adjust accordingly.
This is not to say that the Influencers are a thing of the past. They are here to stay. Instagram is still a social media platform here to stay with over 1 billion monthly active users with 60% of these accessing the platform every day. Nearly half of digital users look for brands, products or inspiration on social media platforms.
Things have changed, so Influencers and brands working with Influencers must adapt accordingly. It’s a very fast-paced industry and my guess is that things will keep changing until the end of times. So try to keep on top of the news by, for example, setting up a Google News alert for “social media trends” or whatever is relevant in your sector.
The lesson here is that it’s harder nowadays to get you regular post to perform well, and even harder to get an advert to perform well. It’s more important than it has ever been for the content to be of really high quality. In a sea of Influencers, that’s how one can stand out, by producing really high quality content (as well as some other behind the scenes aspects which I will share with you another time!).
The reason why brands work with Influencers is primarily is to gain access to an already engaged target audience, an audience who will usually be interested in what the Influencer has to say like a friend’s recommendation. So generating organic, real interest from the audience in your product is the goal, which may generate a sale either now or in the future now that brand awareness has been created.
So here are my 5 top tips for creating Influencer adverts that influence without being too salesy, because nobody likes that.
This may seem irrelevant for creating ads, but it’s not. If you find someone who is aligned to your brand, the advert is more likely to come out as a natural recommendation.
Yes, metrics are important because you will be investing resources into this advert and you need to see results. There is little point in finding a perfect Influencer who is only going to reach 20 accounts with your advert. But be realistic. Remember that likes are not the whole picture. How many times have you seem a photo on Instagram which you really liked but you never bothered to double-tap? Also, it depends on the purpose of your advert. Perhaps you just want the advert created for you so you can repost on social media channels yourself. So the Influencer’s reach is almost irrelevant (this is what we would call you sourcing a content creator instead).
Be a pleasure to work with. Provide a clear brief, manage expectations, reply to emails quickly, get the product posted promptly, pay on time. Thank the influencer at the end of the campaign. Follow them on social media and don’t unfollow at the end of the campaign. Don’t make them reshoot 5 times because you’re not happy (if this happens you are either working with the wrong Influencer or you gave them a bad brief). The nicer the experience of working with you, the better effort they will make on the advert. This Influencer is also now an ambassador for life if you play it right. Way after the campaign is over, keep engaging with their posts, send them a Christmas card. They will probably engage back and keep recommending you “just because”. And if the campaign goes well, work with them again. Long-term partnerships are preferred over one-off adverts by both Influencers and followings. And other Influencers in the same niche will take notice of you, and you of them, and now you are starting to find a nice group of people you trust and who you know will do a good job for you.
To sum up, making an ad look like a genuine recommendation, in my opinion, comes down to finding the right Influencers in the first place and building a friendly and professional relationship with them. The ALL BY MAMA Network is a great place to start when looking for Influencers. You can also search for hashtags in your niche and see who pops up. If you find someone interesting, look at the people who commented on that post. Often Influencers of similar size will know each other and support each other, so you can find more people to potentially work with in the comments too. If your product or service is area specific, like a shop, search for the location and see what posts around that location comes up.
I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions I’m very happy to chat – firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM me on Instagram (gabigandolfini).
I’m going to end by leaving you with some of my most successful adverts as an example. Not necessarily measured in likes! They were successful in terms of reach, leads, swipe ups in stories, how happy the brand was with the outcome, how positive the experience was for me, how much creative freedom I had etc. I hope it inspires you for your future campaigns!
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