Five Tips for Getting Started with Influencer Marketing Campaigns | with Tayler RossettiApr 20, 2023
The pandemic has served as a catalyst for influencers' growing role in brand marketing. In industries such as beauty and fashion, influencers have become so omnipresent that not having an influencer marketing strategy may leave you behind.
Tayler Rossetti joined me on the Got Marketing? podcast to discuss influencer marketing campaigns and showcase how smaller brands have been able to use influencer marketing to propel their brands. Tayler is the former Campaign Manager at Oraco Agency, located on the Mornington Peninsula, and she has been working in the marketing industry for over ten years.
In this article, you will find a summary of the top tips Tayler has for getting started with working with influencers to up-level your marketing efforts.
Why Tayler thinks influencer marketing is a no-brainer for your business
- It has been reported that businesses are making, on average, a $5.78 return on investment for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. This is huge - no wonder there has been a meteoric rise in influencer marketing.
- Most influencer marketing is digital - meaning it's easy to track and follow the results using data and analytics.
- It helps you stay relevant. Influencers exist in all industries, including B2B. W
- If you want to build your presence on a particular channel, influencers can help you fast track your growth because they know these platforms best.
"For staying ahead of the curve and tapping into trends, you need to grow and adapt with your audience. People grow and change, and so should your business because how else are you going to relate to your audience? You need to be able to deliver content that is digestible for them, and that appeals to them." - Tayler Rossetti
- Influencers have built trust and loyalty with their audience. People are becoming increasingly sceptical of brands and their marketing tactics. Your target audience is more likely to listen to an influencer than a brand as long as you partner with an influencer that has an authentic connection with your brand.
- Influencers are content creators. They are creating sticky content because they know how to use these social media platforms well. They're very confident on camera, they know how to edit for the platform, and their content is very authentic.
- In Tayler's experience, when she has collaborated with an influencer:
"They tend to draw out something from your brand that maybe you hadn't considered before.
Nine times out of ten, if I give them a brief, they will produce something that's even better than what I had imagined. I've heard clients say; "Wow! I didn't consider my product could be perceived in that particular point of view."
So, yes, I think it's about collaborating and definitely sharing that creativity together."
What is an influencer marketing campaign?
Tayler defines an influencer marketing campaign as:
"In my experience, an influencer campaign is when you use an influencer – or you partner with an influencer – to be the face of your campaign."
Usually, the influencer has a large follower base or a high level of engagement with your target audience that you want to tap into.
"With an influencer, you want to partner with them for your campaign to help bolster or elevate whatever message, product or service that you're trying to promote through that campaign."
- Tayler Rossetti
Tayler's top tips for working with influencers
- Don't look at an influencer's follower count. Look at their engagement rate instead.
- Authenticity is key.
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
- Have an agreement in place.
- Brief your influencers well.
1. Engagement Rate > Follower Count
"Top tip one would be to avoid fixating on an influencer's following - the number of followers. I know it's something we talk about a lot, but I feel like it's still something that comes up, particularly with people who probably aren't as well-versed in the social media and influencer space. Just because I have 10 million followers doesn't mean they have real influence." - Tayler Rossetti
What to look at instead? The influencer's engagement rate. A quick Google search can lead you to several free online engagement calculators. You copy and paste the influencer's handle into the tool, and it will generate the account's engagement rate. Phlanx is one of these tools.
The engagement rate figure reflects the average amount of comments, likes and saves this person receives per post. It gives an indication of how loyal and engaged their following is.
People can buy followers, but these bought followers won't comment, like or engage with the content produced by the account.
2. Authenticity is Key
Tayler strongly believes in the importance of authenticity when selecting influencers to advocate for your brand.
"It's all about connecting with someone who is authentically invested in your brand. If you're a vegan company, for example, you wouldn't go and partner with someone who's a big foodie and who tries all sorts of different food and promotes meat or an epic barbecue place." - Tayler Rossetti
Collaborate with someone who has the same values as your brand. Someone who is invested in your brand's mission.
"Don't just partner with someone because of a huge following, and they come off as big and shiny. That doesn't mean anything if they're not aligned with your brand." - Tayler Rossetti
Want to find out if a particular influencer you're looking at working with is an authentic fit for your campaign? When reaching out to brief an influencer, Tayler likes to arrange a phone or Zoom call with them to discuss the campaign and gauge their reaction to it.
"Definitely talk to them or their people. They're not scary celebrities. They're real people. Just talk to them about it and see if there is a real genuine connection there." - Tayler Rossetti
3. Don't put all your eggs in one basket
In marketing, over-relying on one channel is perilous. A smart mix of owned, paid, and earned media channels is essential for success.
Similarly, within the influencer marketing channel, you should not put all of your eggs into one basket and just work with only one influencer on a particular campaign. Their content may not convert well for your brand.
When I was working at L'Oréal and in a creative agency, we worked with up to 25 influencers at a time because we were testing which influencers would drive the best results. We spread our risk across different influencers. Sometimes the wildcard influencer became the standout performer in a particular campaign.
"Again, have that varied level of engagement, following, types of people, gender, values. Mix it up so you've got that broad reach as well." - Tayler Rossetti
4. Have an agreement
Many small- o medium-sized organisations I've worked with have said that they have felt very burnt by working with influencers in the past. Most of the time, this was likely due to a communication breakdown and there not being a proper agreement in place.
Influencer marketing requires a high level of trust between the brand and the influencer, which makes it a risky move for brands.
Marketing is risky, and business is risky. But I know one thing for sure – playing it safe is the riskiest strategy because you are guaranteed that people will scroll past your content. If you are risk-averse, maybe owning a business is not for you.
"I think it's really important to keep in mind that influencers are people. They are not robots. Things aren't going to be perfect. You do need to relinquish a little bit of control when it comes to partnering with an influencer. I think there is that fear there.
But I think – as you said – there needs to be clarity. Is this relationship authentic? Does this influencer align with my brand and my values? Are they someone who will advocate for my brand and also speak to those same values as well?
Yes, there is going to be that risk there. As long as you're clear upfront with what it is you're expecting and that you're both on the same page, then usually you can get quite a good result – sometimes, better than what you originally expected." - Tayler Rossetti
Always have an agreement between the influencer and the brand that sets out the terms.
There are a lot of assumptions about what brands expect influencers are going to deliver. But not all influencers follow the same rulebook. Some of them will happily post multiple pieces of content for free. Some will happily post a single IG story for a million dollars. Don't assume; get it in writing.
5. Brief your influencers like any other collaborator
Please brief your influencers well. This is something that I teach inside Campaign Classroom. Few people (other than marketers) get excited about learning how to properly brief a third-party supplier or potential collaboration partner, or influencer, but a good brief will save you so much money and time.
Make an influencer's work easy by sending them a considered and comprehensive brief covering what your business is about, your brand values, and the campaign's vision, goals, style, timeframe and budget. You'll get better outcomes and avoid wasting time going back and forth communicating with the influencer. I've worked with influencers, photographers, and videographers who have taken on my project even though they were at full capacity because I've sent them a killer brief. They say something like:
"You've done all the hard work for me, and you know what you want, so it's going to be easy and fun to work with you."
Be a good client!
"I think we focus too much on the end product of what the influencer is going to create and how that will be received by your customers, but it's a partnership. They need to impress you and vice versa. As a brand, you are representing yourself to an influencer, so if you're someone that they don't want to work with and you haven't made their life easy, they will talk about it with their community and their other influencer friends. You've got to keep that in mind as well." - Tayler Rossetti
Influencer marketing campaign example
In the podcast episode, Tayler discusses a couple of influencer campaigns that have stood out to her over the last few years. One example was a brand awareness campaign run by Love Luna, a period underwear brand, partnering with the influencer Emmylou.
"They did an Instagram post doing a callout to everyday women in Melbourne along the lines of, we're running a photoshoot with Emmylou Loves at this studio at this time. If you want to be a part of it, comment below.'
This particular post got over 800 comments which is an incredible feat for a smaller business at the time.
They did this photoshoot with everyday women. Emmylou Loves was the spearhead and the face of this photoshoot. It was incredible. It really struck a chord with me because, as an everyday woman, I loved seeing real women on my Instagram feed wearing period undies, and talking about stuff that we all go through, and they looked real.
You could tell already that that partnership was an incredible alignment, incredible collaboration because Emmylou was a reflection of their target audience, and her following on her own social were the right people who then obviously went across to Love Luna and started following their socials, started purchasing their products, and it was a bit of a multi-platform partnership and campaign as well."
As part of the campaign, Love Luna had a TV commercial featuring Emmylou and also ran a giveaway on the Instagram platform. This integrated campaign used multiple channels - not just a few posts on social media. Social content came from the shoot, the shoot itself was an event or activation, and there was the TVC and the giveaway, all playing a role in the overall campaign.
It was bringing all of those elements together that made it the symphony it was.
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Global Marketing Strategist
Global Marketing Strategist