As influencer marketing continues to grow and mature, it no longer lives within a single marketing department across brand organizations.
This CJ authored article originally appeared on PerformanceIN.
With this evolution, influencers and the content they create can support initiatives across brand teams, creative, product development, events, social media, PR, and affiliate marketing.
With so many opportunities available, communication and planning across marketing teams become even more important to ensure that brands are utilizing campaigns to their full potential. This article highlights five creative ways we’ve seen influencers play into a wider marketing plan, insight into applying these strategies, and how to effectively measure performance.
1. Influencers as a Creative Agency
All marketing requires resource-heavy content creation. Make your influencer campaign work smarter for your brand goals (and align with some seriously cool tastemakers) by purchasing the rights to use influencer images and content to share across your social channels, website, print, and emails (including inspiration-packed newsletters for affiliate partners). Influencer platform, Linqia, reports that this is becoming common practice: “74% of marketers are using influencer content on other channels” and for good reason. “57% reported that influencer content outperformed brand-created content.”
Team up: brand, creative, social media, content marketing, email, affiliate
Make it happen: work together to build a strong creative brief and image guidelines (with examples!) for influencers to follow that meets the needs of each channel. For example, align on the products you plan to push, and any photography and asset needs (product close-ups, photo orientation, copy space, etc.). Make sure that you discuss usage rights upfront with influencers, how you’ll credit them, and the timeline and plan for promotion across channels.
KPIs: engagement rate, open rate, click-through rate
2. Influencers as Co-Creators
Launching a co-branded product line with an influencer is a smart strategy—they’re on the front lines with their audience and can easily identify gaps in the market to create products that resonate. Influencers will provide a promotional boost across their own channels, engaging their audience and driving new customers. Even better, influencers love supporting the endeavors of other influencers and will be happy to help spread the news.
Team up: brand, product development, social media, PR, affiliate
Make it happen: collaborate! Influencers are marketers and customers, so they should play a big part in the development of the launch plan, messaging, and promotional strategy. PR and affiliate should align on the list of influencers and media publications to send samples to and make sure they’re joined to your brand’s affiliate program to be able to reward and track sales.
KPIs: sales, social engagement, new customers
3. Influencers as Event Promoters
Inviting local influencers to your events and layering in promotion prior to and during the big day is a fantastic way to spread awareness and excitement via blog and social posts. There’s lots of fun to be had with social media—capitalize on the live components of Instagram and Facebook and allow influencers to share their unique point of view and drive traffic to your channels with an Instagram takeover. This will create demand and interest while the event is occurring for locals and allow remote followers to get a front-row seat at the event (and your super fun brand) without actually being there. Influencers can also push e-commerce and retail sales by sharing affiliate links to products, site-to-store offers, etc.
Team up: events, social media, PR, affiliate
Make it happen: teams should take a close look at invite lists to source the right local influencers. Events can be hectic so make sure to brief influencers with the schedule, key messages, shot lists, hashtags, etc. far in advance. Pro tip: make it pretty—Instagrammable visuals at an event are great for everyone, but even more so for influencer attendees.
KPIs: engagement rate, retail sales, site-to-store sales (affiliate), attendees, foot traffic
4. Influencers as...Literally Anyone You Know
Now that influencer marketing has matured, it is important to have a strategy that cuts through all the noise to provide an air of authenticity. Enter the idea that anyone can be an influencer. One brand riding this concept is a beauty brand, Glossier. Vox describes their plan as one that “treats customers as both a demographic to be marketed to and the people who are doing the marketing.” Their social media channel reposts user-generated content created by real customers who can become reps, have their own product page, and earn a commission. They also feature their own employees which, in turn, champions company culture and morale, both internally and externally.
Team up: brand, social media, creative
Make it happen: Incentivize word of mouth marketing with loyalty codes. Create an experience for the customer with Instagrammable packaging and make it easy to share on social by providing your handles, hashtags, etc.
KPIs: Engagement rate, sales, brand perception, and awareness
5. Influencers as Data-Driven Marketers
Layer in affiliate to any of the above initiatives and you have a slam dunk method of measurement. The “always-on” nature of commission incentives encourages influencers to share more often about your brand, even when there’s no campaign. With a view into how the products, brands, and links are resonating with their audience in real-time, influencers can make data-driven decisions about what they share and how. In addition, marketers have the ability to go deeper with their metrics and report on clicks, sales, new customers, understand the customer journey, and even measure cross-device (mobile, tablet, and desktop) with affiliate tracking.
Team up: affiliate, social media, PR, brand
Make it happen: onboard influencers from all channels into your brand’s affiliate program. Deeper metrics beyond social engagement give other marketing teams the opportunity to prioritize influencer partnerships for better ROI.
KPIs: affiliate customer journey, average order value, clicks, sales, new customers
With so many marketing channels looking to benefit from the power of influencers, teams should get creative and lean into each other's efforts to maximize the fruits of their investment, take advantage of tracking, and gain more insights. After all, success is so much sweeter together.