How to Launch an Influencer Campaign – Part 2: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Influencers

By Katie Young

Now is the time to keep your brand top of mind. Uncertainty breeds competitive opportunity, and while many brands consider reducing marketing budgets to boost bottom lines in the near-term, that approach is proven to be folly (read: 7 reasons to maintain your marketing program in uncertain times).

One of the most effective ways to reach your audience, build brand affinity and get a solid ROI is partnering with influencers. With a growing influencer market and more business-savvy influencers, it’s no surprise that 63 percent of consumers have noticed more sponsored content from influencers in the past year.

If you’re a brand looking to launch an influencer campaign, know that people can spot a fake from a scroll away. So, to make sure you’re truly connecting with your audience as you kick off your programs, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: Allow influencer partners to be authentic; stay on top of current trends and events; and work in the platforms that will support your goals.

Authenticity in the Age of De-influencing

There are a few lifestyle influencers I’ve followed for years that have influenced me to purchase certain products they’ve posted about — simply because I’ve learned to trust their recommendations based on their real, honest, authentic opinions. It’s easy to tell the difference between an influencer who is really passionate about the product they’re promoting and a social media personality just posting about a new brand to get paid. The rise of the de-influencing trend is uncovering just how much consumers are hungry for credible sources, so now is the time when honesty and authenticity trump all if you want to break through the noise to impact consumer purchase decisions. In fact, Matter’s new survey found that the most important attribute to consumers when learning about a company, product or brand is authenticity (39%).

If you’re looking to engage influencers, first understand the message you want to convey and how it relates to your audience. Allow your influencer partners to determine what they’re comfortable posting from their own personal experiences, in their own voice (and in a way that best resonates with their audience). Consumers will call out overly promotional and cut-and-paste messaging, proving detrimental to a brand’s reputation.

Howdy, Influencer Partner

With any influencer campaign comes a responsibility to foster influencer relationships with thoughtful care. We are living in economically sensitive and politically charged times. While social can be an easy distraction from this, you’d never want to push out content that is tone deaf to current events or timely issues. This is why it’s important to work closely at the onset of a campaign to align on risk-averse creator partners.

If your influencer partner starts to get negative attention, pivot to other candidates and reevaluate their relationship with your brand. If sensitive current events dominate the media, act and revise timelines. When brands work closely with their ears to the ground and collaborate with their influencer partners to create meaningful content, it resonates much more with their audiences.

Be Real, Just Not on BeReal…Yet

Social platforms are constantly evolving content styles and algorithms, giving brands new ways to engage with their target audiences. It’s imperative to carefully vet these changes to determine if and how it’s best to participate. For example, BeReal is great for people to connect with their friends on a personal level, but it’s not conducive to influencer content…yet! The ever-changing landscape provides an evolving playground for emerging social media trends and platforms while also reinforcing the importance of working with influencers who can roll with these changes to best resonate with their respective audiences.

Whether you’re just starting out in the influencer space or want to scale your current programs to reach new audiences and achieve new goals, we’re here to help. Reach out below and let’s chat more about building an influencer campaign that works best for you and your brand. We’d love to hear from you!