If your retail brand is looking to partner with a social influencer, there’s a huge amount of upside in building such a relationship but also a few things you need to know before pulling the trigger on such a deal. Leveraging influencers is all about choosing the right partner, optimizing your partnership, and ultimately knowing how to measure success.
Below is the secret ListenFirst playbook for making sure you get the most out of your brand advocate:
Step #1: Choosing The Right Influencer
- Audit Their Social Presence – Yes the influencer is popular but how they’re popular matters too. For instance, if your retail brand already has a strong presence on YouTube, but needs help growing an Instagram following; targeting an YouTube personality with a weak Instagram following isn’t going to help. Make sure what the influencer can demonstrably reach the audience you’re actually interested in.
- Find An Authentic Partnership – In 2017, a series of Kim Kardashian posts on social media showing her drinking Casamigos tequila backfired, when fans pointed out she’s previous gone on the record about not drinking alcohol. When partnering with an influencer, it’s important to find a match that compliments rather than conflicts with your brand.
- Benchmark Against The Competition – There are thousands of beauty influencers in the cosmetics space, but by utilizing the ListenFirst Beauty Influencer Rankings, you can see either James Charles or Jeffree Star is your best bet in targeting a male YouTube star. By understanding the whole competitive landscape, you can better identify the best spokesperson.
- Dig Into Demographics – If you’re targeting young UK women interested in cosmetics, the ListenFirst Instant Analysis Twitter tool found that Zoe Sugg aka Zoella would be a great match because 76% of people talking about Zoella are female, and 48% are from England. Making sure an influencer has the right audience for your brand strategy is a huge part of due diligence.
Step #2: Leveraging The Influencer Partnership
Once you’ve settled on the right influencer the next step is authentically building a campaign around what they’re already good at. Rather than being like a television commercial where a celebrity is plugged into a brand ad; social media influencers need to be utilized in their native environment.
If the influencer is primarily an Instagram personality work with them to publish Instagram-worthy content, rich with imagery and captions that speak to physiological experiences on their account. Working with a YouTuber? Take the opportunity to place a spotlight on fun, vlogable activities and trips.
A great of example of how to maximize the value of an influencer is through branded experiences. For instance, Ole Henriksen holds an annual “Glow Camp” where they partnered with various beauty influencers, with fan bases ranging from 1K to 5M (together generating a potential reach of 14.3M for the beauty brand) to the desserts of Utah. Pampered with the newest products, Ole Henriksen created a sense of exclusivity for the influencers, prodding them to share their experience, as the destination acted as fodder for Instagram-worthy photos.
Step #3 Measuring The Success Of The Partnership
Once the campaign is finished the focus shifts to determining how effective the influencer partnership was. There are various ways to evaluate performance including the very basic threshold of did the influencer meet your contracted number of posts?
However, there are a couple of ways ListenFirst can be especially helpful in terms of tracking influencer performance. Using the ListenFirst Platform, we can track total responses on all branded content, as well as how many new followers both your brand and your influencer garnered during the campaign.
Additionally, through the new Brand Love metric, ListenFirst can measure social media sentiment, to determine if the rate of positive interactions around the brand on Facebook and Instagram increase around the campaign. A well timed spike in favorable brand sentiment is a great indication that the influencer is reaching their audience with your messaging.
Finding the right influencer can be a daunting task, but ListenFirst is the right partner for helping you manage those other partnerships. We can provide the much needed context about how popular an influencer is on social media relative to competitors, breakout audience demographics, and during and after the campaign can provide the right metrics to determine how successful the influencer was in growing brand reach.