Finally, we’ve reached a point in our influencer marketing blog post series where we can really start getting to it– for the lack of a better phrase.
We know what influener marketing is, why we’re doing it and what we want to achieve. Based off of this we’ve created our influencer marketing strategy and identified our influencers- now, it’s time to start tailoring your marketing activities so that you’re able to effectively reach your target audience through your influencers.
Starting an influencer marketing campaign does not entail jumping straight onto Instagram to target the high profile instagram influencers- this is not an appropriate approach for most brands. There is far more to influencer marketing.
Not only is it important to understand who influences your target audience, but it’s important to understand exactly how (content and messaging) and on what social channels this is on, so that you’re able to tailor your existing marketing strategy accordingly.
What social channel should you focus on?
Conducting research and coming to a decision on which social channels you should invest time and resource into should be one of the first decisions you make, prior to putting any time into content creation.
Each channel has a different audience and culture, meaning that content differs highly- in style, value and the way in which it’s shared. These differences provide completely different user experiences and in turn prompt unique user behaviours, meaning audiences on each platform differ also.
So, it is important to understand the differences between each channel so that you can decide on which channels are important to your brand and most importantly your audience. This will enable you to effectively tailor your content and messaging to achieve maximum impact.
While every brand is different, B2C brands tend to gravitate towards more image-centric social media platforms such as Instagram, as well as Blogs, Facebook YouTube and Twitter, whereas B2B brands favour Twitter, Blogs and LinkedIn.
“Often marketers just look to where their audience’s attention is. But don’t consider the relevancy of their attention. Sure, your target buyer may have eyes on Instagram, but are they open to being sold office stationery there? You need to answer both the attention and relevancy question to win. “
Owain Williams, Influencer Marketing Blogger, www.ojawilliams.com
What are the differences between the channels?
Instagram is great for travel, fashion and food brands; easy to digest, eye catching, filtered images draw users in. When users find a profile with content and style that suits their interests they’re quick to hit follow and tend to stick around. The addition of Instagram stories enables influencers to signpost or link back to brands when collaborating. With all this said, Instagram remains one of the hottest channels to engage with influencers. If you’re looking to gain quick, short term exposure through high profile influencers, this is the channel to do it, along with YouTube- but expect to pay a hefty price.
However, how ‘instagrammable’ are b2b products and services? Are the followers of a gamer really going to engage with a post on a B2B marketing automation tool, just because it’s a gamer posting it? Probably not. Authenticity of Instagram follower and engagement stats also come into question due to tools and ‘pods’ (arranged, reciprocal engagement) allowing followers to fake their way to the top.
On the other side of the coin, we have LinkedIn. LinkedIn to Instagram is like a teenager on their best behaviour at a family party. Content, style and culture of the platform are entirely different and far more professional. The primary purposes of LinkedIn are networking and sharing useful industry news and information. LinkedIn pulse creates an open gate for any user to freely write and publish their own content. With this said, LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B influencers and subject matter experts (SMEs) to share content with their immediate and wider network, to increase exposure and awareness. To carry on with the above example, a high profile B2B marketer referencing your B2B marketing automation tool in a LinkedIn update or blog post will be extremely relevant and effective.
Twitter is by far the most eﬀective channel to influence the news media; high volume community engagement easily allows for immersing yourself in conversations in real time. Influencers can easily reference and signpost to brand websites or blogs, making great grounds for brand/influencer collaboration. If you’re viewing influencer marketing through a longer term lens, looking to drive and lead conversation in a particular hot topic, building relationships with Twitter influencers is a great option.
While each channel has its benefits, in most cases brands should use multiple social channels in harmony to reach their target audience.
We’ve put together a guide around the culture and benefits of each social media channel:
What this means for your content?
Once you’ve established which social channels are appropriate to your audience, you’re able to effectively plan and create your content.
Content must always be relevant to your target audience. Your content must also be entertaining, informative or inspiring so that you’re providing some value to your audience.
Understand what kind of content drives the most engagement from your inﬂuencers and why it resonates with your target audience. Is it research led, informative content, or are they tapping into their followers’ emotions? What content formats are most shared throughout the community – blog posts, videos or infographics? Who is the original author of this content and who is mainly responsible for amplifying the content to make it go viral? Is there a particular influencer that seems to drive shares when they share it themselves?
If you’re a B2C travel brand, what kind of content performs the best? Is it Instagram videos/stories, or Travel vlogs on YouTube? Answering these kind of questions will help you highlight the channels your relevant influencers are on and the kind of content they produce. This will feed into planning ideas for collaboration with influencers.
” No two social media networks are the same and each network is leveraged differently depending on the audience, the device and the type of content. To stand out and grab the user’s attention on these unique platforms, brands must factor in the user behaviour and user experience of each platform when building out a content strategy and identifying influencers to use on each social network. “
Brian Fanzo, Founder, isocialfanz.com
Nail your messaging
Establishing your channel and content focus is just the start, you must also define your content’s messaging and topic focus.
Find out what the industry hot topics are that your inﬂuencers and audience really care about and then consider your brand’s angle and which key messages you want to portray.
This is a task that can often be over complicated; a simple Google search to analyse your keywords will highlight the similar and related terms used within the community. With this knowledge you can reﬁne your inﬂuencer discovery keywords and create content that is aligned to these keywords. What better way to ensure your content will interest your target audience, than to align it with the language and topics they’re constantly talking about on social media?
To take this to the next level, implementing social listening tools can help highlight how people are talking about the topic on social, ensuring you never miss an influencer conversation and the opportunity to engage.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alicia manages Onalytica's content creation and collateral to help new and existing customers get the most out of their influencer programs. She also plays a large part in the design and user experience of Onalytica's SaaS influencer marketing platform, to ensure that the platform best serves clients' needs. Alicia is passionate about educating the industry on influencer marketing best practice, one thought leadership blog post at a time.