Text: Caroline Kjærbye
One of the hottest topics at this year’s Social Media Week is influencer marketing and yesterday Landbrug & Fødevarer hosted a sold-out event about ‘Influencer Marketing 2.0’. The key speakers – an influencer, an agency and a brand – all agreed on one thing: You have to create long-lasting relationships with the influencers in order to get the best results. Get their advice on Influencer Marketing 2.0 and how brands and agencies should deal with it today.
Why choose to work with influencers?
Senior Consultant and Social Media Strategist at RelationsPeople, Maria Andersen emphasized three simple reasons why collaborations with influencers can create an enormous value for brands today:
- Influencers can give you access to a specific, highly dedicated target group.
- They can co-create your content to fit to that target group.
- And most importantly: They can offer you a high degree of credibility. Ask yourself: What has the biggest impact on me? That outdoor I saw showing-off a specific shampoo or my friends or co-workers recommending me another one? Peer-to-peer has a lot more credibility than other advertising or PR – and working with influencers can offer you a lot of the same things if you do it right.
6 tips for brands and agencies working with influencers:
1. Make the influencers long-lasting ambassadors of your brand
Influencer and former Marketing Manager at Yelp, Camilla Stemann pointed out that Influencer Marketing should be called Influencer Relations instead, as it’s much more about creating a relationship with the influencer. She emphasized that the strategy so far has been “on/off campaigning”, which means that the brands are only using influencers for a short period of time when they need that extra reach.
Instead, brands and agencies should be using influencers as an integrated part of their content marketing strategy – as permanent ambassadors of the brand. It leads to higher credibility and better results.
The example below, that Marketing Director of Yaneeda.com, Kasper Munk pointed out at the presentation shows that working with long-lasting ambassadors (the one to the right) leads to a higher reach, more credible campaigns and easier execution compared to working with larger influencers on a one-time basis (the one to the left).
Example from one of Yaneeda.com’s collaborations with influencers.
2. Choose fewer, carefully selected influencers
Instead of just choosing the influencers with the highest reach you’ll have to find the influencers that fit your specific brand. Before making that decision it’s important to do your research. Maria argued that you’ll have to find the sweet spot where the key messages and focus of the brand match the influencer’s brand and focus.
If you don’t already know the influencer you’ll have to read through his/her blog, setup meetings and discuss your values and options. It might be a longer process, but it’s worth it in the end.
3. Use the influencers as part of the entire customer journey
Camilla argued that it’s a misunderstanding that influencers only can be used in the buying-process. Instead influencers should be part of the entire customer journey from marketing and sales to CRM and support.
The influencers know their readers (= your target group) better than anybody else and can be helpful during the entire process like the example below with an Eva Solo water bottle.
Influencers can help you with everything from sales-focused posts to ‘How to’ videos for support or rewarding content that creates loyalty.
4. It’s all about storytelling
Pack shots of your product are not enough. The product (no matter whether it’s a water bottle or a shampoo) has to be included in the influencer’s own universe and part of a bigger story to engage the users.
A tip from Camilla and Maria is to invite the influencer to co-create the content with you in order to get the best results.
5. Influencers can help you fulfill the digital strategy
Kasper told the audience about how a startup company or an online travel agency like Yaneeda.com can use influencers to build up a brand online with SEO and link building. The travel business is tough when it comes to competition, but Yaneeda decided to build their appearance around longtail search words: Instead of the short “travel to” they would use “travel to xx with kids” or similar.
They built up online destination guides with those specific sentences and used collaborations with influencers to create an even stronger SEO and traffic to their site.
The result is that when you search for e.g. “travelling to Sri Lanka with kids” today the Yaneeda site is represented in the top 3, while an article from one of the influencers is part of the top search results as well. To sum up; with influencer collaborations, SEO and link building it’s possible to gain control of a certain topic online.
6. To pay or not to pay?
That’s one of the big questions when it comes to influencer marketing today. However the three speakers agreed on one thing: If you demand anything from your influencer then you’ll have to pay – e.g. if you tell them to post a picture of your product on Instagram.
About the speakers:
- Maria Andersen is Social Media Strategist and Senior Consultant at RelationsPeople.
- Camilla Stemann is a specialist in Influencer Marketing as former Marketing Manager at Yelp and her own blog Copenhagenbyme.com.
- Kasper Munk is Marketing Director at the travelling agency Yaneeda.com