With patients and physicians alike using online videos to gain advice and information, see how some of our medical device clients are leveraging video content in their marketing.
It’s no secret that influencer marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, but how does a company maximize its Return On Investment (ROI)? There are a few key strategies that will assist your brand in doing so. Check out our best practices for influencer marketing below.
- Do Your Homework
The first step in any influencer marketing campaign should be to find the right influencers. You want to ensure that you’re choosing influencers who fit in with your brand and align with your brand’s values. They are going to be ambassadors for your brand, so it is integral that you’re comfortable with their content and trust that they’ll do right by your brand.
2. Be Strategic in Choosing Influencers
It is important to keep in mind that a larger following does not equate to increased effectiveness in your campaign. In fact, it is recommended to choose a few smaller-scale influencers with a high engagement, as these audiences are more likely to click through posts or, ultimately, purchase what the influencer is promoting. Additionally, it is of course beneficial to choose influencers who have audiences in your target demographic, but be careful not to limit yourself. You can also utilize influencers with adjacent audiences and overlapping audiences. For instance, if you are a beauty brand, it may make sense to recruit a few lifestyle, home, and/or fitness influencers to help increase your promotions reach.
3. Build a Relationship
The relationship between a company and its influencer should be mutually beneficial. You want to add value to your influencers’ businesses and vice versa. Sharing their content (with expressed consent, of course) promotes your influencers and also helps to build upon your business relationship.
It is also important to listen to and collaborate with your influencers. They know a lot about their following and can likely add a lot of value to your business’ promotion if you take into consideration their insight into your target audiences.
4. Allow Your Influencers To Be Creative
It can be tough to let go of some of the control in any marketing situation, but remember: your have gained their audiences by being authentic and creative, so allow them to continue to be! Any influencer campaign should be aiming to generate organic, word-of-mouth marketing and in order for this to happen, the influencers need to be free to create unique content. You can provide information about your business or product, but, ultimately, you want your influencers to promote your brand in an authentic and creative way so as not to push away their audiences. Sometimes, even a well-placed item in the background of an Instagram photo is enough to convince a following.
5. Comply with the Federal Trade Commission
It’s extremely important for your influencers to comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards during your promotion. This means expressly noting in their blog posts, photos, YouTube videos, etc. that they are partnering with your company. It’s also important that the thoughts and opinions of your influencers are their own and that any free products they received are disclosed.
In 2015, the FTC cracked down on Lord & Taylor for a campaign in which 50 influencers promoted the same dress, but did not disclose their partnership with the company. The dress sold out in less than a week, but Lord & Taylor was under fire for non-compliance. Compliance can be as simple as putting: “FTC DISCLAIMER: This video is sponsored by <Company Name>, but my thoughts and opinions are my own.” in the description of the post, so be sure not to overlook this simple necessity.
6. Track and Measure
It may sound intuitive, but it is extremely important to track and measure your influencer campaign. Choose your metrics, set goals and KPIs from the beginning, and communicate those expectations to your influencers. Then be sure to track the effectiveness of your promotion both throughout and after it runs and bask in the glory of your ROI.
Here at Martino Flynn, we have worked closely with clients to execute influencer marketing campaigns to drive awareness and increase product trial and sales. Check out additional information on the effectiveness of influencer marketing. If you’re interested in leveraging social media influencers for your brand, you can contact us to learn more about our influencer marketing and social media capabilities.
From cloud connectivity to cyber security, it seems like almost every technology company is expanding their communication services. However, having the most extensive fiber route or the most customizable cloud configuration simply isn’t enough when it comes to landing new customers. Speeds, feeds, lines and features may sound like strong differentiators to service providers, but IT decision makers know all too well that solution capabilities, and their own business needs, change rapidly. In this fast-paced industry, C-Suite and IT professionals aren’t likely to jump at the latest solution to hit the market, rather they are more apt to make purchasing decisions based on brand affinity, reputation, and loyalty. With this in mind, we often recommend our clients consider executing upon a strategic thought leadership program to better position their company as a strong business partner.
How do thought leadership programs work?
After a company identifies the correct company spokesperson for its program—often based on factors such as the individual’s industry knowledge, product expertise, authenticity, and likeability—the next step is to identify and implement a series of communication tactics to position him or her as the company’s Subject-Matter Expert (SME). This can include setting up a speakers bureau so that the SME can speak at trade shows or customer events, pitching that SME for media interviews in targeted trade, regional, and national outlets; authoring a blog series portraying the SME’s opinions on various topics; or executing a social media engagement effort to build the SME’s personal brand.
With the right mix of communication tactics, a thought leadership program can help a company:
- Evangelize company culture by using an SME who embodies brand values
- Establish credibility through the expertise of their employees
- Develop stronger rapport with customers/prospects by humanizing the brand
- Deliver value to a topic and steer the direction of an industry conversation
- Sell products and solutions through storytelling
What type of thought leadership content resonates the most?
Despite common misconceptions, audiences are not looking for your SME’s opinions to be all that differentiated from the industry standard. In fact, many SMEs who cover topics like cyber security will naturally emphasize the same key advantages of implementing network and cloud security solutions. However, audiences want to find the best answers to their questions; and if you have the right SME—one who is well-respected, knowledgeable, and trustworthy—your company will be able to do just that. By addressing customer pain points, industry changes, and the latest trends, your SME can become the “go-to” authority.
From the public relations perspective, thought leaders can play a valuable role in “soft selling” products and/or services without ever hinting at promotion. The best SMEs are those individuals who are respected within the industry and trusted by customers and prospects alike; therefore your target audiences will find value in hearing what they have to say. SMEs can talk about solutions in terms of capabilities vs. features and dance on the line of vendor neutrality when discussing “hot” topics. Company thought leaders are not your salesmen, they are your influencers; this is a subtle, but important, distinction.
To learn more about creating a thought leadership program, contact Jenny LePore at Martino Flynn.