This is a guest article written by Callum Mundine. Callum is the head of digital marketing at Warble Media – a boutique website design company based in Dubbo, NSW, Australia. 

When done correctly, influencer marketing has the potential to quickly gain exposure for your brand. Essentially, it’s about identifying people who have influence over potential buyers and collaborating with them to promote your business, product, or service.

The Do's and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

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But there are definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to influencer marketing, and learning about them could be the difference between a successful social media campaign and a waste of time and resources.

The Do’s

Find The Right Influencer For Your Brand

Identifying an influencer you want to work with is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. Choosing someone based on their large following alone simply isn’t enough to go on and may end up wasting time and valuable resources.

The best approach is to look for someone who is an active social media user, knows the correct format for different social networks, and has an engaged following with posts that generate actions.

Most importantly, try to identify an influencer whose following aligns with your target consumer. Your campaign is unlikely to succeed unless it’s displayed to an audience which matches your market.

Know Your Strategy

Before you contact a potential influencer, think about your plan of action. Are you interested in a single post about your product? Or a more integrated approach to an account takeover?

If your aim is to drive traffic to a landing page, ensure you provide the necessary URL. The same goes with any specific hashtags you’d like the influencer to use. Providing simple, clear instructions will increase the chances of producing the results you’re looking for, but to do this, you need to have a strategy in place first.

Build A Relationship

Think of influencer marketing as building valuable business relationships which will help promote your current campaign as well as others you may run in the future. There are several ways to compensate an influencer you’re working with, and it’s usually best to negotiate terms on an individual basis.

Popular compensation methods include giving away a product or service, working out a fee, agreeing to a commission based on leads or sales, or exchanging features on social media channels.

Depending on the influencer’s experience in the world of marketing, they may already have established rates which vary depending on the needs of a campaign.

Showcase Your Best Features

Whether your campaign aims to drive traffic or boost followers, make sure your account or landing page showcases your best content. Give users a reason to engage with your business and follow you, and make use of the new eyes checking out your brand.

Not capitalizing on new traffic is a common mistake and often renders any marketing efforts fruitless.

The Don’ts

Ignore Micro Influencers

Your definition of a micro influencer may differ greatly from the next person. Some view them as accounts with 5.000 to 50.000 followers, whilst others would consider them around the 100.000 mark.

Many brands dismiss micro influencers due to their lower following, but this can be a big mistake. They often have a more niche audience and therefore higher engagement rates, as well as a more authentic reputation with their audience.

Finally, as micro influencers are in an earlier stage of developing their online presence, you’ll often find they’re more eager to work with brands and will likely accept lower rates.

Take Over Completely

No one knows their audience better than the influencer who built it up, so including them in the creative process is a good way to ensure your campaign piques their interest. Choosing someone based on their unique content style but then taking complete control of the post will likely be counter-intuitive.

Talk to them about your brand, let them know what you’re expecting from the campaign, and then let them create something using their own vision. This is the best way of ensuring a successful relationship and making sure both parties benefit from the partnership.

Discard Influencer Content Once The Campaign Has Ended

Instead, take advantage of the content an influencer has created for you. As well as using it to promote your current campaign, think about integrating it into your content strategy and reusing it in other forms of advertising.

Think about it, repurposing influencer content is much easier than creating brand new content, and if your campaign was a success, you’ll know you’re working with material which attracts your target audience.

Take note of users who responded to the campaign and use this valuable information to tailor your next one towards this audience.

Be Unrealistic About Results

You may have already established the parameters for choosing an influencer, but a lot of research needs to be carried out to find the right person for your specific campaign.

The more you understand about different types of content and how they attract different types of engagement, the easier it will be to find a good match for your brand.

Remember this is account specific, so whilst some influencers receive a high engagement from video posts, others will generate a much higher interaction with tagged photos.

Expecting great things by asking a fashion blogger to post a video which is unrelated to their audience’s interests will likely yield disappointing results, no matter how many followers they have.

To Sum Up

Different social media influencers will provide very different results. Planning ahead, understanding an influencer’s audience and post engagement, and being realistic about the expected results from a campaign should pave the way for a successful influencer marketing partnership.