The Evolving State of Influencer Engagement

Key considerations to explore before launching an influencer engagement campaign

 

By every metric, influencer engagement is in vogue at the moment. Research company Schlesinger Associates found that 84% of marketing and communications professionals planned to launch an influencer campaign within 12 months, and eMarketer reports that influencer spending is up across the board. Returns on influencer campaigns have increased as well, which ensures that influencer engagement is poised to transition from a beneficial touchpoint to expected engagement strategy. Whether you’re planning to launch your first influencer engagement campaign or are an influencer engagement veteran, there are key considerations to bring to every campaign.

Broadly, influencer engagement is renting someone else’s reach and fame to be a part of your campaign, brand and/or mission in order to serve a mutually beneficial purpose. There are various levels of influencers, and it’s important to consider which type(s) would best benefit your organization or campaign. Bill Sussman, CEO of Collective Bias, lays out the key differences through a lens most of us can relate to—baseball. All organizations must ask themselves what type of influencer is needed to help advance the campaign objectives and organization’s mission.

From advocates through paid influencers, influencer engagement performs much of a campaign’s heavy lifting to bring the message to a broader public. It also allows a brand/organization to reach a potentially untapped market. And while influencer engagement is growing in importance and effectiveness – 81% of companies showed satisfaction with its results – it might not be right for everyone.

Before deciding if an influencer campaign is right for you and your brand, there are several key considerations that should be weighed in terms of potential influencers’ ability to propel your message and your capacity to direct the charge.

Who

  • Ensuring that the influencer is in strong alignment with the brand and cause.
  • Determining the influencer’s utility compared to the price.
  • Identifying what type of influencer(s) would be best for the campaign.
    • Followers are important, but so are engagement levels!
    • A large reach is important, but so is appropriate targeting to your audience.

How

  • Defining (and often creating) the assets that an influencer can use.
  • Keeping the influencer to a set schedule.
  • Fostering and maintaining a relationship with the influencer.
  • Amplifying the influencers’ influence through your organization’s and/or partners’ channels.

An influencer campaign can be a fantastic way for your organization to get the most bang for its buck to activate a large campaign and message, but requires thoughtful and deliberate planning. Thorough research and vetting of the influencer’s unquestioned integrity is a must; when you hand the keys to your image to someone else, you need to have complete confidence in your decision.  Once you’ve engaged an influencer, make sure the relationship creates positive value for both brands and fosters a true partnership that will provide future opportunities. When done effectively, influencer campaigns can have an immense benefit for both parties.

What influencer campaigns have inspired you to take action? Tweet your favorite to @fentonprogress.