What is influencer marketing? It’s basically a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from people with influence – they have a large social media following or they are viewed as experts in their industry. Our guest today is an expert on this very topic. Kerry Perse is the founder of Influence & Inspire Consulting. She’s here to tell us how to get started in Influencer Marketing.
About Kerry Perse
Kerry has a diverse background in advertising and marketing. She started her career in advertising here at Platypus, before moving to New York to work with other ad agencies in web design, creative, media buying, social media and technology. Her interest in influencer marketing came about while working in social media. In her newest venture as the founder of Influence & Inspire Consulting, Kerry helps brands identify what role influencers can play in their marketing mix, how to find influencers and set up a partnership, develop KPIs, create content and execute programs.
The first step in planning an influencer marketing program is determining a brand’s key messages. What does the brand want to communicate? Can the company communicate the messages alone? Could an influencer help enhance what the brand is communicating, or can the influencer handle the brand’s communications?
Next, who does the brand need to communicate to? How are they influenced? What are their interests and how do they consume their content? And who are the influencers in this niche that the brand would like to work with?
Kerry says there are tools available that can help brands find these influencers. There are influencer networks that provide managed services with technology dashboards that help brands streamline their communications with influencers. With these dashboards, companies can negotiate specific terms and help streamline the review and approval of content. Kerry has worked with Influential, a company that partners with IBM Watson to provide AI and machine learning, Captivate and FameBit, a company owned by Google which includes YouTube influencers.
Another way to find influencers is through Search Engine-only providers like Tagger. With Tagger, you can input the criteria for what kind of influencer you are looking for or you can also search using hashtags.
Connecting with influencers can be done using the managed service providers, going through the agents of celebrities or by direct messaging the influencers on their platforms.
Kerry says influencer marketing can be risky, but that you can mitigate those risks with careful planning on the front end and by using technology to help you on the back end.
It’s important to have a solid vetting process during the planning process to determine if there is a good brand fit, to get to know the influencer’s personality, visual style, tonality, language, subject matter and expertise. Some of the managed service providers also have historical performance data in their dashboards so you can tell if the influencer has a high engagement rate, what brands the influencer has worked with, and acquisition patterns with followers to make sure there are no artificial spikes that show the influencer is paying for robots.
And once your influencer is live, Kerry says you can use companies like Sylo, a third-party verification company to make sure your reporting data is accurate. The managed service providers can also help brands by having the influencers submit content in advance for approval.
Most influencers do expect to be paid and the amount is typically mentioned in their profiles. They also are required to disclose they are being paid. Some influencers also accept product seeding. They will talk about your product, but you must also be prepared for the fact that if they don’t like your product, they will talk about that as well.
From the brand’s side, it is important to do your homework, pick the influencers you know you want to work with first. Communicate with your top choices and then let your budget determine how many influencers you can work with.
Your return-on-investment is always a big challenge when it comes to influencer marketing. If you don’t have a big budget, your can measure reach, engagement and even the number of visits to your website.
Brands with larger budgets also use paid media to measure ROI. You can either boost posts on platforms like Facebook or Instagram or use managed service providers to put real money behind an influencer’s post and serve the content to your target audiences.
Want to be an Influencer?
Knowing that you can make good doing what you like to do is attractive to individuals who want to be successful in this space. Kerry says influencers need to know what their personal brand is and their unique point-of-view. What kind of content do they want to create and on which platform? Instagram and YouTube are currently the favorites, but Tik Tok is gaining in popularity. Also, you need to take pride in your content. Some influencers will spend an entire week creating one piece of content. And lastly, you are going to need to gain a lot of followers by discovering, following and engaging with others.
Connect with Kerry