Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Influencer marketing is one of the most sought-after tools in today’s environment. What started as a few popular Instagram users and Youtubers has exploded into a full-blown industry full of hungry entrepreneurs. It’s gotten so crowded, in fact, that it can be almost be detrimental to a brand if they execute an influencer campaign poorly.
Integrity is a value that some brands seem to skip over when it comes to marketing. But this is the wrong approach. Marketing campaigns and brand messaging that are authentic will almost always be more impactful than one that’s easy to see is backed by poor intentions.
We get it: the brand’s business is to increase sales and boost revenue. But this doesn’t endorse the “any means necessary” tactic. Rather, building a successful campaign requires a strong sense of integrity. So, what does this entail?
Selecting a Brand Message
Before reaching out to industry influencers, it’s important for a brand to consider its messaging. Each brand, product, or service has a story. How can it best be told in a way that resonates with the audience?
As entrepreneur Brian Gefter noted, “Remember: authenticity and integrity are key. Consumers are shrewd. They know if a company is taking them for a ride. Selecting a brand message that achieves the goals of relatability and visibility can be difficult, but it’s doable.”
Perhaps there is a personal inspiration for the founder’s idea to start this company. Maybe the product is intended to improve the user’s quality of life. Perhaps the brand is dedicated to educating consumers about its qualities and benefits. Whatever the message is, it’s vital to know what story the brand — and its associated marketing — is telling.
Selecting the Right Influencers
Once the brand messaging is set, a company can then begin to identify influencers within the niche preferred. Influencers aren’t limited to Instagram, either. An entrepreneur who has a large social circle, a successful athlete, or even a talented student are all possibilities to consider, depending on what is being marketed.
And some brands underestimate the value of the micro-influencer. This individual may not have 100,000 followers, but the 3,000 they do have are highly engaged. Don’t get distracted by the flashy accounts. Oftentimes, these are the least authentic.
Remember: the idea here is integrity. If a brand can identify influencers with a high level of actual influence, rather than simply a high number of followers, the chances of campaign success will increase.
Attention to Detail is Key
Even the materials in the campaign need to be a testament to integrity. Be careful to avoid misleading copy or overpromising of a service or feature. A happier consumer will be the one who is pleasantly surprised by how valuable their decision actually was, rather than one who regrets spending time and money on something that doesn’t behave as advertised.
Be sure to develop materials for the individual influencers on the campaign. It should not be a cookie cutter campaign — this loses authenticity. Design unique graphics for influencers, or tweak copy according to their age range or industry.
Small details such as this will elevate any influencer marketing campaign and truly communicate the integrity of the brand behind it.