Influencer marketing is huge, no mistake. According to Linqia's The State of Influencer Marketing 2017 report, 94% of companies surveyed believe it to work. This result doesn't surprise. Similarly, food & parenting blogger Caitriona Redmon from Wholesome Ireland has recently become a Lidl Full Shop Ambassador, who advises to Lidl Trolley Cam families on their savings and planning around their full shop. For instance, the Irish Fairy Door's sales spiked after Kourtney Kardashian's endorsement on Snapchat last December. Similar, actress Saoirse Ronan mentioned Dublin's nail salon Tropical Popical on The Ellen Show, introducing this local business to a truly international audience.
The Irish blogging scene is peppered with household names: Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon (GastroGays), Sarah Hanrahan (I Come Undone) or Timi Ogunyemi (Picture This Dublin, I Am Timi) to name but a few. It's a great sign, with a lot of opportunities to engage with local and national creators. Having said that, it is important not to lose perspective. Influencer marketing should complement and support your overall digital strategy, not replace or take over it.
There are a few great examples of how Irish bloggers engaged with local brands. A few years ago blogger Timi Ogunyemia joined the JJ Kavanagh Coaches for a series of blogging trips around Ireland. As mentioned by Timi himself, he will:“be travelling with JJ Kavanagh and meeting with complete strangers who mean something and give something back to their local areas; I’ll be finding the craftspeople, eating and staying in local places and the beauty of it all is I have no idea where any of these people are!”.
Similarly, food & parenting blogger Caitriona Redmon from Wholesome Ireland has recently become a Lidl Full Shop Ambassador, who advises to Lidl Trolley Cam families on their savings and planning around their full shop.
While looking for a blogging contributor to your brand, it’s important to realise it's a business venture. Here are a few things to remember when considering working with bloggers and influencers:
1) Relevance is the key
Don't be shy to release your inner Sheldon and define your spot. While looking for influencers, make sure they are relevant to you and to your business. If there is no relevance to your product or service, it will be quite difficult for people to find a connection. As a result, generating new leads and paying customers may be quite unlikely. You don't want to market a baby product to users interested in gaming or travelling just because a blogger has a 30k fan base on Twitter. Find a key relevance in your audience, interests, and your sales strategy and explore it.
2) Followers vs. Engagements
All that glitters is not gold. It sounds a bit ominous but it is really not. As a blogger in my spare time, I understand how easily we get caught up in that chase for big numbers. A social media influencer with a huge fan base is great providing they are active and engaged. It is important to look closer at the overall digital footprint of your potential brand collaborator: Is their community active? How often do they engage on their channels? What channels perform best? Review their quality of content and see how it all can reflect on your brand. Consider the language and imagery - do they sync with your key audience?
I am a believer of people being paid for their job. Well-written content takes time and should be rewarded. There is no fixed answer though on how much you should pay an influencer as it depends on numerous factors. From a one-off piece of content to regular collaboration, your payment will vary. Also, a contributor’s experience in writing is also crucial. Often brands invite experts in the field to create content. But these people are not experienced writers. It means you might require the assistance of a copy editor. Sometimes, bloggers can be interested in other benefits such as exclusive interviews, product overview or access to the VIP section at an event. Costs of including contributors need to be considered and included in your budget.
4) Support vs. Collaboration
Inviting a blogger to a party launch is one thing; having control over what they write is something different. When employing an influencer, it is important to clarify the details of your partnership with a contributor. Do you want to approve all material? What content should be produced for your brand and how often? Consider drafting a contract to govern expectations between both parties, stating clearly the terms and conditions of collaboration, retention of rights to photos or other materials or payment details. Check out Sher She Goes’s post on blogging contracts - very insightful and presented from a blogger’s perspective.
You have to maintain transparency and let people know you are paying for content. After all it is a form of advertising. With a lot of native advertising circulating around, it is important to clarify which content is paid and which is independently written. Make sure to read ASAI GUIDANCE to ensure you are good to go.
Getting people to write about your place or to share photos of a product launch with their fanbases sound great. What’s more, some PR agencies now offer influencers on their books which can make it very expensive. Being a marketer taught me to define my objectives and leverage available resources accordingly. Influencer marketing is about expanding your community and establishing a connection with people whose voice is heard by your audience.
Looking for more ways to increase engagement on social media? Talk to the experts here in Webfactory about your social media strategy.