Influencers tell all: tips for the best strategy
The relationship between brands and influencers is becoming more and more lucrative. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry in 2022 is projected to reach a whopping $16 billion, compared to 2021’s $13.6 billion, an increase of nearly 20%.
The takeaway? There is valuable importance to influencer partnerships. And people really do listen to influencers. They buy what influencers are buying, eat what they’re eating, wear what they’re wearing. Every caption, every hashtag, every brand mention has impact for the brands influencers are looking to, well, influence.
But getting from influence to impact––even with the biggest and best brands––takes a team that’s smart, strategic and selective when it comes to implementing influencer programs. That team should know how to procure the highest-reaching, best picture-taking, most authentic and sought-after influencers to work on behalf of clients.
So, what’s the best approach to execute a powerful influencer campaign? The key is to listen to the client and the influencers, making the relationship mutually beneficial and seamless, in this ever-changing landscape.
To get more answers, we went to the source(s) themselves, asking some well-known macro- to micro-influencers in the DIY and Lifestyle spaces to answer questions and share their preferences that will help you navigate and maximize your next influencer program. Check out where they see the most traction (spoiler alert: Reels all the way) and what they predict for the next few years.
The best partnership is …
Long-term partnerships where onboarding time is reduced and product familiarity is increased, resulting in more impressions, more innovation in product use and a lower price for reach.
One that fits seamlessly into your content and lifestyle. I love working with brands that I already love and use regularly.
One that allows full creative expression and falls in line with your niche. I also love partnerships with brands I’m already loyal to, as it allows me to speak truly and authentically about the product.
When it’s a product that I would use regardless of being paid to use it, that always works best. My audience understands it and gets it. My followers are served best, and the brand gets the best results as well.
The posts that are seeing the most traction right now are …
Pinterest Idea Pins and Instagram Reels
As of late, Instagram Reels have been getting the most traction. They aren’t all winners, but when one “hits,” you can reach a significant amount of people, even if you have a small audience. I also love that one Reel can gain traction weeks after posting. Not only that, but it can stay popular for weeks or months vs. the short lifespan of IG stories or static image posts.
I get the shortest term traction on IG Reels and stories lately, but that landscape is constantly changing. My favorite is always evergreen blog content because sponsored content is never squashed by an algorithm there. If it’s quality information, Google loves it regardless of whether I was paid to produce it. That’s very different from social media where our sponsored posts are hammered by most algorithms.
What trends are you currently seeing in the marketplace?
Short and quirky videos, along with more laid-back videos that don’t look professionally edited. People are enjoying lower-quality videos these days since they can seem more genuine and behind-the-scenes.
Video content is King. I’m also seeing brands requesting content creation specifically for their own channels, which is great, since it doesn’t bog down the influencer’s feed with ads, which sometimes tends to get lower engagement.
I see more influencers coming up with their own brand of things, like finishes, tools, etc., and I think that the market is moving further in that direction, which may be scary for many brands. I think there is a huge opportunity for brands to partner with these influencers to help them create and maybe private-label products for them that will connect with their followers better than a generic product for the masses. Customization and niching down are coming.
What’s one thing brands do that can “get in your way”?
Being overly rigid with the creative guidelines or asking to highlight too many features. Not every feature is important to every buyer. There might be a few features that I’m really passionate about and can easily talk about, but when asked to share those plus ones that don’t matter to me personally, it can feel more like an infomercial rather than telling a friend about a product I love.
Have strict requirements around wording, which can make the partnership less genuine.
When I hear this from brands, it’s music to my ears …
We trust you, we know you know your audience, just create the content that you think will work.
We love your creativity! If you have an idea different than ours, we’d love to hear it!
I love hearing from brands that they personally enjoyed my content regardless of how much reach it got. Sometimes my best content gets crickets when I first post it and months later it takes off. You never know, but when the brand appreciates the quality of what they got even if the conversions weren’t where they wanted to be makes my day and motivates me to work harder to get them those conversions another way.
Creative liberty. I love when a brand gives a guideline or two of what they want to be featured and then leaves it to me to show it off in a way that fits seamlessly into my content.
If you had a Magic 8 ball, where do you think the influencer landscape will be in three years from now?
An entirely new social media platform – or perhaps five new ones by then!
As streaming services face the consequences of overspending on production, independent creators will continue to create value for both consumers and brands by focusing on low-cost creative that has been focused and group-tested by years of interacting with their audience.