As much as I detest using the term ‘influencer', there are reasons that make them somewhat valuable to building your brand.
Influencers have existed since the first time a company or organisation reached out to a celebrity with mass ‘influence’ to endorse their product; mostly likely on a billboard or TV commercial. I often like to think of Tiger Woods, on the back of some Men’s lifestyle magazine, wearing his Tag watch so conspicuously.
Like brands, influencers have an identity that they use to build a community of likeminded individuals (see @ntwrkarea3). Brands reach out to these individuals in hopes of reaching their curated audience, to gain as many of the devoted followers that make up that audience.
A problem has now arisen in that these numbers are far too easy to fake, which may cost you dearly without reaping any true reward.
In order to avoid making such a detrimental mistake, we’ve created a list of basic guidelines to help with your Influencer Marketing needs.
1. It’s not about the numbers
These days, faking your following has become an art, almost as easy as faking one's Tinder profile. Brands should be cautious of exaggerated statistics, as their supposed ‘following’ could be full of fake profiles. We recommend using the Hype Auditor tool to identify the ‘fakers’ from the ‘famers’.
2. Look to collaborate more
It is disheartening to see how many brand manager’s first move is to throw money at influencers, for the typical “stand to win” post, that we see on a daily basis. Brand’s should be looking to collaborate with influencers in order to create more meaningful content.
They also have platforms, and really creative ideas for creating content. Find users that share the same values as your brand, and work together to build your respective communities together.
3. Work for brand investors
An old rule learnt during my time working with the GoPro team, “if they ain’t using the product already, why bother?.” I cannot tell you how many influential people I’ve seen pitching for free products, only to have it sit aimlessly sit on their shelves.
Make sure you’re working with people who can and are willing to invest in your brand as much as you would.
4. Seek out dreamers
Finally, find the content creators who think outside the box, and work hard to create meaningful, and engaging content. I often look at something and say, “Damn, I wish I did that!”. This is the kind of creator I want to work with!
They may not have a huge following, but they’ll work far harder and create much more valuable content for your brand.
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