As an Account Director, I’m responsible for bringing smart strategies and digital tactics to the table that will drive results. Influencer marketing is the piece I am constantly scrutinizing, and I have never been more apprehensive and frustrated. The internet has turned into a vast sea of sponsored content. We now live in the era of purchased fake followers, low engagement rates and non-existent organic reach. Authenticity is lacking. Suddenly influencers aren’t so influential anymore. There needs to be a higher standard.
If influencers want to take a crack at our budgets, this is how they can up their game.
- Voice: First of all, WRITE! The broader web is littered with blogs containing nothing but sponsored content, brand provided imagery, regurgitated messaging and affiliate links designed to capture cookies. Do you actually read those blogs? Does anyone? I honestly doubt it. Nothing will make me close my browser tab faster than when I see a blog that has nothing but sponsored content. While there may be value in SEM and search, agency account teams like mine want to work with content creators that are interested in telling a story. We want our clients’ products and services covered in a way that’s authentic to you. Sure, sometimes I’ll have some canned messaging I need you to push. But my hope is that you’ll earn your fee not by cutting and pasting, but by writing, reviewing and sharing in your voice.
- Content Creation: Never has photography been more important. With today’s smartphone camera tech and photo editing apps, it’s impossible to take a bad photo. If we’re working together, please don’t disappoint me with blurry photos, crummy editing or an overall lack of any creativity. I know not everything, including CPG products, are glamorous things to photograph. But it’s easy to tell how much effort you put it when the final product comes through. Worst of all, my clients will notice as well, and it will reflect poorly on both of us.
- Social Amplification: I also have high, but fair, expectations on the social media component of the scope. I want you to post a tweet that will actually drive traffic to your blog. Your accompanying Facebook post should be clean, include your best photo and perfectly tag my client’s brand page. It blows my mind how many influencers I’ve worked with that can’t appropriately tag a brand page. It’s easy stuff! If you can stick to social media best practices, everybody wins. If you’re in the marketing game, I assume you know what those are.
- Analytics: Lastly, show me the numbers. Analytics are table stakes these days, and I want you to act as my partner is showcasing the great work you did. Provide me with Instagram Story view data, Google Analytics, Facebook reach numbers, and the like. When I send my final report to my clients, I want to brag about what an outstanding use of budget that was. Help me do that so I can come back to you next quarter with more work.
In the end, we’re both in this together to impress the folks that sign the checks and to make an impact on their business. Let’s create something we can be proud of together and that the audience will actually read (and hopefully share).