Both brand ambassador campaigns and an influencer marketing strategy can pay dividends for brands. These partners are genuine and engaging, helping businesses connect with their audience on a deep, meaningful level. And in a time where we are social distancing and digital strategies have taken center stage, these relationships are more important than ever.
While an influencer marketing strategy is inherently comfortable online, people often think of brand ambassadors as operating in person. However, in times when BAs can’t approach people in public places, there is always an opportunity to tailor their engagement with consumers. Digitally, brand ambassadors can act as moderators or facilitators for online events (Zoom happy hours or dating events, for example); they can lead digital games and activities (think online chess tournaments or co-hosting a virtual cocktail demo with a mixologist). In any environment, brand ambassadors and influencers are an important tool in connecting with your audience.
Before you embark on any collaboration, you need to find the right influencer or brand ambassador for your brand objectives. Many brands wonder which qualities are the most impactful when it comes to identifying a representative to help them reach their marketing goals. Read on to find out what you should look for when crafting a brand ambassador or influencer marketing strategy.
When it comes to influencers, the field can be somewhat arbitrary as to what constitutes real influence. Fake followers and surface-level engagement techniques make achieving influencer status achievable. However, this is unsustainable and ineffective in swaying a target audience. Such an approach does not make for a valuable brand partner. An influencer who is worth the investment has a genuine passion for their niche. They play the influencer game not because they want the fame, but because they have a love for what they do. As a result, their following is organic and filled with an audience that listens and trusts them. You can quality influencers through the depth and meaning in the content they create. If their passion shines through, you’ll see it.
But what about brand ambassadors? A good event staffing agency delivers the right people to an experiential event, whether in-person or online. These strategies can work alongside one another to create an environment in which your marketing goals are met naturally and organically.
When you’re choosing an influencer or brand ambassador, it’s tempting to get lost in their reach metrics. The more followers someone has, the better results they’ll deliver for your brand, right?
While reach is certainly important when you’re selecting an influencer for a collaboration, the results he or she can actually deliver are not so clear cut. Someone could have 100K followers, but if those people don’t actually engage with that influencer’s content, then their efforts will fall flat.
This is where engagement matters.
Engagement refers to the amount of meaningful interaction a follower has with a piece of content – that is, the number of comments, shares, or to a lesser degree, likes on a social post.
When an influencer has a high engagement rate, it indicates that their followers actually interact with and respond to their message beyond a surface level. Consequently, your campaign message will land with your target audience with more success.
Most good influencer marketplaces offer metrics related to an influencer’s engagement and reach as part of their service. But if you’re opting for a budget collaboration without the use of a marketplace, you can check engagement by seeing how many comments each piece of content gets on average.
Also, look at what kind of comments are being posted. Are they actually engaging with the topic and asking questions? Or are they short one or two-word posts? Genuine interactions mean genuine engagement.
An influencer marketing strategy requires a professional relationship. While it seems spontaneous, and even glamorous, on the surface, an influencer collaboration requires careful negotiation and diligence. Despite its appearance, successful influencer marketing is a business, and it’s necessary to treat it as such.
Your influencers should be hard-working, professional, and aware of the effort involved in a successful marketing campaign. Beyond simply paying lip service to a brand, they must be aware of its values, target audience, tone of voice, and so on.
In addition, your influencer marketing approach needs to be tailored to the platforms your audience lives on. Consider the basic principles of Instagram marketing for influencers, for example — these require a deep knowledge of the platform’s capabilities in order to get the most value and help your business meet its campaign goals.
When you’re assessing your prospective influencer, be sure to review their social feeds to see if they fully utilize everything each platform has to offer. Do they spread themselves out across feed posts, live video, Stories, and so on? Look for a diverse and regular output of quality content and even consider consulting with non-competitive brands they’ve previously worked with to see how their experience was. This ensures that your influencer will deliver the requisite professionalism to your collaboration too.
One of the most important qualities of your influencer or brand advocate is relevance. As the name suggests, relevance is about how suitable your chosen collaboration partner is to your niche and, by association, your target audience.
Brands should opt for an influencer who is active in their specific niche; for example, a food and nutrition blogger for a restaurant. When it comes to brand ambassadors, the right ones are already fans of your brand and, as a result, are already active in and aware of your niche.
Relevance ensures that your campaign goal and the content your influencer creates to support it actually resonates with your target audience.
You don’t necessarily need to rely on tools to assess this (although they can help). A quick spot check of your prospective influencer and their content output should reveal whether their audience aligns with your target audience as well.
A successful influencer or brand advocate collaboration starts with finding the right partner for you. Contact Elevate and we will help you find an influencer or brand ambassador who helps you meet and exceed your digital and in person goals in 2020.