As marketing continues to grow and change, so does the world around it, which means that marketers’ tactics must continue evolving to keep up with consumer trends and generate brand awareness to ultimately drive sales. One of the most recent transitions for the public relations sector has been the use of influencers to enhance marketing efforts in a world that is now driven by social platforms rather than traditional ads (commercials, billboards, etc.).
As influencer marketing continues to gain traction, fresh produce marketers must set expectations that align with the reality of influencer marketing in our space. This requires education and a commitment to setting attainable goals that make sense, including finding the right fit for your brand—remember that “one-size-fits-all” is a fallacy!
To help guide your influencer marketing efforts, we’ve outlined a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to the expectations—and the reality—of influencer partnerships.
The Reality of Partnering with Influencers
Expectation: Influencers Convert Contacts Through Promotions
Reality: Influencers Increase Brand Awareness
While we all want to see those contact conversions, it's been shown time and time again that the main value of influencers is not to drive traffic to promotional websites. Instead, influencers tend to be most effective at converting followers and fans on social media, which in turn broadens reach and increases brand awareness. Rather than trying to make your influencers conform to a familiar (and ill-fitting) box, use their expertise as a way to branch out and offer new promotion tactics.
Expectation: Influencers are Immediately Experts On Your Brand
Reality: Influencers Need Appropriate Time to Fully Connect with Your Brand
Of course, we want to ensure our influencers are educated and informed about the brand and product they are promoting. However, just like when making an internal hire, it takes time to gain the right knowledge and tone (without overdoing it and coming off as inauthentic). When you hire an influencer, it helps to have a checklist or “cheat sheet” of points you want them to know and utilize in their work. Just keep in mind that your influencer is supposed to authentically align with and represent the brand! If you make the experience too educational and formal, or restrict too much freedom in what or how they share about your brand, that takes away from the point of having an influencer in the first place.
Expectation: Influencers Will Stay Away From Social Scandals
Reality: Influencers are Not Immune to the Media Bias
Though everyone does what they can to partner with clean-cut, uncontroversial influencers, sometimes the unexpected—and unforeseeable—can happen. And it isn’t always their fault, either! For example, we recently witnessed a popular fashion influencer make the news for a celebrity feud that began in the comment section of her Instagram. Of course, none of us want to be caught in such a situation, but in the event that it happens to your brand, be sure to have a plan for how to respond.
Expectation: Influencers Offer Immediate Results
Reality: Taking Time to Nurture Your Influencer Relationship is Key
Nothing happens overnight: just like anything else we do in marketing, time is key to nurture and build upon a relationship. We’ve learned that long-term ambassador programs offer better results because the influencer feels like a true member of the team—and that brand preference they develop shows through in their content. If your goal is to work with influencers who genuinely know, love, and advocate for your brand, consistency over time is the way to get there.
Partnering with influencers to represent and support your brand is a huge part of the current marketing landscape. Want to get started, or improve your existing approach with influencer marketing? Reach out to us at email@example.com.
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