This post was written by the magnificent Stephanie Hyde, a littleBIG Marketing & PR Coordinator with a special knack for influencer marketing and social media. 

It’s 2017 and influencer marketing is looking to be even bigger than last year.

This 2016 study showed that 72% of people rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions and 92% trust recommendations from trusted authorities and peers.

For those unaware of the term, influencer marketing generally refers to brands collaborating with digital influencers to promote their product or service through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (for the purposes of this post anyway). It’s a powerful way to build brand awareness and trust through engaging, authentic content, drive sales and drive a brand’s social numbers. There are lots of different ways to collaborate with influencers. So many, I’ll reserve that for another post.

Here are a couple of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to keep in mind when working with influencers.

Do: Consider micro-influencers

Learnings from 2016 show that an engaged audience is key, not necessarily a huge one. Micro-influencers (between 5,000 – 50,000 followers) tend to have more relatable, authentic content that their audience is likely to engage with.

Do: Make calculations

Following on from above, it’s important to make engagement calculations when considering whether an influencer on Instagram is right for your campaign.

Using our client’s new Instagram page, Australian Blueberries as an example, we’ll show you how to calculate an influencer’s average engagement rate via easy steps below.

  1. Calculate the number of likes and comments on their last 10 posts. (2,463)
  2. Divide this number (2,463) by 10 to calculate an average. (246)
  3. Divide average (246) by number of followers (1,968) and express as a percentage to calculate an overall average engagement rate.

= Australian Blueberries have a huge 12.5% average engagement on posts.

Generally an engagement rate of between 2.7% – 3% is good for brands, so this shows that Australian Blueberries have extremely engaging content that their followers are interested in.

Do: Consider your target market (and any aspirational target markets)

Before you even consider an influencer marketing campaign, know your target market and brand ethos. Who you choose to align with says a lot about your brand and this should always be at top of mind when considering collaborations.

For any influencer-based campaign to work, you must have a clear understanding of your ideal consumer – including their interests and what kinds of people they follow. Then, you can research and find influencers who have the ability to reach and influence them.

If your goal is to shift the target market, then do research and approach influencers who you know will help you reach them.

Don’t: Supply generic copy

Supplying an influencer with generic copy can be detrimental to your campaign (most won’t comply anyway). It will come across as commercial and inauthentic to their audience. Dedicated followers love to engage and appreciate authenticity. There’s nothing worse than a model holding a product in a photo with a scripted caption (which is sadly done way too often).

Supply key messages and tags you’d like put across, but give the influencer creative freedom to work it into their own style. Do however ensure influencers send their photo/caption to you prior to publish, in order to ensure they’ve used the right tags and hit key messages before it goes live. This should be a mutually agreed collaboration.

Some of our recent influencer collaborations…