As influencer marketing grows in popularity, how do brands maintain authentic influencer marketing programs?
The recent surge in influencer marketing has some marketers concerned that there's an authenticity crisis across the industry. At Carusele, we believe that if you follow these four simple steps, you can easily maintain trust and authenticity in all of your influencer marketing programs.
#1. Identify Influencers with a Variety of Content
First, look at partnering with influencers who create more than just sponsored content. Many influencers started their careers with content that centered on their personal lives and interests and then mixed in branded content as sponsorship opportunities came around. Influencers that are still implementing this mix seem to do well. There are some influencers, as they get popular, that publishing every single post as a sponsored post. If possible, try to avoid these partnerships.
#2. Look at Cost Per Engagement
Secondly, look at CPE, or cost per engagement, as a way to sort of stack rank influencers. A lower cost per engagement implies better efficiency, people are getting more reactions from their fans. However, take caution with this tactic. When you use CPE, it's only a starting point because you will need to look manually, as we've previously talked about on The Spin, to make sure this is real engagement. There are influencers that attempt to game the system and purchase engagement, but CPE can be a good starting point.
#3. Find the Top-Performing Content
Next, look into scoring each piece of content. At Carusele, even though we're hand-selecting some of the best, most authentic influencers, we find that 15-20% of the content outperforms the rest. It's this content that's breaking through the authenticity barrier, so we then amplify that content. If you can identify which pieces of content are really your home runs, it's an important way to maintain authenticity.
#4. Implement Ambassador Programs
Finally, whenever possible, do an ambassador program. Ambassador programs mean you use the same influencers for a period of six months, 12 months, whatever the case may be. We've found with our clients that with ambassador programs the engagement rate goes up much higher as you continue, and the cost per engagement, therefore, goes down. It's because the influencers are much more credible when they're able to talk about your brand for a year versus a one-off program. So, you need to do your part, whenever possible, to factor in these ambassador programs.
If you have any additional questions about how to keep maintain authentic influencer marketing as we continue through 2018, contact us with your questions today.