Humorous Tips for Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns

This post is an excerpt from our Authentic Marketing Conference in Los Angeles. The conference was a rich environment for brands and influencers to openly discuss tactics for authentically building a strong following. All of the content from the Authentic Marketing Conference is available as a Digital Marketing Bootcamp. Here are the experts who contributed to this blog:

Here are some key takeaways from the Humorous Tips for Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns panel:

  • Empower your creators
    Don’t micromanage influencers. Influencers understand their audience better than anyone else so it’s important to allow them to create content in their voice. When there is little-to-no brand interference, influencer marketing campaigns inevitably come across as more authentic.
     
    • Focus on building content specifically for each platform
      It would be a mistake to ignore social platforms for influencer marketing campaigns. Determine where your audience spends time and what they like to see on those platforms, then create content based on that data. Consistently examine your insights so you can continue to improve your content.
       

What was your biggest influencer marketing fail and what did you learn from it?

 

A drone manufacturer reached out to a tech influencer we worked with, and wanted this particular influencer to feature a drone in one of their videos, for free. Although they didn’t want to pay for it, they did want control over what the video would look like. Finally, the drone manufacturer said “We’ll give you 50% of a drone. You can buy it.” The newest version of a $1500 drone, the influencer would still have to buy $750. He was not happy about that.

The selling point of the drone was that it has software that tells the drone when there is a tree or something similar and keeps it from crashing. So, the influencer decided to make this video about “how can we crash the drone?” Although the influencer was able to crash the drone, it produced a more authentic video for his audience. He got great engagement on that video, more fans seeing it, and great results for the client. Also, it probably helped him in future videos because it wasn’t a story about “why this drone is so great,” it was a story about “hey, the main form of marketing for this particular drone is that it can’t crash and guess what, I crashed it.” –Brian Nickerson, MagicLinks

Ask influencers who their audience is because they know it best—that is their brand, their job. –Donna Maher

When you are choosing influencers for one of your influencer marketing campaigns, make sure that their audience is similar to the audience that you want to target. So, working for a beauty brand, we were trying to reach girls and women. A lot of influencers on Instagram, such as models, looked like they would attract girls and women, when in reality their audience was mostly men. We have learned to ask influencers who their audience is because they know it best—that is their brand, their job. –Donna Maher, Marketing Strategy Consultant

What does “authentic” mean to you and how does it integrate with business and influencer marketing campaigns?

Authentic to me means not worrying about what other people think, speaking and connecting from the heart. I think when you are being vulnerable it creates a space for people to open up, to share, and to talk. What you see a lot of influencers do is just that. They are opening up their homes, the camera is always on, they are sharing things about their lives that most of us would feel is private, etc. In lots of ways it is important to have that element of authenticity that is real and yeah, sometimes brands or influencers try to fake it, but at the end of the day people know if you are real or not. –Donna Maher, Marketing Strategy Consultant

An influencer has to be true to their own brand first, in order to be authentic. –Ryan Fey

An influencer has to be true to their own brand first, in order to be authentic, and that is a tough pill for a lot of brands to swallow. Influencers protect their own brand, and they care about a sponsored brand only to the extent that it reflects well on them.. So once you have the initial conversations with the influencer, and do the due diligence, have the respect to get out of their way, and do not micromanage them. –Ryan Fey, Omlet

You have seen the change from the more traditional world to the multi-channel world, how is that affecting your work and your influencer marketing campaigns?

We were, as far as I know, the first company to use a social network to sell a movie directly to fans. In 2005, we used MySpace and we sold DVDs of our first movie, and we sold a lot of them. That encouraged us.

Your audience is the currency of an influencer. Build your audience and the money will come. –Zack Coffman

This new thing, social marketing, became very comfortable and native to us. Now that we have more channels, it becomes about where does a particular piece of content want to live? We look at the channels as rivers, and we make it an internal policy to never swim against the current. We could cry all day that Facebook changed an algorithm, or what we used to do for SEO on Google Search doesn’t work for our influencer marketing campaigns anymore or YouTube or whatever, but at the end of the day you play in their sandbox. If a tactic doesn’t work anymore, it doesn’t mean that the platform is bad, it means that you just have to figure out what is good. You still have your audience at the end of the day and that is the currency of an influencer or a brand in my opinion. You have to build your audience and the money will come. –Zack Coffman, One World Studios Ltd.

Ask influencers “How can we help you?” –Peter Abraham

When we sit down with influencers, the first thing we ask is “How can we help you? What are you guys doing and can we just listen to what you are doing for a while?” It’s great. –Peter Abraham, Content Marketing & Branding Expert

What are the best practices that you see right now that are working for you?

Finding a place where the brand and the creator really align is critical. –Brian Nickerson

The notion of authenticity for a creator is number one. I think finding a place where the brand and the creator really align is critical. One thing that doesn’t work is when brands say, “What we want is authenticity, we want to empower people to say what they want to say,” and that sounds good but then they don’t embody that message. We will show them some creators that can actually do that and their response is, “What is that creator going to say? How can we tell them what to say? Where can we do it?” You see that breakdown in message where the brand has listened to what the buzz words are, but they aren’t actually inviting that or empowering creators. –Brian Nickerson, MagicLinks

Figure out a strategy and go live tactically. Don’t ever do something if you don’t know what the point of doing it is. You can still plan, even a live show, because you know that you are about to go live. Take a few minutes and figure out what you are going to do. What is the purpose of doing this live show? Right now everyone wants live content. YouTube just tweaked their algorithm a few weeks ago and they are actually giving live video preference. We all know with Facebook Live your followers get a ping every time that you go online. Do your research, look at your insights and find out when most of your people are online and when they are engaging online so you can go live then. Then hang out, stay live, find ways to stretch the show without being lame. –Zack Coffman, Strategy at One World Studios Ltd.

I have used TapInfluence.com as well as Octoly.com for influencer marketing campaigns. Those are platforms that connect you to influencers and I would definitely recommend them. I think it is a great way to get connected with influencers because you are not sending a contract that could be intimidating, you are negotiating things right there in the platform. I personally prefer just doing old school research on the platform. For example I would look for a YouTube researcher on YouTube, but I have seen that those platforms for influencer marketing campaigns have been successful as well. –Donna Maher, Marketing Strategy Consultant

One tool that I love is Epoxy.tv. They approached the creation of their dashboard in a wonderful way, compared to the big players. You can switch between all of your channels really quickly. Additionally, you can see who commented, and then they order that list for you by the number of followers. It also breaks down your posts to show which posts received the most comments so you can see things instantly. –Zack Coffman, One World Studios Ltd.

Utilize live video

With platforms like YouTube and Facebook prioritizing live video there is a huge opportunity for brands and influencers to engage their audience, in a new way. Determine a tactical strategy for creating and promoting live video. Then create your videos with a purpose and offer value to your viewers.