Usually, the 4M’s of influence marketing are diagnosed and related to brands or marketing people. I’m reverse engineering the thought process to focus on the 4M’s in terms of how it can be insightful for you as an influencer. I believe the switching gears of perspective can be just as beneficial for content creators.
Influencer marketing, (a.k.a. Influence Marketing) is a form of marketing where a brand’s focus centers on marketing activities built through a specific individual’s influence within their own community. Brands are working with such people of online influence as a way to grow their business and influencers are also developing additional revenue streams because of such partnerships.
Let’s have a look at both sides of the coin, that is, between the point of view of a brands need and that also of the influencers need. When you see both sides, it makes for better negotiations for each party.
Working to match the right influencer for the specific product life cycle and pre/post buying process.
The influencer develops and creates a concept based on the brands needs. One of the smartest things companies can do nowadays that choose to work with influencers is to allow the creative freedom necessary for the influencer to incorporate the brand’s product or idea for the product to be marketed in alignment with their own content creations.
If brands push their own inventive marketing agenda too strongly on the influencer the result can be a disaster.
Influencers have spent loads of time communicating and building their online audience. They have gotten to known them on a deeper level and understand a mutual exchange of wants and needs. It should and must be up to the influencer to maintain their authority for sharing or recommending an item on their own creative terms.
Crowdtap’s did an influencer poll and found:
- 76% said that they most likely work with brands that grant them editorial and creative freedom.
- 54% said that they would work with brands that respect them as any other publisher.
- 49% said that they would work with brands that understand the value of using relevant opportunities that fit their audience.
Brands have to trust the knowledge an influencer has with their audience.
- Did it cause an increased negative or positive view of our product?
- Did it move the customer along to the next stage of the purchase life cycle?
- Reverse effect? Did it prevent the customer from a purchase?
- Did it disrupt or enhance our brand value and equity?
Brands will want and expect influencers to provide useful feedback by listening to the conversation. Your audience is there potential customer and it’s a good idea to gather up information that they can use to help them see the benefits of your campaign. No one is going to know your audience better than you and when you can provide substantial feedback to your biz partners, this will be extremely valuable to them and to your own knowledge base.
Tracking the performance of a campaign is crucial to seeing if there is potential to shift in real time to benefit the brand for the customer. Reacting quickly to something that works or doesn’t work and being flexible to refine as you go can be the difference between success and failure.
Brands are interested in learning the answer to such questions:
- Was the campaign effective?
- What was the overall response to the product or service?
- Was this good for brand equity?
- What was the sum effect on our competitors?
It’s an opportunity for influencers to not only help brands expand their products or services but to also realize that you will be doing the same for your own brand. By becoming associated with well established brands, you will also increase your authority in the eyes of your audience and this in turn can potentially expand your own audience reach.
You also want to be able to measure the statistical pros and cons of a campaign from your platform, whether it be through your own blog or social media.
Using data analysis is something you should already be doing well before working with brands.
- Based on the campaign’s success, do we want to work with this influencer again?
- What did we learn from inception, execution and result?
- Where were our wins? Where were our errors?
- Overall, what were the learning curves we can take with us for the next influencer marketing campaign, if we choose to go again?
As an influencer, the more you can work in accordance to your own core values for your own brand, the more efficient you will be when working with company brands.
- Did I choose the best possible execution strategy for this brand?
- Where can I have improved?
- Where were my biggest strengths?
- Did I communicate my message accurately enough to my audience?
- Did working with this brand hurt or benefit my own brand?
Not every potential partnership will be one you will want. That’s okay. Don’t be afraid to say no if you are not truly interested in working with a company you think is not exactly right for you. You don’t ever want to jeopardize all the hard work you put into your own content creation and you especially don’t want your audience to react negatively to you either. Always take time to think it over.
Influencers have grown accustomed to receiving payment through products and other perks but this trend is slowly starting to adjust. Not only are influencers receiving material benefits but they want to get paid. Payment is becoming part of the deal and it’s important for you to know that you can form lucrative deals for yourself that are fair and honest, without losing the integrity of your brand.
Want to learn more about becoming an influencer and influencer marketing?