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2 November 2016

The Drum's Influencer Breakfast: How to partner effectively

Written by: Blaine Doherty, Influencer Strategist at Edelman

Consumer Trends & Insight

Marketing stemming from word-of-mouth accounts for twice as many sales as paid advertising. Stats such as this support the increasing emphasis on the use of social media influencers, but how can we ensure we are partnering with influencers to good effect?

This was the subject of The Drum’s Influencer Breakfast, an event on October 26th delving into the key principles Influencer Marketing.

Briefing is essential. Before developing influencer suggestions for clients, we first need to understand who the target audience is, what social platforms they are likely to use and the conversations that we want to be part of. Without understanding these territories, it is difficult to make influencer suggestions for clients.

“Reach” is a metric on which brands place great emphasis. However, the experience of the influencer is also very important. Are they experienced with brands? How have other brand relationships worked with these influencers and have they been positive? These questions aid in the influencer suggestion process and ensure partnership with the right influencer.

Relying on reach alone can be misleading, as it is not unheard of for influencers to purchase followers online. Agencies should endeavour to work with influencers who have genuine followings, otherwise this may negatively impact your campaign and lead to a loss of credibility in the space. Simple due diligence measures such as these can help to avoid this issue.

Influencer success can be measured via various metrics, but influencers present at The Drum’s event believe that measuring by physical examples, such as visits to website or physical sales, are more effective. This provides clients with a better idea of the actual impact that an influencer has had on their business.

The panel also raised the issue of best practice as it relates to disclosure rules. Regulation is becoming increasingly important in influencer marketing and those who refuse to disclose sponsored posts risk damaging their reputation. We have seen regulatory bodies issuing warnings to many major influencers and fines can also be levied against the influencers and brands that they are representing. By educating brands on best practices when working with influencers, agencies will be able to keep both the agencies, influencers and brand’s integrity intact.

The Drum’s Influencer Breakfast provided a great opportunity to discuss the progression of influencer marketing in the UK. As these types of partnerships become more and more widespread, brands and influencers should continue to search for the best ways of working to develop compelling content for both of their audiences.

Image: mrmohock / Shutterstock.com

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