Influencer Marketing During Coronavirus | Guidelines and SWOT

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See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.

Influencer Marketing During Coronavirus | Guidelines and SWOT

March 23, 2020

Some things will change due to crisis management during Coronavirus, but the following guidelines are nevertheless true at all times.

  • Strategies: Ensure that your dedicated influencer marketing strategic direction is aligned with the external circumstances, eg. online buying in a time of real-life isolation (buying from the safe comfort of your sofa), confirmed information about product availability, delivery etc by a trusted influencer who has direct confirmation with the correct brand information.

  • Engagement Mechanisms: Set engagement mechanisms that are designed to trigger specific reactions according to the campaign KPIs. Don’t ask open questions, as this may lead to negative engagement (including competitive brand endorsements) from the influencer’s audience, especially in times of a global health crisis. People are more sensitive and reactive right now, so designing an engagement mechanism that will help in achieving the marketing objectives, while avoiding brand crises, requires a very specific skillset.
  • Vetting: Ensure that all your influencers are strictly and carefully vetted for content quality, relevance, relatability, engagement rate, conflicts of interest, and anything else that can backfire on your brand. Strict and masterful vetting by influencer marketing experts is mandatory during this global health crisis as no one can afford a brand crisis over and above the existing circumstances.
  • Briefing: Coaching and briefing of influencers by experts in the field, who will communicate the brand’s needs effectively, while having a sound understanding of the industry, able to anticipate all opportunities and challenges, and able to communicate these to the influencers in a format that the influencers are able to understand and adopt easily.
  • Contracts: Ensure your contracts are very detailed and adapted to the risk and process specificities of the influencer marketing industry, and tailored per influencer according to the individualised missions that have been set. The clearer and more detailed the contract, the lower the risk of misunderstanding and frustration (which may backfire online) and the greater the potential campaign success.
  • Content Validation: With consumers and influencers reacting to the Coronavirus crisis, it’s more important than ever that all content should, without exception, be validated before the pieces of content go live, to ensure full alignment and no misunderstandings with the brief. All regulations should be respected per the industry vertical, all reactive risks should be mitigated, and all CTAs (call to action) should be double checked, in order to drive the expected results.
  • Content Monitoring: Always on monitoring of posts and engagement, to ensure quick reaction times and reassurance to audiences when necessary. This transforms fear of no business continuity at a time of an impending health crisis, into trust and brand love. This is where real conversations about business continuity, product availability and delivery along with other business specific topics during this abnormal period will happen. These topics will be addressed to, and handled by, the influencer, so it’s of utmost importance that there is masterful influencer management in close partnership and collaboration with the brand

R- Squared is an international influencer marketing agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. We are experts in designing, building, and managing highly engaging and authentic influencer projects that tell a story and protect the brand equity, through innovation, partnership and masterful management. R-Squared’s CEO is in the Top 50 Global Industry Players’ list and is the Chairman of the Influencer Marketing Committee at the IAB South Africa.

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The Power Of A Dedicated Influencer Marketing Strategy

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See what is happening in our world – who is influencing whom and why.

The Power Of A Dedicated Influencer Marketing Strategy

September 7, 2018

“Influencer marketing campaigns that do not incorporate dedicated strategies too often produce disappointing ROIs. Let’s explore why.”

The marketing paradigm will undoubtedly keep shifting for as long as we live, with new technology and social interactions taking the forefront of this new media landscape. According to Klear, influencer marketing has grown by a staggering 198% on Instagram over the previous year, and there are no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, studies have shown that expert influencer marketers can expect a ROI in media presence of 7.65:1, with Nielsen’s recent research showing a delivery of 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

Conventional marketing and influencer marketing aim to achieve the same goals and objectives, but differ drastically in structure and approach and that’s why it’s important to have a dedicated influencer marketing strategy, adapted from your overarching campaign strategy. Brands may have a conventional marketing strategy in place, and it may be working very well, but nothing is more powerful in creating positive word-of-mouth than authentic person-to-person conversation.

Conventional marketing is generic corporate messaging that everyone sees. By partnering with influencers of different styles, brands can ensure that the content their target audience is seeing is tailored to their specific interests and tastes. Herein lies the importance of implementing a dynamic marketing campaign, one that includes influencers of different backgrounds, styles and content. Although, this does not mean “penciling in” some names on paper – it means developing a dedicated and specialised influencer marketing strategy. Why? Generic corporate advertisements may still be creating the awareness a brand seeks but influencer marketing is people talking to people about their experience using the brand, not the brand talking about itself.

“Influencer marketing is powerful in sparking positive conversation and creating easier conversions, in that it provides consumers with personal recommendations through authentic storytelling.”

A dedicated influencer marketing strategy should outline the correct platforms your campaign should focus on, the format of your campaign and type of content that your target audience will best resonate with. A brand’s influencer marketing strategy may vary (while still aiming at the same objective) from the overarching digital strategy.

“Brands should define a strategy that is not limited to the ‘obvious’ and will ba able to reach their entire target audience”

The obvious choice for the launch of a new beauty product would be beauty influencers, right? However, most women may use beauty products but not all of them may follow beauty influencers, as this is not where their interest lies. In this example, by limiting the campaign to only using beauty influencers, a large portion of the target market will be missed.

As an example, a beauty product may offer great benefits to one’s skin during pregnancy. If the beauty brand’s target audience is limited to pregnant women, they would miss their audience by using beauty influencers alone. Brands without a strategy pitch the same products to the same audiences, using the same people.

However, analysing the brand, and ascertaining that it would be beneficial to all women who may be pregnant, have experienced exposure to the sun or have experienced acne, opens the campaign up to incorporating moms, women who enjoy the outdoors and adventure, and young women with skin difficulties. It would then be more effective to use a combination of beauty influencers, mom bloggers, sporty women, and youth market influencers, all of whom strive to feel beautiful.

“Producing kickass influencer marketing results required a very specific skillset and expertise in order to design a dedicated influencer marketing strategy, implemented it, and manage it.”

Brands should work with influencer marketing strategists who provide quality insight into the market, which will allow them to develop a personalised strategy for your campaign, which ultimately will provide the highest ROI. Partner with our professional influencer marketing strategists at R-Squared Digital to maximise your ROI and mitigate brand risk.

In upcoming articles, my colleagues and I will demonstrate how a kickass influencer marketing campaign should be run in a series of four articles. You’ve already seen what influencer marketing is all about in the first article of our series and in this article, you’ve learnt about the importance of having a dedicated strategy. You can look forward to learning about how to effectively match the influencer’s audience with your target audience, how to manage your influencer relationship in order to protect and increase your brand equity, and finally, what’s required when your influencer marketing campaign is live. These articles (and more) will be released weekly.

If you’re dying to know more now and you’d like expert assistance with creating and managing your influencer marketing campaigns, you can contact us on partners@r2digital.co.za

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