3 Quick Tips To Maximize Your Influencer Marketing In 2016

Here are three influ­encer mar­ket­ing tips for brands who plan to invest in sus­tained, cross-plat­form part­ner­ships to reach new audi­ences.

Claudia Page By Claudia Page from Crowdtap. Join the discussion » 1 comment

U.S. adults are spend­ing upwards of five hours of day with dig­i­tal media, and more than half of the time this media is accessed via mobile devices. All the while, Mil­len­ni­als are aban­don­ing TV for online video. These con­sumer trends are cat­a­pult­ing short-form con­tent, espe­cial­ly video, to the fore­front of influ­encer mar­ket­ing.

Here are a few phras­es the mar­keters of the “Mad Men” era would have nev­er seen com­ing: Cord-cut­ter. Vine celebri­ty. Net­flix and chill. Tech­nol­o­gy has ush­ered seis­mic changes into the mar­ket­ing land­scape – and as the media world has become dig­i­tized and frag­ment­ed, it has also become democ­ra­tized. Beau­ty influ­encer Michelle Phan has 8 mil­lion sub­scribers on YouTube. Allure mag­a­zine, one of the most estab­lished women’s beau­ty mag­a­zines around, has 71,000. For brands, this means that the media stal­warts that have dom­i­nat­ed adver­tis­ing bud­gets for decades are no longer the most effec­tive places to reach audi­ences. It also means that influ­encer and native mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties have nev­er been more valu­able, but they have also nev­er been more com­plex. So, what’s a mod­ern-day mar­keter to do? Here are three quick tips for brands invest­ing in influ­encer mar­ket­ing in 2016 and beyond.

1. Rethink Your Content Distribution

Dis­tri­b­u­tion used to be a pret­ty straight­for­ward con­cept for mar­keters: iden­ti­fy the top chan­nels for reach­ing large audi­ences and place media buys with­in those chan­nels. Obvi­ous­ly, a lot has changed since there were only a few media prop­er­ties call­ing all the shots. Social media plat­forms and apps like Snapchat, Vine and Insta­gram are chang­ing the game for mar­keters. Beyond there being more chan­nels where peo­ple are con­sum­ing con­tent, these are also places where peo­ple are empow­ered to tell their own sto­ries via user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent. Mil­len­ni­als are spend­ing 30 per­cent of their total media time with UGC, in large part due to the fact that emerg­ing plat­forms are dom­i­nat­ed by indi­vid­u­als and per­son­al­i­ties – not brands and media prop­er­ties. Key Take­away Step away from the mind­set that peo­ple are only valu­able inso­far as they are impres­sions. By acti­vat­ing short-form con­tent cre­ators as media chan­nels in their own right, you will bet­ter align with shift­ing con­sump­tion habits and bring your brand into rel­e­vant, peer-led con­ver­sa­tions in social media.

2. Learn What Motivates The Next Generation Of Influencers

Mar­keters who cut their teeth in the mom­my blog­ger era might not rec­og­nize today’s crop of influ­encers, who have amassed large and engaged audi­ences based on sub­ject mat­ter exper­tise and a knack for cre­at­ing com­pelling short-form con­tent. While blogs are still rel­e­vant, short-form con­tent – espe­cial­ly video – is the clear future for influ­encer mar­ket­ing. Crowd­tap recent­ly inter­viewed more than 50 con­tent cre­ators to learn about how they approach brand part­ner­ships. One of the biggest find­ings was the extent to which cre­ative free­dom is val­ued by influ­encers today. The most in-demand cre­ators are care­ful­ly vet­ting brand part­ner­ships (some field up to 15 to 20 brand pitch­es a week!) by ensur­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ties are rel­e­vant to their audi­ences and align­ing them­selves with brands who pro­vide con­text and then get out of the way. Key Take­away Ced­ing cre­ative con­trol might seem like a scary propo­si­tion, but with the right guid­ance and guardrails, brands can part­ner with short-form cre­ators on pro­grams that authen­ti­cal­ly engage audi­ences in these spaces.

3. Evolve Your Compensation Structure

The pay-per-post mod­el is no longer rel­e­vant in today’s influ­encer mar­ket­ing land­scape. Short-form con­tent, espe­cial­ly video, is a dif­fer­ent ani­mal and requires a mod­el that incor­po­rates addi­tion­al inputs beyond the creator’s esti­mat­ed reach. When we asked cre­ators what informs their rate card, sev­er­al fac­tors emerged – beyond reach – includ­ing the num­ber of posts, turn­around time and the com­plex­i­ty of the ask. This is a tes­ta­ment to the rise of short-form con­tent, as brands are less fre­quent­ly part­ner­ing with influ­encers on one-off posts. Instead, mar­keters are learn­ing that sus­tained, cross-plat­form cre­ator part­ner­ships are a pow­er­ful means to reach­ing audi­ences with­in var­i­ous lifestyle cat­e­gories. Key Take­away While reach can pro­vide mar­keters with a base­line for esti­mat­ing cam­paign per­for­mance, engage­ment is the sin­gle most impor­tant met­ric for brands to look at when vet­ting cre­ator part­ner­ships. Con­sis­tent­ly high engage­ment rates – regard­less of fan or fol­low­er counts – indi­cate that the cre­ator has a cap­tive audi­ence of peo­ple who trust them to cre­ate com­pelling, authen­tic con­tent on a par­tic­u­lar top­ic.

Claudia Page

Written by Claudia Page

VP, Head of the Creator Partnership Platform, Crowdtap

Claudia Page, VP, Head of the Creator Partnership Platform at Crowdtap, has been pairing subject matter experts with marketers for over a decade. In this role, Claudia oversees Crowdtap's expert influencer program and platform. With both software and services, she pairs qualified content creators with the world's leading brands, such as Target, McDonald's and Absolut, to tell powerful stories.

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