With spending on influencer marketing expected to grow 23.4% in 2023, according to Insider Intelligence, there’s no doubt that it provides significant value to brands. If you’re new to this type of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from content creators with their own following, don’t worry if you feel behind the curve. There are plenty of influencers to choose from across various platforms, and the reliable, effective tool is relatively easier to learn. Whether you’re working with a mega-influencer for the first time or looking for tips to help you ease into a new partnership with that ideal nano-influencer, these influencer marketing best practices can be applied across the board.
Influencer marketing best practices to know
Read on to learn about 10 of the most agreed-upon best practices for influencer marketing, and see some influencer marketing examples.
Create content that’s valuable or evokes emotion
While luck and happenstance may play a tiny role in making a post go viral, there are a number of studies showing that certain types of content are more likely to be shared.
In a paper titled “What Makes Online Content Viral,” marketing researchers found that content with high emotional arousa l— stirring up strong feelings of joy or anger — was more likely to be shared.
Another study, this one from the New York Times Customer Insight Group, found that two-thirds of people said they feel the need to share information that they find useful or valuable.
One example of viral, shareable content was Bedrock Real Estate’s “Anthem of Us” award-winning video highlighting Detroit’s vibrant culture, people, and amenities. The video began with an unscripted, emotional voiceover by Detroit-born rapper Big Sean, which was created to encourage real estate purchases in the Detroit metro area.
In addition to being shared by Big Sean on his social media channels, local citizens and businesses shared it too.
Tailor content to fit the platform’s audience
A top goal for influencer marketers should be to shape the content to meet specific styles or tastes of a particular social media audience. AirBnB did this well with its Wall and Chain campaign to promote unity around the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The campaign featured a video, pieces of long-form content, an economic study showcasing neighborhoods in Berlin, and additional content on various social media networks—all directing people to the video. Influencers shared it, too, and even attended events surrounding the campaign.
Influencer marketing statistics show the video earned 8 million views from all networks combined.
Choose influencers based on their fit with your brand
Don’t fall prey to the trap of believing that landing a celebrity influencer is the end goal. Beyond the fact that mega influencers tend to charge more (even as much as $1 million per post!), they probably aren’t the best fit for your brand.
It’s far easier and more affordable to work with influencers with a smaller following but who have a genuine desire to represent your brand and speak authentically about your product and services to their followers.
Use an influencer marketing platform to find influencers
You have a few options when it comes to finding influencers for your campaign. You can take the DIY approach by searching on Google or individual social media platforms to find content creators who seem like a good match.
For bigger, well-known influencers, you can use an agency to serve as a middleman but recognize that you’ll be not only paying more for a mega-influencer but also a cut to the agency.
But the go-to influencer marketing best practice is to use an influencer marketplace to find creators to work on your campaign. A marketplace has several advantages over the other two options.
First, the influencers you come across are actively looking for campaigns to work on, which isn’t always true when you do a Google search. Second, an influencer marketplace, such as The Creator Markteplace®, is typically much more budget-friendly.
Lean into micro-influencer options
Don’t be turned off by influencers with smaller followers. Almost every analysis of influencer marketing trends has found that even micro-influencers — those with between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, can be an ideal match for your brand.
Why? Because in addition to being more affordable for your campaign, they also tend to have better engagement rates than those with huge followings because of their perceived authenticity and connection to their followers.
We’ve reported on this very topic. Many brands are turning to nano or micro-influencers for product endorsements.
Be transparent with your disclosures
Your partnering influencer must disclose that they’ve been paid for the posted content. This is true whether your brand paid them in cash, free products or services, or discounts.
The Federal Trade Commission has its own rules and guidelines for endorsement and disclosure. Not disclosing and having to deal with the FTC is a huge hassle, not to mention that your brand and the influencer can lose the trust of their followers.
The good news is the disclosure doesn’t have to get into details. It just needs to be clear and easy for the average consumer to understand.
Amplify the content
It’s not enough to connect with influencers and create content. You’ll want to amplify the content to give it a chance to spread far and wide across the internet.
There are several ways you can amplify content. You can ask the campaign’s followers—or other influencers—to share posts manually. Or use a content amplification program, which allows you to set a budget and evaluate which posts and social media platforms perform best.
Join the conversation
When it comes to content creation, you’ll likely be providing some general guidance on what you’re looking for but otherwise will be trusting the influencer to craft something unique and authentic. But creative freedom doesn’t mean your brand remains hands-off once the campaign goes live.
Join the conversation by jumping into the comments. You might try responding to questions, liking and commenting on positive reviews or feedback, or simply adding value to the conversation by mentioning some interesting details about color selection, sizes, or availability by location.
Focus on authenticity
Your choice of influencer is a reflection of the brand’s authenticity. Micro-influencers are often a good option because they’re more likely to partner with brands they like and want to support by sharing information with their audience.
As a marketer, your worst-case scenario isn’t a lackluster campaign performance but rather an obvious lack of authenticity. Need an example? An influencer accidentally included the brand’s campaign instructions in the post.
Measure results and make adjustments
So, you’ve followed influencer trends, chosen an authentic influencer who shares your target audience, and launched a great influencer marketing campaign. How will you know if it’s successful?
There are plenty of tools available to help your team analyze the results of your campaign using key performance indicators, like the number of click-throughs to your website or new followers your brand gained, among others. Platforms like IZEA Flex have their own super-charged metrics that can help you identify your ROI. Associations in Flex are key to unlocking valuable insights and determining ROI in Flex. You can associate campaigns, creators, transactions, tracking links, content, files and more in Flex to get data on your campaign.
Use these 10 best practices to help guide your next campaign to success. You can always make adjustments along the way as you begin to learn how and where your brand can benefit the most. But with these general guidelines, your team can help ensure they’re doing everything possible to build a solid foundation built on transparency, authenticity, and engaging content.