Content Broadcasters - spread your message far and wide
In our last post, on how to deliver more effective influencer marketing campaigns, we started by summarising some of the basic points you need to understand, to help you get started with influencer marketing.
We reviewed a number of influencer marketing strategies that you can test out in your campaigns and also outlined how you should define your campaign objectives and write a winning creative brief.
In this and future posts we start to explore different influencer marketing strategies and project management challenges, breaking down how each might impact your campaign or brand, in more depth.
In part two of this blog series we focus on the second group in The Influencer Maturity Model - 'Content Broadcasters'.
Content Broadcasters - a fast and low-risk route to market
Content Broadcasting is a strategy focused on getting your brand message out as quickly and as broadly as possible, working with a large number of micro-influencers, who generally work on lower budgets. The main objective is to get your creative message out quickly, to a large number of highly targeted and engaged audiences.
With this scattergun approach you can look to recruit a large number of micro-influencers (say 10-50), to either post and endorse your existing content (the quickest and most popular option) or brief them to create a simple post (image & copy) - to be distributed on their channels, usually Instagram or twitter. These social channels have a lower barrier to entry, in terms of the type and quality of content needed to get a campaign started (e.g. vs creating a new original video for Youtube or Facebook). Based on this, Content Broadcasting is an effective and low-risk / low-cost strategy to quickly get campaigns live and help you understand potential ROI of creative messaging, promotional offers and different types of influencers.
The power of the micro-influencer
Most companies don't have the budget to pay for a big celebrity and nor should they have to. Micro-influencers appear to be winning when it comes to engagement rates, against those with perhaps 1 million followers plus.
Forbes recently highlighted that both HelloSociety and Markerly found that micro-influencers (who have followings of between 1,000 and 100,000) actually have better engagement than influencers with massive followings.
And if you think about it, it’s quite logical. Many people will follow a well-known influencer just because they are a celebrity or social media star. However for someone to follow a micro-influencer, it’s a more deliberate decision and there is usually a strong connection with the topics they talk about and the content they produce. Therefore you’d expect the engagement to be much greater than one you might have with a larger influencer, with whom you have less vested interest.
The fact that micro-influencers have such positive engagement rates is good news to brands and agencies. Although people understand that micro-influencers sometimes work with brands on sponsored content, it often appears to be a more authentic approach and experience, due to the strong connection between the advertiser, the content and the audience.
Instagram - the platform of choice for Content Broadcasters
Since launching in 2010, Instagram has grown into one of the world's leading social networking sites and as of September 2017 the predominantly mobile photo sharing network had reached an estimated 800 million monthly active users.
It is also one of the largest to be used by millenials - the demographic that is also most likely to be reached by and engaged with influencers and influencer marketing.
Instagram works so well for a Content Broadcasting strategy because its content is highly visual, simple to create, quick to publish and easy to digest and interact with. But don’t think for one moment that Instagram is just all about sharing pictures. Of course pictures are still the mainstay of Instagram, however Instagram’s long term appeal and strength has been its ability to diversify into a large number of creative formats. ‘Instagrammers’ can create content based on single images, multiple images, video and stories.
Instagram collaborations should try to avoid looking like a product placement, but instead, taking advantage of the various creative formats available, aim to look and feel like a natural promotion, that sits nicely alongside the influencer’s own brand and content.
Also, when working with micro-influencers on Instagram (or any influencer activity), be careful to ensure that local advertising guidelines are adhered to, by every influencer in your sponsored posts. In many countries (including the UK and US), this is a legal requirement. The Guardian recently reported on just that, highlighting that Instagram influencers are being clamped down on for not clarifying paid-for-ads when working with brands.
Here are a couple of useful links that provide guidance in this areas, from the ASA and the FTC.
Testing and Trialing
Working influencer marketing successfully into your overall brand or agency marketing strategy can be a case of testing and trialing. Some things will work - others not. Of course starting off on the right foot is important. For example, if you are asking influencers to produce content for you, it’s important to write a well-crafted creative brief so that all parties have a clear understanding and agreement on the audience, messaging, creative direction and the timeline any campaign will take.
The creative options and concepts that any influencer may suggest to you will vary. Testing various creative executions (images and copy) early in the campaign can be key here. Consider this an opportunity to test and refine the types of images and messaging that work best, as well as testing different niche audiences and also what social networks work best, to support your objectives.
Content Broadcasting campaigns are generally focused one social network - as it's easier to manage large volumes of micro-influencers through one platform. But it's important to think about testing campaigns on a number of platforms when you first get started. Snap Chat, Twitter and Pinterest could all be viable alternatives to Instagram.
Be sure to carefully track results and measure what formula gives you the highest ROI.
There’s hundreds if not thousands of micro-influencers you could potentially work with to support your activities - and much like any advertising channel, some will work well and some will not. So taking your time over this part of the process and selecting the right influencers to work with can be key.
Perhaps a good idea would be to write down a list of criteria you are looking for from your chosen influencers. Find a good number of influencers who meet much of this criteria and then connect with them. Try to always think first and foremost about the targeted success of your campaign and don’t get stuck in thinking that an influencer will be great, even if they don’t seem to match what you are looking for.
At this level, price points that micro-influencers typically charge may vary from £100 to £500 a post. Price can vary depending on various criteria such as industry sector, size of audience and reputation. However like any media channel, there will need to be an amount of testing to see how price relates to direct return on investment. Sometimes the more you pay doesn’t equal better results and ROI.
Ultimately the proof will be in the pudding and this part of the process will involve some testing to see who works well and who doesn’t.
Get your message out quickly
As a Content Broadcaster your strategy will be focused on reposting content (or creating new content) and seeding it out to 10-50 micro-influencers, to share across their social networks and get your brand message out to highly targeted / niche audiences.
Sounds simple, but what challenges might you face?
Without effective management and tracking, working with a large volume of influencers can open the door to many challenges. Keeping on top of all the influencer conversations, tracking delivery and then measuring the overall results can be laborious and time consuming.
You will find that there are a number of influencer platforms out there that offer the opportunity for brands to connect with micro-influencers and run campaigns (e.g. Takumi, TRIBE, Whaler). However note that whilst these platforms are good in helping you manage one off campaigns, they are limited in their ability to enable you to build longer term relationships with influencers, which should be one of your goals.
Our multi-channel campaign management platform can help you with this. dyzio helps you keep track of all your influencer relationships and their performance, plus it also enables you to manage every detail of your campaigns (from briefs to payments) and tracks the overall campaign performance, with fast and shareable campaign reporting.