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Working with influencers: what you should know

24 Nov

Earlier, our experts answered the most common questions about influencer marketing. In this article, you’ll learn more about things to expect while dealing with influencers.

What is the difference between influencer and blogger?

A blogger is a person who has a blog, YouTube channel, or Instagram page, and (s)he regularly posts there. An influencer is a person who affects the way others behave due to his or her authority, knowledge, or relationship with its audience. Influence is often measured by the number of monthly visitors and engagement metrics like shares, comments, clicks, etc. In other words, just because you have a blog or channel, it doesn’t mean you’re an influencer. Metrics define influence.

What is the difference between influencer and brand ambassador?

A brand ambassador is in many ways the same thing as an influencer. It can be a celebrity or a person with 5K or 50M followers or subscribers. Their job during an ad campaign is the same as an influencer: to represent and sell a product or a service by using their connection with their followers.

The big difference between an influencer and an ambassador is the way they collaborate with the brand.

While an influencer typically offers one or two posts during a single campaign, and then can never work with the same brand again, a brand ambassador represents the company for a long time. Often, the ambassador represents only one brand and doesn’t work with any others during this time as an ambassador.

What benefits does the brand get when working with ambassadors?

As the human representation of a brand, the brand ambassador’s purpose is to develop and maintain a positive company image by efficiently interacting with the audience.

The biggest reason why companies choose to hire influencers as ambassadors is branding. The ambassadors are the ones with the best understanding of a brand personality and voice.

Also, when a brand collaborates with an ambassador for a long time, people start associating this brand with that person. The audience often aspires to be like this individual. And it can encourage people to buy the product or service that the ambassador represents.

Can a brand ambassador work with other companies?

Ambassadors often become the “face” of a brand and work exclusively with that brand — or, at the very least, not for any of the brand competitors. There are two options for ambassador to collaborate with a brand:

  1. Exclusivity for the brand in one category — wherein brand ambassadors are free to represent other brands in other categories. So, you can be a brand ambassador for both an online-shop and beauty salon, but not for two online-shops or two brands of beauty salons. For example, Messi represents shoe companies, vehicle companies, airlines, and other brands.
  2. Exclusivity for the brand across categories wherein it is prohibited to represent any other brand across any category, and so the face of a brand ambassador becomes completely associated with the brand.

What should you pay attention to when choosing an influencer?

There’re several points that marketers should analyze and consider when choosing influencers for an influencer marketing campaign. Here’s the top of them:

Reach — followers, subscribers and view counts provide a simple metric to estimate popularity, and impact in general;

Engagement — likes, comments, and shared content help marketers determine how active and responsive an audience is;

Platform — there are several different platforms, and each platform has unique advantages and disadvantages for reaching audiences;

Price & budget — it always dictates who marketers can work with, what kind of integration they can afford, and how many influencers they can use;

Content & audience — an influencer should create high-quality, consistent, focused content that is in line with brand goals and values. Partnering with the influencers with active and loyal audience will help you to make messaging more effective.

How to identify the level of engagement of the blogger’s audience?

We need to pay attention to statistical data, such as views to subscribers ratio, and how the audience reacts to the content. Do they give a “thumb up” or a “like” to the post, do they share it with their social network friends. And, of course, we need to check the comments. Raw numbers can be useful, but the core of the audience’s attitude to the product or service is in the comment section.

What exactly is included in the price of influencer services?

When you hire an influencer for a campaign, you’re paying for the ad creation according to the required format and its publication on social media with the tracking links. Of course, if the commercial doesn’t meet the requirements listed in specifications for an influencer, you (as a Client) may ask for edits before uploading a commercial online.

What is the main motivation for an influencer besides money?

Occasionally we are lucky to meet talents for whom the primary motivation is not money. They can be inspired by collaborating with certain brands, by getting free samples or promo codes, by the ability to create high-quality and creative content.

We have recently worked with the channel who asked to be paid only for the production itself. Bloggers provided a budget for equipment, costumes, film direction, etc. They went over the estimated cost but didn’t ask for any additional fees. Every team member was fully satisfied with the process and final result.

What mistakes should be avoided when starting work with an influencer?

Firstly, we need to implement a personal approach. It sounds simple, but we should never forget that the influencer is not only the instrument for reaching marketing goals. You must be a reliable partner for the influencer, probably, even a friend. He or she has to be sure that you’ve got his or her back.

Secondly, you need to know the influencer’s content in detail. We’re not talking about learning scripts by heart but you need to be aware of what the channel is about, its values and style. What does he or she or they try to say by their content, what’s their creative purpose? If you can answer these questions, you’ll bring them corresponding offers, which is the right approach to satisfy influencers, clients, and you.

What platforms are used to search for influencers?

We are proud to say that Zorka.Agency uses its platform which fits every task. It’s a great database for hundreds of thousands of influencers, which can be classified by different criteria, including audience geo, gender, age, type of content number of subscribers, views, etc. It’s a great tool to find influencers for every type of client.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of free creative production and a clear brief?

A brief is designed to make our talents understand what do we want from them. Sometimes, the briefs are so detailed that eventually, all the integrations look alike. That’s why the main advantage of a clear brief is that we indulge bloggers’ fantasies and encourage them to be creative and sincere.

On the other hand, if we don’t point out areas of potential controversy, we might face a lot of misunderstandings. And the first thing that a blogger will say is that it is not in the brief.

What categories (formats) of content are currently the most popular?

The top categories on YouTube are product-reviews, how-tos, vlogs, music, humor, and gaming.

In comparison to YouTube, the top categories on Instagram are fashion, food, design, travel, and fitness. Today Instagram bloggers prefer to share their own experiences, focus on no-makeup posts, and talk about self-acceptance and the importance of self-development.

What role do cultural features play in creating advertising campaigns in various countries?

To develop a successful marketing strategy, a marketing agency must take into consideration the cultural influences of the society where a new product is being introduced.

One form of advertising might work better than the other in a specific location or culture.

Take, for example, Japan. Japan has a culture of collectivism, where people seek affirmation within a familiar group. Honesty and social responsibility are the key points each Japanese is taught since childhood. That is why, in comparison to European and American creators, Japanese bloggers avoid partial integrations since they feel that “sponsored” videos with a simple shout-out at the beginning don’t come off as honest and trustworthy to their fans. Moreover, it is embodied in the YouTube Japan policy which only allows for dedicated videos.

So, you need to think carefully about your marketing strategy and make sure it’s sensitive to the cultural features of the region.

What advertising ideas of previous years inspired you?

For example, 2019 was rich in colorful and inspiring marketing trends, such as a shift in the focus of huge brands from macro- to nano-influencers, no-makeup, and authentic posts on Instagram, etc.

We were inspired by the environmentally-conscious program «Team. Trees» made by famous YouTube influencer — MrBeast. The initiative was supported by many popular YouTube bloggers, Silicon Valley, and fans. Thanks to this campaign, more than 21 million trees will be planted across the planet. Amidst the ecological crisis, such initiatives from influential people make humanity much more eco-conscious. It gives us hope that together we can positively change the world. It’s inspiring to be a part of it and make something for the greater good.

We also loved Diesel’s ad campaign “be a follower”. It takes inspiration from the world of social media and its cliches, celebrating the fans and followers. In the videos for this campaign, we can see that real-life influencers have a really hard time, while their fans and followers live more comfortable lives in similar situations ’cause they don’t care how they look like and don’t have to take photos of themselves and the surroundings every single minute. They enjoy their lives wearing Diesel jeans, of course 🙂