3 Key Takeaways from The Fashion Network’s ‘How to Maximise ROI with Influencers’ Webinar
We were lucky enough to attend The Fashion Network’s recent live webinar on How to Maximise ROI with Influencers, where we saw Joe Ellyat, co-founder of leading influencer agency and our client, Komodo, discuss getting the best value from your influencer strategy.
With online channels becoming the only way that brands could engage with consumers throughout 2020, influencer marketing has become a vital component of many digital strategies, with the industry on track to be worth $15 billion in 2022.
So, what should brands know when choosing the influencers they work with and how can they get the best value from them?
We’ve pulled together our 3 key takeaways from the panel’s discussion on the webinar below:
1. Authenticity is the key to trust
The trust that people have in influencers is getting stronger and stronger, but authenticity is essential for this. It’s not about a one-off endorsement (which people will recognise a mile off), true value is gained when you choose influencers that can be long-term advocates of your brand.
The influencers your brand works with should be completely aligned with your brand and products, only then will you tap into a community that is most similar to your current customer base.
Don’t always think about the value you get as more sales (not short term, anyway) – the right influencers offer a great way to cement your brand’s values and persona, they bring your products to life and make them relatable and appealing to a like-minded audience, but only if you choose them correctly.
That’s why it’s essential to look for the right elements when choosing influencers to approach. This is a very measurable industry, there’s so much data to gather and base decisions on – but often it comes down to the content they produce and the engagement this has with their audience.
So, does their content suit your brand tone of voice and values? How much of their following is actually engaging with their posts, and how? Which brings us nicely to the next point…
2. Thorough research is essential
We’ve established that choosing the right influencers is key to gaining real value from the collaboration, so how do you go about this? The panel focused on three main aspects to look for:
- Following: You’re not always looking for huge numbers here, they might have a modest following but the audience could be totally aligned with who you want to reach, whether that’s in their interests, location or other demographics – you can use social listening tools to delve into this.
- Engagement: Is their audience engaging with their posts, and how? Don’t just look at recent posts, look at historical ones too to gain a really clear view of how engaged that audience is with the influencer. Read the comments and measure click-throughs on posts with links.
- Target audience: Potentially the most important element out of the three. How receptive people are to the advertised product due to their already existing interest for the industry should be one of the most decisive factors when starting a collaboration. If the fit is perfect, the influencer can incorporate the brand almost seamlessly in a post and capture the attention of their followers in a natural way.
Also important is having a clear vision and objectives from the start – what do you want to get out of the collaboration? As this could determine what factors are most important to you when choosing the right influencers.
Remember that with the right collaboration you can tick as many boxes as possible – don’t just focus on short term sales. This is an opportunity to bring personality to your products and continuously engage with a community you haven’t had access to before.
Check if they’ve worked with any of your competitors too, if they’ve worked with too many – it might look inauthentic for them to start promoting your brand, but if they haven’t worked with any, maybe their audience won’t be used to your industry.
3. It’s a collaboration, not a service
Once you start working together, allow the influencers to curate the content in their own ways – as they know how to best connect with their audience. If you’ve selected your influencers carefully against your objectives, you shouldn’t need to direct the content too much.
As well as your own brand objectives, think about any objectives for the influencer that you can help them reach too. There should be mutual benefit, you should look at this as a longer-term collaboration – not a one-off service, as that’s where you’ll get real value and ROI.
You could use only one influencer throughout the year but shift the focus from brand awareness to pushing sales (at the start of a sales period for example).
The best strategy is to plan ahead and align influencer activity with your wider marketing activity and campaign pushes – plan for key dates such as Mother’s Day and Christmas for example, try not to just dip your toes in the water if you can – you’ll get minimal return.
Best of all, if you develop a strong relationship with that influencer – they’ll be happy to adapt and work with you whenever unpredicted changes happen (highlighted in the past year more than ever!).
There was a general consensus that the increased online audience in the past year as a result of the pandemic will continue to stay online, and that people will be keen to see influencers posting live events once more as the world of hospitality and leisure opens up again.
The panel thought that TikTok and Pinterest will become important ecommerce platforms in the near future. This means it could be worth starting to build an audience base on these channels now.
For TikTok, getting creative can lead to extreme brand exposure, particularly if the video can go viral, so try out different trending challenges.
Interestingly, we could see more collaborations between brands and influencers on the actual products – this gives mutual benefits to both parties as they both have skin in the game and its in the influencer’s interests to promote it.
Overall, the webinar gave us some real food for thought when it comes to choosing the right influencers to work with and what we perceive as the value we get from them.
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