Dipping your toe into influencer marketing? Here are the dos and don’ts you need to know

For some, influencer marketing is just another trend. For others, it could be worth looking into but they lack the time, resources and expertise to make a real impact with this strategy.

Those who do try influencer marketing with the full clout of their resources, and backed by a proper strategy, are seeing results. Ecommerce Week found that half of young UK adults bought items in 2017 that had been promoted by influencers, while separate research by Experticity revealed that 82% of online shoppers take recommendations for purchases from micro-influencers that they follow.

It’s easy to see why influencer marketing has taken off, as word of mouth recommendation has always been one of the most powerful weapons in any brand’s marketing arsenal.

If you’re getting started with influencer marketing, here are the crucial dos and don’ts to remember…

Do familiarise yourself with the rules

Not only could you end up in hot water if you fall foul of Advertising Standards Agency regulations around influencer marketing, but you can also destroy the trust of potential and existing customers. Research has found that while consumers may not be very well informed about the regulations surrounding the advertising of promoted or recommended products by influencers, they do care about it.

88% of 2,000 members of the public included in a recent Prizeology survey agreed that they should be informed if people are paid to promote products. A further 60% said that their perception of a brand would be improved if product promotion was upfront and transparent.

You need to do your homework on how brands are supposed to indicate a commercial relationship or clearly communicate a promoted product post to consumers.

Do choose the right influencer

While reach and follower numbers are important when choosing an influencer to work with, it would be unwise to make your choice based on these stats alone. A good influencer is one who has the ear of your target customers – the people who are most likely to buy your products, and most likely to listen to the recommendation of this particular influencer.

You also need someone who understands the relationship between brand, influencer and customer, preferably with experience of this marketing technique. Don’t forget to give your influencer goals and incentives too.

Don’t put words in your influencer’s mouth

You can provide guidelines by all means, but a script provided by the brand is a bad idea. This is because influencer marketing only works when the recommendation feels authentic and genuine. Advertising copy written by your marketing department will come across as just that, and it may not resonate with your influencer’s audience.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

Be careful when relying too heavily on one influencer, or letting them dictate the terms or tone of the campaign. You may also want to avoid making your influencer the face of the brand, just in case they become embroiled in a scandal or be spotted with a competitor’s product.

For more advice on effective online marketing strategies, please don’t hesitate to contact the Ambos Digital team.