3 Tips to Put the ‘Influence’ in Influencer Marketing

Think about it. Before you make a purchasing decision, who do you consult? Many consumers, especially Millennials, turn to friends, family and, increasingly, social influencers. In fact, a recent study showed that 82 percent of consumers surveyed were “highly likely” to make a purchase if recommended by a trusted influencer.

That’s where we come in. Influencer marketing has become a cornerstone of a comprehensive communication plan, and for good reason: effective social influencers are shown to have some of the most engaged, responsive followings on the web. At BCH, we’ve engaged audiences through passionate influencers for everything from the grand opening of a new Earth Fare location to a special shopping weekend for Simon Premium Outlet with exciting results.

As such, we’ve put together a few tips to make the most of your influencer activation.

1. Consider the audience
An influencer is only as good as their audience, but “good” is relative. When choosing the perfect influencer or influencers for your activation, it’s true that the most important consideration is their audience, but it boils down to so much more than size. Geographic location, social and blog engagement, overall content quality and more paint the full picture of what an influencer can bring to the table. For example, a fashion blogger based in Chicago with a gargantuan following may be attractive from a size perspective, but would prove ineffective in promoting a Cincinnati-based retailer. The key to any successful activation is to consider all available information to choose an influencer who best fits your audience across all categories without singling out any one specific metric.

2. Let the influencer do the talking
Okay, you’ve chosen your influencer. Now let them take the reins! While it’s absolutely acceptable to provide suggestions and guidelines for your sponsored content, it’s important to ensure the content remains authentic. Remember, you chose this influencer because you found their voice to be in line with your client’s brand. The last thing you want is to dilute that with canned, generic talking points.

3. Make it fun!
Fact: everyone’s favorite Saturday Night Live skits are the ones where you can tell the cast is genuinely laughing and having a good time. Think of your influencers that way, too! When they’re having fun with an activation, it will show through their posts, and their audience will pick up on that. Perfect example – we recently hosted a scavenger hunt with Tampa Bay Moms Group, a mommy blogger association, to promote client Earth Fare’s newest location in the Bay Area. The bloggers were given a tour of the new location and then sent on a scavenger hunt through several of our favorite parts of the store. Good times were had by all, and it showed! The posts generated from that evening received strong audience engagement, and the content was impeccable. As a PR pro, what more could you ask for?

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing strategies today for one very good reasons: audiences respond. When done correctly, it’s effective, innovative and fun! And who doesn’t love a little fun?