With the shift from in real-life to all-digital the million dollar question is: how do businesses and brands stay connected to consumers in a digital-first world? Social media is ever-evolving necessitates that brands look for new, innovative ways to engage their audiences. Now more than ever, marketers need to focus on creating authentic and meaningful experiences. How can you make this happen? Influencers.
We are in the midst of a digital-first transformation like we’ve never seen before, now is the time to focus on the highest form of marketing – human to human connection. But don’t take our word for it! Hear from brand leaders and influencers themselves on how they work together to engage consumers in a digital-first world.
Why engaging with influencers is valuable to your strategy:
There’s been a lot of change lately… and not only with pivoting from in-person to digital. There’s been a huge shift in trust between consumers and brands. Businesses need to get serious about investing in cultivating trust and loyalty, and partnering with influencers is a good place to start. Why? Influencers bring two key elements that ALL brands need to be keenly aware of: empathy and authenticity – the key to building trust with consumers. Research shows that the average screen time is up to 5h40 minutes per day and nearly 80% of influencers are reporting higher engagement from their followers. What does this mean? People are spending more time online and influencers are key to reaching them.
Influencers bring two key elements that ALL brands need to be keenly aware of: empathy and authenticity - the key to building trust with consumers. Click To Tweet
5 innovative ways to integrate influencers into your marketing programs:
Content Creators – It’s the bread + butter of any influencer marketing program, but we’re not just talking about Instagram posts + Zoom interviews. Influencers today know how to produce captivating, high-quality content. Look beyond traditional social content formats and cultivate creative-based relationships with your influencers. Use their skills as researchers, video editors, graphic designers (and motion + interactive asset designers!), and technical copywriters to expand the breadth and effectiveness of your influencer marketing programs.
Innovation Partners – Don’t limit your influencer programs to social amplification and content creation. Instead, embrace influencers as thought partners and idea innovators. Working on a go-to-market strategy? Planning a product release? Tap your influencers to brainstorm ideas and strategize how to best get your brand in front of your target customers (AKA – their audiences!). Let them help build the right mix of tactics – social amplification, engagement, live Q&As, webinars, research papers, interactive assets, and more!
Messaging Collaborator – Influencers have so much to offer when it comes to messaging. Not only do they bring a fresh perspective (which let’s be honest – we all need) and a unique point of view, but they understand how messaging will resonate with both their audience as well as your brand’s. Don’t be afraid to collaborate during the early planning stages when it comes to new or updated messaging. Use them as a focus group to get feedback, or include them in your working sessions. Pro Tip: Consider putting in place a formal strategy and/or planning agreement with your influencer before finalizing deliverables. It’ll lock down their participating in your campaign without having to finalize contracted deliverables before your strategy is completed – and ultimately get you the most bang for your buck!
Event Creators + Participants – Influencers have been engaging audiences around events for years. They’ve been successfully motivating their followers to register, engaging attendees in social conversation, and providing POV content… so who better to help pivot your in-person event to a virtual format than influencers? Whether they’re hosting the event on their channels, participating in panel discussions, or amplifying in real-time on social, bring your influencers into the planning conversations early. Their ideas and implementation support will help ensure you’re hosting an online event that will gain and keep your targeted attendees’ attention.
Partnership Facilitators – Once you’ve cultivated a relationship with an influencer, you can consider their network as an extension of your own. They know how to nurture relationships through everything from starting conversations in LinkedIn groups and Twitter chats to jumping into key hashtag threads and asking questions in live Q&As. Use this to your advantage when looking to market company partnerships, customer stories, and even when expanding your influencer pool. Chances are they know someone (or knows someone who knows someone!).
Influencer marketing is the key to maintaining the bond that brands have with their consumers. Influencers have the ability to effectively and quickly reach new audiences while – if done right – telling empathetic and tactful stories during this uncertain time. In this new all-virtual time we are living in, it is essential to continually innovate while being mindful of the situations that many consumers are adjusting to.