3 Secrets for Strengthening Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
With Easter just around the corner, brands are gearing up to celebrate the spring holiday. Each year, $14.6 billion is spent on Easter-related goods, and $2.1 billion goes toward candy alone. This means a whole lot of Instagram marketing, Facebook posting, and Twitter updating is necessary for brands to get in on the opportunity to profit from the holiday.
However, influencer marketing is one tactic that many brands overlook as they rush to get timely posts in front of customers and prospects. Here are three tips for strengthening your relationship with influencers as you look to give your marketing strategy an edge this spring.
1. Show Appreciation. Whether you choose to use Instagram or your company blog to praise your influencers, do it sooner rather than later. Influencers love knowing that they’re getting a little in return for their efforts to prop up your brand. Let your customers know that there are some hard-working influencers behind the scenes.
2. Host a Special Event. If possible, make an effort to connect with your influencers in person. Hosting a cocktail hour or a networking event can help you strengthen your relationships with influencers. If there is too much distance between you, think about hosting an online event, such as a webinar. Introduce interested customers to your influencers to exhibit your working relationship.
3. Ask for Feedback. While your existing influencer relationships may already be strong, there’s always room for improvement. To keep your influencers happy, take the time to ask for feedback – what could you be doing to make their job a little easier? Together, you can brainstorm new ways to enhance your influencer marketing strategy.
Last year, Americans spent an average of $141 on Easter alone. To make sure that you and your influencers are getting your brand in front of consumers this season, it’s critical to work in tandem. There’s no better time than spring to strengthen your investment in influencer marketing.
How can influencer advertising enhance your existing marketing strategy? Learn more by contacting Fullbottle today!
No Your City: Instagram Marketing in the Big Apple [Interview]
When you’re handling the Instagram marketing responsibilities for an account with more than 22,000 followers, you have a big task at hand. It’s even bigger when you’re trying to engage an audience that already sees thousands of photos of New York City every day.
Insert No Your City, the Instagram account dedicated to posting about all things NYC from a unique point of view. We had an opportunity to speak with Gregory Jacobs, who handles the social media for No Your City.
How has your Instagram strategy changed as the social network has evolved?
“Our strategy has evolved in a variety of ways. When we started, you could simply post a photo and mention someone. Today, we are tagging all of our photos with the photographer and the location in which they were taken. We are also experimenting with hashtags and the ‘Explore’ page more than ever. The ‘Explore’ page, in particular, has been very helpful for attracting a new audience specifically as it relates to brand partnerships.
What is the biggest mistake to avoid while marketing on Instagram?
“The biggest mistake to avoid is compromising your brand/image for the sake of money. We are approached by hundreds of companies that are not on-brand for us. If we were to partner with them, it would throw off our very engaged community and make is more of a ‘sell out.’”
How do you keep your followers interested?
“I think our content is the best way we keep our followers engaged. We produce uniquely New York images that are different than any other account out there. In addition, we have a weekly feature where we post a photo that is tagged with #NoYourCity. This has helped us develop a brand voice and identity well beyond our page. We also run contests from time to time as well.”
What goes into making the perfect, audience-engaging Instagram post?
“Again, the content has to be in line with our audience — something that is not your run-of-the-mill photo that makes someone stop their endless scrolling and look at the image. I am a fan of photos that take everyday visuals (Empire State Building, Top of the Rock etc.) and add a unique element that has rarely/never been shot before. It’s one thing to take a picture of Central Park, and it’s a completely different thing to take a shot of Central Park in the middle of a blizzard when there is not a single soul in sight.”
What advice do you have to budding Instagram marketers?
“Budding brands have to stick true to whatever image they are trying to create. Never sacrifice that, ever. I think another thing that helps brands is consistency. Look at your brand as a business you are trying to build. Post regularly, and iterate upon your schedule to see is posting at different times results in more engagement. The last thing you need to remember is to have fun!”
More information on No Your City can be found on the brand’s website, as well as its Instagram page, @NoYourCity. To explore the benefits of an influencer marketing campaign, contact Fullbottle today!
How Can Your Brand Benefit from Influencer Marketing?
Brands constantly need to work toward raising awareness of their products and services, and reaching out to a large audience can help. For this reason, social media has become a critical component of many companies’ advertising strategies. However, creating a profile on a network like Facebook or Twitter doesn’t guarantee success. To enhance their efforts, more brands are turning to influencer marketing, and for good reason.
Influencer marketing and advertising can extend a brand’s reach. Because influencers have massive audiences, companies can immediately benefit from the wide exposure. Here is what you need to know about teaming up with an influencer for marketing purposes.
Influencer Marketing Can Increase Engagement. If you’re struggling with engagement, influencer marketing can help. After a prospect sees your content marketed by an influencer, he or she may be encouraged to go the extra step and engage with one of your posts. Additionally, an existing customer might be influenced to comment or like your posts after seeing you advertised by an influencer. This gives you more opportunities to market your products and services.
It’s an Ideal Way to Break into Your Industry. By teaming up with an influencer who works within your specific industry, you can access his or her audience, which may subsequently be your own target market.
You Can Test Your Brand Messaging. If you want to gauge how responsive a large crowd may be to a new brand message, you can execute it through your influencer marketing strategy.
Influencer Marketing Can Enhance Lead Generation. Because you can communicate your products and services through influencer advertising, you’ll have new opportunities to generate leads. You may also gain more targeted leads, assuming your influencer’s audience consists of your ideal prospects and customers.
You Can Gain More Credibility in Your Industry. When you work with an influencer, he or she is vouching for your products, services, and brand messages. This can not only raise awareness of your company, but improve your reputation in the eyes of prospects who already know your business.
Influencer Marketing Can Help You with the Top of the Funnel. If you’ve been stuck in terms of marketing to the top of your sales funnel, influencer marketing can help. By working with an influencer, you can reach out to prospects through channels they trust most, whether it’s a social network or email.
To learn how influencer marketing can benefit your brand, contact Fullbottle today for more information!
Visit Florida Shows Off the Sunshine State in Its Instagram Marketing Campaign [Interview]
If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Sunshine State, VisitFlorida.org is all about giving you a reason to put it at the top of your to-do list. The website, which provides information on all things Florida, also has a successful influencer marketing campaign that spreads the word to Instagrammers looking for some R&R. We had a chance to speak to Stephen Kubiak, Visit Florida’s social media representative, to learn more about their Instagram marketing strategy.
Fullbottle: How has your Instagram strategy evolved as the platform has changed over time?
Stephen Kubiak: “We’ve evolved with the platform. When we first started using Instagram, you had to take the photos within the app and you could only tag your photos ‘on location’ if you wanted to add a geo-target. Once Instagram allowed you to upload any photo, I decided that we should start using user-generated content (UCG) as a way to grow our community and to curate these great photos were taking of the state. We typically find photos that use #LoveFL, which is our ongoing campaign hashtag that we use, and photos that people tag us in. We also always ask permission to use any piece of UGC with a one-to-one ask, nothing automated. I’ve found that this opens a dialogue between our brand and the content creators. People seem to appreciate the give and take. The strategy is clearly working as we’ve seen our account explode in engagement numbers with over 1,000 likes on posts and 20,000 new followers in three months.”
FB: Which types of posts generate the most traction for you on Instagram?
SK: “The most successful photos have been of beaches, sunset/sunrise shots, and animal (e.g., dolphin, manatee) shots in terms of ‘Likes,’ but it’s the comments that really stand out at times. We might share a photo of a hidden gem location like Devil’s Den or Bahia Honda State Park and you see great engagement because people want to know more about the location.”
FB: How do you use Instagram to resonate VisitFlorida’s message with your target audience?
SK: “Our goal with our content and social programs is to inform and inspire our audience about Florida and Instagram is an easy way to that. Each photo is its own story and the Instagram audience helps shape that story with their comments, tags and likes. A picture is truly worth 1,000 words to our Instagram community.”
FB: What would you personally identify as the keys to being a successful Instagram influencer?
SK: “Engagement beyond likes and follows is key to being an Instagram influencer. I think that one-on-one interaction is key, meaning responding the questions and comments, providing links to more information, etc. Social media is a two-way street – you have to be able to have a little give and take with the people you are engaging with. If you appreciate your audience by showing it through your engagement with them, they are more likely to engage with you in the future.”
FB: Do you have any tips for encouraging engagement with your Instagram followers?
SK: “Talk to your audience. Use UGC. Make ‘the ask’ – whether it’s asking them to tag or use certain hashtags or asking for advice about something. Encourage your audience be a part of the conversation by the way you engage with them.”
How Jenna Colgrove Takes on Instagram Marketing [Interview]
If you know anything about fashion, you’ve likely heard of already heard of Jenna Colgrove, the beauty and brains behind Visions of Vogue. Instagram influencers and style lovers alike flock to her page for inspiration and glam tips. We had an opportunity to talk with Jenna to find out what it’s like to reach out to more than 50,000 followers on Instagram.
Fullbottle: How has your strategy as an influencer changed as Instagram has evolved?
Jenna Colgove: I’ve started approaching my looks more strategically. I used to shop by buying pieces I liked just because I thought they were cute. Now, I put together outfits before purchasing or go shopping with a certain look or item in mind. I also have tried to be more relevant to the seasons. Being from Los Angeles, it’s pretty much summer year round so I take full advantage of cooler days to put on some boots or a coat!
FB: What do you consider to be the key to success as an Instagram influencer?
JC: Consistency and quality. Posting high quality photos regularly has helped my feed immensely! Not only can you optimize for when your followers are active but it helps you organize and plan your posts as well!
FB: What is the biggest perk of being a big influence on Instagram?
JC: I think the most exciting part for me is seeing how people engage differently on my posts – I’m a total data nerd and love learning about my followers! Of course, the clothing is great too!
FB: What are your plans for the future? How do you see yourself using the social network in a few months? A few years?
JC: Since blogging is currently my hobby, my goal right now is to continue to grow my following and elevate my content (better quality, higher frequency, creative angles etc.). Ultimately, I would love to be a full-time blogger but I am not sure I’m ready for that yet!
FB: Any advice for budding fashion influencers on Instagram?
JC: Continue to curate your content and engage with others! Like and comment on other users’ pages – it’s one of the best ways to be discovered!
Which Instagram Influencers Turned Out for the Democratic Debate?
Instagram influencers had plenty to chat about on Tuesday night when the Democratic Party’s Presidential hopefuls hit the stage for their first televised debate. On CNN, the public finally had a chance to see Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley make a case for why they should be the next President of the United States. Now here’s the real question – was anyone listening?
#DemDebate Takes a Front Seat CNN was quick to display the hashtag, “#DemDebate,” on the screen as soon as it went on the air. This gave the public a single, official hashtag to use across all social media platforms to converse during the event. Once again, we saw the power of the hashtag. By creating an official hashtag, CNN not only encouraged the public to discuss the debate, but took control of its own social media advertising efforts.
Politics at Work on Instagram Needless to say, there were several politicians, publications and news sites that hopped on the opportunity to advertise on Instagram in honor of the debate. Hillary Clinton, who arguably won the debate, was ready to go before she hit the podium. CNN, which hosted the debate, had been uploading posts about all of the candidates hours prior to the event as well.
But let’s not forget about others who have special interests embedded within the 2016 presidential race. Politico, the politics news site, made hashtags out of every candidate’s name for its Instagram posts. S.E. Cupp, the political columnist, started a discussion of her own with “#cnndebate” on her Instagram page. Even CBS News tried to pump up its audience for the event with a photo from the audience’s point of view.
‘Oh, I Was Watching, Too!’ Just because you aren’t involved in the political landscape as an Instagram influencer doesn’t mean you can’t participate in these types of social conversations. Take Actress Crystal Reed, for instance. The young starlet posted an image of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton shaking hands at the debate, which raked in more than 24,000 “Likes.” Actor and “Limitless” Star Hill Harper also made a post about the debate, encouraging viewers to DVR his new show if they were glued to CNN.
As you might have already figured out, there are no restrictions when it comes to participating in the social media buzz. Whether you’re an actor or a news publication, the window of opportunity is always open – assuming you use a relevant hashtag!
Vine Tips episode 7 is here and this week the importance of engaging with fans is discussed.
But how do you choose the right one for you? Do you pick the one with the most followers? Most active audience? Wackiest videos? Prettiest face?
By taking just 5 elements into consideration, you can guarantee that your money and efforts will be well spent:
1. Relevance Not Rock Stars: While you may love Jenna Marbles and be all up in her YouTube channel, take a moment to analyze whether she’d really be the best person to promote your line of nutrition supplements.
When deciding on an influencer, the #1 element to take into consideration is how deeply specialized they are in your specific topic. For example, if you are in the field of nutrition, do your research on long tail influencers who are specifically geared towards healthy eating and physical wellness. That way, you have the best chance of having them be sincerely interested in your product and want to form a relationship with you.
2. Size Doesn’t Matter: While, of course, you want to partner with an influencer who has a larger following; they don’t have to have millions to be beneficial. As long as their audience is active, that’s what garners a great ROI.
Check out their various social media platforms and see how many likes, comments, and shares their posts get. As the image below shows, a long tail influencer with a smaller dedicated audience is much better than a large one that doesn’t pay much attention.
3. Don’t Fall Off Your Platform: Make sure your influencer is active and engaging on the platform in which you’re launching the next campaign. If your company is investing in a big Vine push, search for influencers in your market who are the strongest on Vine specifically. Never assume since your potential partner is a great Instagrammer, they’ll be equally as popular across the board.
Especially lesser known faces can have a huge following on one platform and be virtually unknown on another. Just because Viner Brittany Furlan would look hot in your latest swimsuit line, that won’t mean much on Twitter.
4. Don’t Rob The Cradle: Let’s face it. The vast majority of people who are heavily involved in social media are part of a younger demographic. Is your product best geared for twenty-somethings? Then you’re golden.
But what if it’s not? You can have equal success in marketing your product or service on social media if you choose the proper influencer. Even though the young’uns do hold a lot of power, there is a HUGE pool of influencers spanning every decade of age. Your forty-something mommy audience probably won’t appreciate the antics of @Nashgrier, but hook up with @WhatsUpMoms and you’ll be on the right track.
5. Still Chugging: With a good decade of social media under our belts, quite a few influencers have come and gone. Someone may still have 100K followers hanging around, but it doesn’t mean they still nurture those relationships. But how do you tell?
Check out all of their channels. Do they blog? If so, when was the last time they did, and how often do they post? Peruse their social networks and check the same criteria. How often do they post and when was the last time they did? Do they respond to comments? In order for a collaboration to be beneficial, your influencer needs to be doing all of these things currently.
Lastly, don’t forget to sift through the audience you already have. You may have an influencer among them that you don’t even know about.
Once you start making these relationships, be sure to track your progress. Does your influencer’s share really increase sales? Did that Vine video you paid for increase your social following?
Relevance.com feels, “Being able to measure your influencer engagement program’s impact on sales, customer life time value or churn reduction is the holy grail of influencer marketing.”
It’s all about trial and error when it comes to finding the right influencer. That’s why the long tail influencers that may not break your bank as much are the right way to go, especially when you’re just starting out. And they’re much more within reach to create relationships with.
“Influencer marketing is about creating meaningful relationships with influencers, and this is a matter in which common sense and intuition can never be replaced. But, as in many other disciplines, measurement is here to fine-tune strategies and tactics, evaluate performance and sharply increase ROI,” states Relevance.com.
Is there a “magic formula” to choosing the right influencer? Of course not. Use your judgment and take the first step in forming good relationships. If you find one that clicks, come up with a plan, and measure your positive results!
Today’s Vine talent of the day is also a dance instructor? Maybe he should stick to comedy or get new students! @iam_jeremyscott