Resolve to “Mature” Your Influencer Marketing in 2019 with theAmplify
Influencer marketing isn’t dead. But as Amy Luca and theAmplify’s insights proved, it’s got some growing up to do.
We are excited to announce the first round of leaders who will bring our 2020 theme HUMAN.X to life at the Broad stage this June (17-18).
Influencer marketing isn’t dead. But it has lost its way. And theAmplify’s Amy Luca thinks she knows where the sharp turn might have happened.
“Put simply, we abandoned the key principles of marketing, and got caught up in an influencer ‘gold rush,’” she admitted as she forecasted the trend’s future in “Influencer Marketing in 2019: How to Overcome Bots, Fakes, and Declining Organic Reach.” As this standard lapsed, other lapses followed: flooding of channels with bad content, overlooking the asking of important questions, and a narrow focus on what metrics mattered. But we don’t have to fall victim to the same challenges next year, and Luca’s session was full of tips and details to prevent those pitfalls.
Rely on Relationships
The influencers your brand chooses to work with should have a stake in the work you do. As Luca puts it, these agreements work best when you “build relationships, not obligations.” Authentic connections to your brand, borne of true affinity and curiosity, read far better online than contractual obligations. This is all the more true should your brand ever run into trouble. So as you look to enlist the services of influencers, seek out people who boast not only high engagement numbers and follower counts but highly authentic interest in who you are and what you have to offer.
Closely related to that, the relationships you’ve built should be based on more than just traditional metrics for success. How are the engagements you’re getting through these influencers guiding users to your brand? What is the quality of the conversations that are happening in feeds and comment sections? Social data has matured beyond just counting followers and likes; your analysis of a prospective or current influencer should similarly mature into more meaningful signs of engagement.
Another essential tip Luca provides: “face your fear” of being validated by third parties. Without that validation from an unaffiliated party, “we’re grading our own homework. And that’s not good for the industry.”
Commit to Compelling Content
Influencers can and should do more than just hold your products and smile. There has been considerable backlash to content in this vein, and it could hurt your brand more than it helps to rely on that method.
How can you leverage the presence of your influencers to fulfill a need identified by your customer or prospective customer? The answer to this question could change the way your brand interacts in this space—and in turn, how your posts are received and then engaged with. This commitment to meeting a need, and not just showcasing a product, will likely provide a natural solution to the “crappy content” problem: try it out and see!
Engage in Experimentation
Luca closed her session with a plea for experimentation in the new year. “Let’s give this new way of doing things a try” was the charge she urged attendees to take up as they brought the influencer market back to life in the new year ahead. She cited the example of Kalani, the bot developed by CoverGirl to interact with customers and social followers. Developed to “live” on Kik, she strongly engaged consumers from the day of her debut, and still gets 500 conversations a week—a year after any paid advertising was placed to promote her.
Kalani was developed with the goal of experimentation in mind, and made a considerable splash when she arrived. A similarly experimental mindset (applied to humans or bots) could make a world of difference for your brand, but you have to be willing to see what’s possible. “I really, truly believe we’re only scratching the surface of what influencer marketing can be,” Luca said as she closed her session. “But it’s time to get more serious and rigorous about how we approach it.” That rigor, combined with an eye on exploration, could create a fresh start for the world of influencer marketing in the year to come—if we let it.
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