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10 Things We have Learnt About Working with Influencers in 2018

Earlier this year we delivered a project that involved working closely with influencers. It was a great project and we learnt many things along the way, mainly that none of us will ever be as cool as any of them…! But also some useful things to keep in mind for working with influencers in 2018.

  1. Becoming an influencer is the new ‘winning X Factor’. Everyone and their dog (literally) now wants to be the next big YouTube and Instagram star and we can see why. Influencers such as Zoella charge around £10,000 per Instagram post, gulp. The rise in people defining themselves as social media influencers is phenomenal, meaning the amount of people to choose from is overwhelming and it is much harder to determine which influencer is right for you.
  2. It’s one of the more effective marketing tools in the current climate. It provides a much more direct route to potential customers and it is instant and far reaching. There is nowhere else where you can deliver marketing and a ‘call to action’ button directly into the correct audience’s hands at the perfect time. Although many influencers have come under intense scrutiny in the second half of the year, and it looks as if this level of effectiveness may decline.
  3. Most influencers have agents. Now that everyone’s cottoning on to the fact that we can monetise influencers, agents have come along and taken the top few under their wings. Like anything there are good agents and there are bad agents, you just have to trust your gut when it comes to who you choose to engage with as the regulations surrounding agents and influencers aren’t as clear due to it being a relatively new market.
  4. They don’t work for free — why should they!? Even those who don’t have agents can see through the ‘this is a really good way for you to get your name out there and work with a big brand.’ Pay them! Stop trying to get freebies — it’s their original content with their face on it and their name behind it after all.
  5. Millenials are the worst. I hate to jump on the millennial bashing bandwagon, but I will temporarily. Get ready to work with some of the most entitled, flakey, complex characters of your career. Bin off the ones that are unprofessional, there’s negotiating and then there is getting major ideas above your station. Love.
  6. Millenials are the best. When you find a right fit with an influencer it is wonderful — they are professional, wise beyond their years and real go getters with an entrepreneurial spirit. The future is bright if these guys are in charge of it!
  7. Create partnerships. Once you have the right influencers on board, work with them! You are in their world. A good influencer should be able to tell you what advertising resonates most with their audience, what time to publish posts and recommend on brand content. They will help you manage expectations and maximise opportunities.
  8. Work under contract. Now that influencer marketing is becoming more mainstream and companies are handling the money and job specification through the agent, contracts are expected. These protect your company from any negative associations, for example, if the influencer behaves in a inflammatory manner at any point in the 3 months following your campaign then the money has to be returned. Equally though, if you as a business start using your created content in a manner not intended or your brand gain negative press, then you could be in breach of contract. Protect yourselves!
  9. Ignore vanity metrics. It’s really easy to get caught up in placing emphasis on the wrong thing when it comes to influencer marketing. Just because 1000 people comment ‘oooh want one’ on a sponsored photo doesn’t mean they’re going to buy it. To avoid this, make sure you have a really clear start point and end point of what you are aiming to achieve through the campaign and measure it. This includes getting caught up in the beauty of Instagram
  10. Text, email, DM, snap them but don’t even think about having a phone call. Honestly, it sounds like I’m trying to finish on a funny one but it’s no laughing matter — heed my advice. I have spent weeks trying to speak to influencers on the phone, to no avail. The furthest I would get is a text in reply to a voicemail to tell me ‘sorry I missed your call.’ Then if I emailed they would reply instantly!? It’s a generation who are very much happy to do business over more unconventional mediums and whilst I would recommend a phone call with the agent or influencer if you’re dealing directly, don’t be afraid to do the rest of the communication through other mediums — it will be a lot quicker!
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If you want any more advice about working with influencers or help with your project involving influencers then get in touch — lee@skull-mountain.com

Written by

Founder and Managing Director of Skull Mountain.

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