One of the explosive, marketing trends in 2017 is the influencer. Essentially, influencer marketing is leveraging the influence of specific social media users to gain coveted access to niche communities, create meaningful conversations and achieve targeted reach and exposure for your brand. However, it can prove challenging. Marketers struggle to integrate influencers into their marketing strategies in a way that creates value for their brands. Indeed, there have been some campaigns which have had the complete opposite effect.
This seven step framework was designed to help marketers effectively integrate influencers into a brand’s social media strategy. The framework was based on a 2016 study which interviewed industry experts in South Africa.
Step 1: Set clear objectives and goals for the campaign
A campaign without objectives is a campaign that has been set up to fail. Be clear about the purpose of the influencer marketing campaign and outline clear objectives at the start. Consider things like increasing brand awareness, building brand loyalty or improving online conversions. The strategic objectives will dictate which metrics are important to use as gauge of success.
Step 2:Define which metrics to measure the objectives against
Once the objectives have been set, two to three key metrics must be selected that will be used to measure the success of the campaign. While these metrics will largely be dictated by the objectives, a holistic view of the campaign that looks at reach, as well as social sentiment is suggested.
Step 3: Select influencers based on both brand fit and their influence
When selecting influencers to work with, it is crucial that firms do their homework into their online personas. Effective influencer campaigns make use of influencers that align with and have an affinity for the brand, and are considered credible sources in the space. To determine whether they are a good fit, asses the quality of their content, as well as the previous brands they have worked with in order to eliminate brand conflicts. To determine influence, marketers should assess potential candidates based on their content quality and levels of audience engagement.
Step 4: Collaborate with them to craft the campaign
An influencer understands their audience and knows what messaging they will respond to. Once the influencers have been selected, it is suggested that they be included in the crafting of the campaign to ensure that the message that will resonate with their audience – the target market
Step 5: Be aware of the associated risks
There are risks associated with influencer marketing to be aware of and mitigated. The first is a reputation risk that can be caused by working with the wrong people. Brands must do their homework and ensure the influencer is not currently embroiled in an issue that could prove detrimental for the brands reputation. Secondly, should a scandal occur during the campaign, it is advised to have a crisis communication plan in place, which outlines the necessary steps to take.
Step 6: Measure the campaign against the original KPIs.
Once the campaign has come to an end, it needs to be measured against the original KPIs in order to determine whether or not it was successful.
Step 7: Integrate insights and learnings into future campaigns
Lastly, any valuable insights or knowledge gleaned from the influencer marketing campaign should be integrated into future campaigns. Use this to determine which influencers provided the most ROI, which ones were open to collaboration and which individuals the brand should continue to work with, in order to build a long-term partnership.
This seven step framework is the result of a detailed and in-depth, 2016 study investigating how South African brands have integrated influencers into their social media strategies. I hope you find it useful and feel free to add suggested improvements in the comments section.
This statue of a fearless girl appeared on Wall Street on the eve of International Women’s Day. The marketing stunt is designed to draw attention to the fact that companies who place females in positions of leadership, perform better financially. Not only this, but the campaign asks companies round the world to take steps to increase the number of women on their boards. You can read more about the campaign here.
On a more personal note, it seems strange that in 2017, we need to create PR stunts to convince companies to take these steps. However looking back on my short career, I realise why we still need them.
So far, I have:
worked at 3 companies where women made up less than 15%
worked at 2 companies with an all-male board
attended senior management meetings and been the only woman in the room
attended middle management meetings and been the only woman in the room
worked at a company where I was always, the only woman in the room
realised that 37% of my MBA class were women
realised that none of my clients have been a wholly-female owned and run company
I used Kapferer’s Brand Prism for a brand identity project and discovered that it is a useful framework to shape the perception and image of a brand.
The idea is that the prism will help you define and visualise what the brand symbolises to the user and what it represents and reflects to a non-user. The prism consists of 6 sides which represent Physique, Personality, Relationship, Culture (Values), Reflection and Self-Image. Mapping the brand according to this framework forces you to ask certain questions that are key to defining the brand identity. You can see a completed Prism for Apple below (source).
You’ll see it looks at both the sender and the receiver of the message, as well as the internalisation and externalisation. There are several resources online that explain how to use the prism and personally, this presentation on SlideShare was the most useful. I searched high and low for a user-friendly template, but couldn’t find one and eventually built the one below.
Sadly I can’t speak Arabic, but still, this spot is nothing short of inspirational. The Nike logo is of course littered throughout the spot, but nevertheless, it is an empowering tribute to what these 5 women have achieved in the face of rigid, traditional gender roles. In the spot, Nike explores the question – “What will they say about you?”
Somehow, the #justdoit slogan has never seemed more appropriate or powerful.
Women featured in the spot include Zahra Lari, the first Emirati figure skater, Tunisian fencer and Olympics medalist Ines Boubakri, Emirati Parkour trainer Amal Mourad, Saudi singer Balqees Fathi and Jordanian boxer Arifa Bseiso.
This is just a great piece of content. Nice departure from their usual “smile, laugh, eat a chicken pop, glance at the camera and everything is right with the world” style. It’s ballsy for a fast-food brand, but “the Scandinavian chopping boards” will give you a giggle. In terms of digital content, it’s strong, on-trend and spot on. Nice one KFC.