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.
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.
Interesting and fairly recent (2016) paper on how digital is transforming the structure of the marketing department. It’s shifting to a centralized, customer-centric organisation with digital embedded throughout everything.
From ticket servers falling over, to event caterers failing to supply promised, free hamburgers, from artists cancelling shows an hour before their set, to calls for a nationwide boycott of a product, a PR crisis is rarely a pleasant experience, least of all when the bulk of it plays out on Social Media.
After igniting online, being liberally doused in retweets, likes and shares, the issue births a lynch mob and becomes a runaway inferno, engulfing every conversation in its path. So, how can you stop it? Well, the short answer is you can’t, you just have to let the crisis follow the pattern until it dies down. Yet, while you can’t immediately extinguish the blaze, you can take away the petrol cans.
Each crisis is different and thus requires a unique approach, despite this, there are a few tactical steps that will make this time easier.
1. Keep calm
Arguably the most important thing to do when faced with the impending onslaught of a Social Media lynch mob, is to remain calm and keep your head. Panicking will lead to hasty decisions which often make things exponentially worse.
Keeping a cool head will help you determine the extent of the problem and find the most effective solution.
2. Assess the problem
First things first, research the scale of the crisis and determine what kind of response it merits – is this code orange, code red or code dead?
Identify the issue, calculate the number of people talking about it and identify the significance of those participating in the conversation. A few questions that need answers right now are:
Is the issue outside of your control?
Has this issue come up in the past and what did you say about it?
Has it been picked up by mainstream media yet?
Are your naysayers credible? Are they known for trolling brands online?
What is the frequency of the conversation? ie A new tweet every hour, or every 30 seconds?
Who or what was the source?
Once you have your answers to the above, you can craft your response. The best responses own their guilt, list immediate steps that have been taken and are brief, factual and sincere. This is not the time to make excuses nor look for others to blame. The worst thing you can do is fob the Internet off with insincere attempts at pseudo-transparency – ironically they can see through this a mile away.
Assemble all the necessary stakeholders in the room and get their buy-in on the official response before you post it online.
4. Seed it
If you’re dealing with anything from a code red to code dead crisis, then it’s valuable to have some respected Social Media brand advocates in your corner. Hopefully you’ve been building up these relationships and can identify your sincere advocates, because when you need a relationship, it’s too late to go out and build one.
Give them a call, explain what’s going on and point them in the direction of the response. Some will spread the message out of the kindness of their hearts, some will ask for money and ultimately it’s up to you to determine whether the budget caters for this kind of thing.
5. Follow Up
Now that you’ve got your response up and running, it’s time to start following up with your customers. Respond to each tweet and mention received – this right here is your golden opportunity for positive PR. You’ll be praised for your swift response, your sincerity and applauded for taking the time to respond to each and every customer. Strike a fine balance between sticking to the official response, and not sounding formulaic. Remember, it is not wise to copy-paste your way out of this
6. Customer > Antagonizer
You’ll notice that once you’ve seeded your response, the lynch mob mentality will slowly start to abate and logic will begin to out. Rational voices who have heard both sides of the story will enter the fray and the online community will self-moderate. It can be quite terrifying getting to this point, but if you’ve followed the above, been honest and sincere and acknowledged and righted your wrongs where possible, it will eventually arrive. Cling to this knowledge when you’re staring at an average frequency of 12 tweets per minute. The storm will pass.
Don’t rise up for antagonisers who cannot be reasoned with. Apply the 3 strikes and they’re out rule and after 3 attempts, abandon the cause. Do not waste time that could have been spent on a customer who actually does affect your profit margin.
There’s a pattern to these lynch mobs online and though the flames do subside eventually, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the conversation. Track any hashtags associated with the crisis, as well as any particular influential voices taking part in the conversation. Monitoring will keep you informed of any new developments and allow you to pinpoint triggers for online conversation spikes (e.g radio interviews, newspaper columns) which you can then respond to on a case by case basis.
Do not ignore the problem, this does not make it go away.
Own your mistake.
Do not lie, the Internet is the FBI and you are Sepp Blatter.
Spend your time on customers that affect the bottom line.