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In episode 34 of the Customers Who Click podcast Mae Karwowski joined me to talk all about the modern world of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing has been around for years now, and while most marketers are aware of it, how many really understand the intricacies of it and truly appreciate the channel for what it is?
It’s so easy to treat influencer marketing almost like a performance channel. You get the creative ready, you identify the influencers to work with, and then micro-manage them out of the process, ruining the campaign.
Influencers are partners, and needed to be treated as such, and Mae explains just how you can do this.
Mae Karwowski is the founder and CEO of Obviously, a leading global influencer marketing agency and technology platform. Under her leadership since she launched the agency in 2014, Obviously has become the global standard of influencer marketing by providing the best full service client experience, managing complexity and scale of influencer work, and using data analysis to inform all strategies.
02:09 - 10:48 - Mae Introduces us to Modern Influencer Marketing - It’s a really powerful channel to scale up, influencers are really passionate about their pages and the content they put out there, so if you can find influencers who fit your product, you can work with them to tap into their audience in a more natural way. Combine that with the data side of what their audience looks like and the type of messaging that works for the influencer, you can use influencer marketing at various stages in the customer lifecycle, whether you’re looking to just introduce your brand to the world, or drive sales.
11:20 - 26:53 - Myths & Misconceptions about Influencer Marketing - The main one is that influencer marketing is a bit sneaky, and can be seen as manipulative, but this is very rare and tends to be when someone tries to just sneak #ad into the hashtags. When influencers are really open and transparent then the audience responds well, particularly if the brand fits the influencer. It obviously goes wrong when an influencer goes crazy about a product that clearly isn’t aligned with their values and the brands they tend to talk about.
From a brand perspective it tends to be that influencer marketing works like a performance channel, and they are in complete control of things. The influencer needs to be the one creating the imagery and doing it in their style as an influencer as its their audience that they’re talking to.
27:12 - 30:00 - Big & Common Mistakes with Influencer Marketing - The biggest is that they forget that they’re working with an influencer, someone who effectively has their own brand. They’re not there to just do what they’re told, do a job for you and get paid, they’re there to promote your brand as a partner, because they like the brand. You need to keep them happy, especially if they do actually perform for you, you’ll want to work with them again and again but if you’ve taken the fun out of the process for them and micro-managed them, they won't want to work with you.
30:15 - 33:45 - How to Get Started with Influencer Marketing - The channel has a great ROI, but it needs a bit of scale and budget behind it. You can’t test with a handful of small influencers and expect to see results, so be prepared to put a few thousand dollars behind a campaign, but as Mae mentions the ROI is fantastic and can be so much more powerful than PPC or Facebook, and if you work with the influencers properly, and let them do their thing, you’ll see great results.
3408: - 42:48 - Big Trends in Influencer Marketing - Brands are starting to push for more holistic programmes with influencer marketing, looking to be ‘always on’ with the right influencers to ensure their brand is constantly at the front of peoples minds, but almost in a more natural and influencing way, as opposed to just running ads in front of people.
Another area to consider is bringing in influencers for other marketing channels, get them involved in your photo and video creative as a lot of the time they’ll be a natural at those content types, and assuming you’ve picked big enough influencers, its the same as using a celebrity ambassador for your advertising (but probably a lot cheaper). User generated content is so powerful, and if you can get influencers involved in that you’re on to a winner.
42:54 - 44:43 - Mae’s Pet Peeves - Brands not attributing correctly. Retargeting tends to get a lot of praise for driving so much business, but actually a lot of it is being driven by other channels, and retargeting is just mopping up. If a brand does a huge brand awareness campaign and drives loads of quality traffic to the website via influencers, then obviously retargeting is going to perform better, but if you ignore the correlation there and just view the numbers for the performance channel it’ll make it harder to justify spending on the channels which are driving the traffic and brand awareness in the first place.
44:50 - 47:22 - Mae’s Underrated Marketing Channel - Work with your customers, you’ll have hundreds, maybe thousands of micro influencers out there who have large audiences, and love your brand, so involve them more closely and build a community. Get feedback from them, build loyalty programs around them. There are people out there doing free marketing for you, so how can you leverage that and get more from it?