There are currently more than 800 million monthly users on Instagram. And Facebook has 2.07 billion monthly visitors. With such a massive user base, there’s a good chance that your target audience too is on these platforms. No wonder we see so many influencer marketing campaigns executed by multiple brands on these two channels.
Finding the right influencers on Instagram and Facebook is a great start but it isn’t the silver bullet. You need to build on your influencer relationships to ensure that your campaigns drive brand awareness, ultimately improving your bottom line.
Here are some signs that your social influencer campaign isn’t going to drive your desired results:
1. You’re Working with Only Big-Time Influencers
With top influencers, you can have massive reach. But that may not necessarily be the best thing. Why is that? Because massive influencers tend to have a much lower engagement rate than smaller influencers.
Here are a few reasons why there is a drop in engagement with an increase in following size:
- Actual reach declines with an increase in follower count. Actual reach is the amount of organic reach or the percentage of followers who see any given post.
- The larger the account, the higher the chance that bots make up a decent chunk of that follower count.
- Large accounts generally have followers with varying interests. So, fewer followers mean they are more likely to actually be interested in a particular post or topic.
You need to have authentic messaging which is delivered by people that have gained their audience’s trust. You also want to reach a highly targeted & valuable audience that is likely to be interested in your product. This is exactly what taking a micro-influencer approach will offer you. When your influencers are massive, they simply can’t make a personal connection with their entire audience.
Here are some tips for working with micro-influencers:
- Focus on more micro-influencers to reach your goals. You want to reach a million people? Try working with 10 micro-influencers who can each reach 100,000 followers each.
- Find micro-influencers who have high engagement rates on topics relevant to your niche. Use hashtags to conduct a search of micro-influencers who engage in conversations about your target subjects most frequently. This is one of the ways your audience too finds influencers to follow.
- Read comments. You can tell the level of engagement of your micro-influencer’s audience through the public information found on any of their post on Facebook or Instagram. What is their audience saying? Is it supportive (and relevant to) your message? Do they have just one or two interactions or hundreds?
2. Your Influencer’s Other Posts Aren’t Relevant
Don’t expect everything an influencer creates to be relevant to your product. However, if your influencer posts about your brand or products feel out of place compared to every other piece of their content, it definitely is.
To find the right influencers suitable to your niche, follow the tips below:
- Find a few influencers who’re great at what they do. Follow these influencers and use Instagram or Facebook suggestions to find other influencers like them.
- Check out your competitors’ influencers. It’s quite likely that your competitors might already be working with influencers relevant to your brand. We’re definitely not suggesting that you steal them. However, it won’t harm you to follow them. You can easily get an idea about other influencers who cover the same topics and keep up with your competitors’ efforts.
- Be more specific. Target influencers who focus on a very specific niche. Drop-ship marketer Oberlo advises that you work with an influencer with a speciality in professional men’s footwear as opposed to only men’s fashion in case you’re a retailer of formal shoes.
- Ensure your message matches the influencer’s. Even if the topic is right, you may still be missing the audience. So if your product and message are skewed towards hipsters, they’re likely not to resonate with an influencer whose audiences are aged over 50.
- Get more details through Instagram user-endpoint API. User-endpoints can give you highly detailed information about users, their locations, photos, and much more. You can use endpoints to find out who they’re following, who follows them, where they’re located, details about the content they post and which posts they’ve commented on. This can effectively help you understand whether you’ve found the right influencer long before you test the person out with a campaign.
3. Your Existing Influencers Stopped Delivering
Just like products, influencers too, have a life cycle. If your influencers aren’t generating the numbers they used to, pay attention to the following:
- Evolution of their niche. The topic of focus for an influencer can change and evolve. If this happens too often, the micro-influencer who was once perfect for you could end up being a mismatch.
- Saturation of their audience. If you work with an influencer for several months, at some point their audience will have been exposed to your brand and know about your offering. Conversion rate will hit a certain percent and then plateau. For you best influencers this mean there is a big opportunity to amplify their content to new audiences!
- More sponsorships. To para-phase ourselves, if your influencer delivers more than 50% sponsored posts, run! During 2016, Instagram saw nearly 10 million sponsored posts being created. There’s no doubt how an influencer could be drawn by a lucrative brand partnership. Although it’s good for their wallet, it’s bad for you. Your campaign will lose authenticity when all the posts created by your influencer are thinly-veiled ads.
- Changes in engagement trends. Closely monitor the engagement stats of your influencers on a frequent basis so you can easily spot any downward trend before it becomes problematic. The engagement stats in Lumanu makes it easier for you to do just that.
4. Coupons or Sales are the Only Reason People Visit
A timely message, such as a one-time-use coupon, makes it easier for you to drive traffic but this traffic will eventually stop coming in once the promotion ends. The beauty of influencers, on the other hand, is their ability to connect long-term. A new coupon or discount every week can diminish your credibility.
Instead, you should focus on getting consistent engagement. Here’s how:
- Are you using the right social channels? Users on Instagram are more engaged than those on other platforms. Approximately 75% of Instagram users take action after viewing a post. Instagram also has an average engagement rate of 3.21% as compared to other channels (which score closer to 1.5%). But if your target audience isn’t on Instagram, it may not be the best platform for you.
- Have you chosen the right content? Coupons can only address a single customer concern: money. However, if information is what your audience seeks, videos or free trials can be better at winning people’s trust while boosting conversions.
- Choose long-term influencer relationships over campaign-only arrangements. To truly benefit from an influencer relationship, your focus should be on a long-term connection between you and the influencer as well as the influencer and their audience. Your influencer will be able to learn more about your products this way, resulting in a deeper and more authentic connection with them.
- Review the hashtags and keywords you’re using. Try to select hashtags and keywords that your audience can easily remember. Catchy hashtags may be great, but it can be problematic if your audience can’t get them right.
5. Your Influencer Content isn’t Reaching Their Audience
Organic reach is declining. Organic Facebook reach dropped by 52% during 2016 alone. This means that your influencer’s content may not be able to reach the desired amount of audience. In fact, an Instagram influencer’s post can only be seen by 15-25% of their audience.
The influencers aren’t to blame here. They produce great content that resonates with their audience. Social media is not a “pay to play” platform. The good news is the pay component is actually a whole lot cheaper than activating more influencers.
- On average ACTUAL CPM for influencer marketing is $30-$50 (Digiday)
- This means at $3-$5 CPMs, the cost to amplify content is ~1/10 of the cost of organic reach
- Takeaway → You can double to impact of your influencer campaigns for 10-15% incremental spend
- Review how you are supporting your influencer. Are you just giving a small note to your influencers with the message? That’s certainly not enough. Create and share materials that’ll help your influencers get a better understanding of your product. And make sure to be creative.
- Try something different and new. The Instagram account of Merriam-Webster proves that a non-visual product too, can work on a visual channel. Lesson: try new tactics and challenge influencers to help you come up with ideas. And give your influencers the resources they need to make their ideas happen.
- Are you giving your Facebook influencers Instagram-optimized tools? Not all social channels are the same. Try different things that are specific to certain channels. For example, you can offer a Facebook Live opportunity. Or you can invite your Instagram influencers to a behind-the-scenes photo shoot.
Most importantly, don’t give up. It takes time to find the right Instagram and Facebook micro-influencers for your product but it’s worth every bit of the effort.