So many brands wing their influencer marketing programmes. Here are eight ways to make them business-like – writes Scott Guthrie
When hiring an employee you generally go through a process of:
You and the new employee will sign a contract covering:
You pick the best candidate based on skill set, attitude, corporate fit, and salary expectation. The contract forms an essential reference tool in issues of employee/employer dispute.
Before you issue that contract you will do background checks. You’ll gather references; check qualifications.
You undertake digital due diligence. You look through their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
You check that nothing potentially damaging sticks out.
You do all of this because:
So, when it comes to working with influencers, why do brands so often just wing it?
There is a stack of business articles bemoaning the cost and lack of return on investment from undertaking influencer marketing campaigns.
Digiday’s articleConfessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: ‘We threw too much money at them’has become a seminal text in the argument of influencer marketing as waste. As of this morning, the diatribe has notched up 14,000 social media shares and acquired hundreds of backlinks.
One quote from the article written anonymously runs:
Other stories marking the perils of influencer marketing point out the quantities of fake followers by some wanna-be influencers. Erik Sherman, writing in Inc., the US masthead focused on growing companies, ran a story titledThe influencer you use may be ripping you off.
The story ridicules influencer marketing by highlighting Lena Katz who took a picture of a potato, set up accounts for the potato on Instagram and Twitter and bought 10,000 followers.
There are plenty of other tales. I have written before about the‘reach myth’ of influencer marketing. In which I talk about a Sydney marketing company which set up a fake catering company online to prove a point. With the help of buying some fake followers, some fake reviews, a WordPress website and a Twitter account the fake company ended up winning awards and was feted by social media ‘influencers’ before the owner revealed it as a hoax.
These influencer marketing negative stories all demonstrate one point. It is the basis of all contract law: Caveat emptor “let the buyer beware.”
You wouldn’t hire an account executive without a recruitment, selection and induction process. Why then would you hire someone to represent your entire brand – or your client’s brand without following a rigorous process, too?
Here are eight tips to make your influencer marketing programmes businesslike.