8 ways to professionalize your influencer marketing

8 ways to professionalize your influencer marketing

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.

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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.”

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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.

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