Working with influencers can be a complicated process. From macro to micro influencers, social media is inundated with a range of people who consider themselves influencers. While it’s easy to criticise from the side lines, the reality is that many brands have benefitted from influencer marketing. The key is knowing how to maximise the returns.
Because influencer marketing is a fairly new phenomenon, there isn’t a fixed set of guidelines, although many agencies have established their own set of rules. As such, brands looking to work with influencers may find themselves questioning whether they are adequately compensating the influencers they work with. Where do you draw the line? How much of a junket constitutes work? Is exclusivity enough or is payment necessary?
The RICE team was fortunate to hear from Zalora’s group director of public relations and social media, Christopher Daguimol, as he shared some tips around working with influencers in the region. As Asia’s leading online fashion destination, the brand believes in the power of influencers, but does it alongside other digital and traditional channels. However, since most of the brand’s customers come from the millennial generation, it is no surprise that they receive the highest engagement on mobile, and on social media specifically. Here are a few tips to get brands started.
What perception do you want to shape? Choose influencers that best represent your brand, even before you engage them. If you’re a cosmetics brand, engage influencers who are well-known in the cosmetics line. Selling travel related gadgets and material? Look at influencers who frequently travel. One way to help determine whether or not an influencer is right for your brand is to look at the types of brands they are already working with. When it comes to more niche areas such as a specific sport, then engaging micro influencers with a specific audience may be the best way to go.
When we talk about influencers, it’s common for brand marketers to look for those with a high number of followers. However, this does not necessarily give the best ROI, since the more popular influencers, while famous, may only engage a certain type of audience, and not always the type that brands are looking for. They also tend to charge a higher fee or form of compensation, which will mean a higher marketing budget allocation.
Seems like common sense, but there’s no point engaging an influencer whose page is dormant most of the time. Even if they represent your brand values, you may be losing out on a lot of engagement because of the lack of reach due to the social media algorithm that has been built to push content from users that post more frequently.
Sure, influencers will demand a certain form of payment, although there are many other ways to engage them. As Christopher shares, “Sometimes we provide them early access to exclusive and newly launched products, or create value-added opportunities such as talks, that will raise the profile of the influencers.” Compensations like these don’t just mean that brands cut back on their expenses, but it can also amount to a much higher value for the influencer, making it a beneficial solution for both parties.
Beyond being a form of compensation, affiliate links can also be an effective way for brands to measure engagement. Setting a commission percentage motivates the influencer to actively push the brand’s content, and is easily traceable for auditing purposes. Promo codes can also be used as a shared revenue model, and can help the brand measure the influencer’s direct impact and effectiveness.
With so many ways to work with influencers, it is important to always develop a contract to be signed by both parties. As Christopher shared, contracts are signed for every interaction Zalora has with influencers, even if it’s a two-hour launch party. One tip? Keep contracts simple, and to one page, with everything clearly worded for transparency.
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