I had the privilege to lead this week’s Twitter Chat on influencer marketing and was joined by my colleague Stephanie Graham and our very special guest Cathy McPhillips! Cathy is the VP of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute, so we were all very excited to hear her take on the subject matter.
The three of us enjoyed answering each question and engaging with the participants. Let’s now dive into the insights and learn what everyone had to say about influencer marketing.
We started with the basics for the first question. Influencer marketing can spark quite the debate when discussing its value, so we were interested to learn where our participants stand.
Christian Lowery of Gigonomy shared a graph that showcases the Law of Diffusion and how it relates to the trust influencers can invoke in customers:
G2’s Amy Lecza argued that influencer marketing has many benefits:
A1: Increased brand awareness, showcasing your product/service to a new (and hopefully engaged!) audience, but most of all - building a mutually beneficial relationship with an influencer for future campaigns, too. Your audience notices this! #G2Fireside
Influencers create user-generated content about a brand that can then be used on your the brand platforms. They also have an active audience that listens to them so a brand can easily tap into it#G2Fireside
A1 #G2Fireside An influencer with a good fit will lend their personality to the brand and vice versa. Qualities that people hadn't associated with the brand before could emerge, more often than not that they're approachable and "just like us".
A1a: Influencers extend the reach of your message, and more importantly, are able to convey to their followers how your product or service impacts their lives - something that you, as the business, just can't do. #G2Fireside
Next, we wanted to know how our audience uses influencer marketing and where they have found the most success.
G2’s Derek Doeing speaks to the immense popularity that Instagram has:
A2: I think @instagram has proven itself to be the place for influencer marketing. I know there's been a number of times where someone I've followed shares a product that I have purchased on their IG recommendation #g2fireside
In terms of social media - there's no clear winner. Different social networks will work depending on the brand and audience. However, when scaling influencer marketing, using an end-to-end solution like @ZINECO_Official is great to keep all your influencer activities organised.
A3: Quality. You don't want someone who's overdoing it. Find someone who's as excited about your niche as your brand is - not influencers who will take ANY campaign or product for compensation. That's not the authentic relationship your customers want to see. #G2Fireside
G2’s Lauren Pope shared how important brand alignment is:
A3: The brand alignment has to be there. Customers are smart enough to sniff out a self-serving promo when they see one. The best partnerships are the ones a customer don't even realize are paid for in the first place. They're that natural! #G2Fireside#Influencers
A3: One thing brands need to look out for when evaluating influencers is red flags - SO many brands have made missteps by not doing their research on what influencers have posted in the past. 😱 #G2Fireside
A3a: Are they respected by our audience & their peers? What's their online persona/presence? Do we want them representing our brand, and do we want our event messages around their other messages? Do they have the voice we're looking for? #G2Fireside
Julia Rose spoke up about doing your homework on competitors:
A4: Do your homework - research competitors. See who follows them and engages with them the most, then see who those followers follow. Make the connections that make sense, and go from there. A little awareness creates a world of possibilities for brands! #G2Fireside
I wanted to share my past experiences on the matter as well:
A4: If you’re looking for larger influencers, then working with an agency is probably your best bet to help source and manage them. If you prefer micro-influencers, platforms like @aspireIQ are fantastic! You can be very hands-on with each influencer this way! #G2Fireside
This next question on how best to compensate influencers triggered a great conversation.
Cristina Maria stated her opinion matter of factly. Influencers should be compensated with money:
A5 #G2Fireside: Compensation for influencers. It's a job, at the end of the day. But always have a means to track return on investment so that you know exactly how many customers they're sending your way. This is why discount codes are great for brands and for the consumer.
Jordie Black wasn’t sure if there is a right answer for all and that working within your budget is best:
#G2Fireside There are so many ways to work with influencers: one-off payment, gifting, affiliate, brand ambassadors, event attendance. All can work well with the right strategy behind it. Ask: "what's our budget?" then: "How can we make the most impact with the budget we have?"
G2’s Derek Doeing brings up great points about the importance of monetary compensation:
A5: monetary compensation is extremely important for it to feel like a true partnership I believe. but also ensuring the relationship isn't just a one-off post through discounts and exclusive tests of new products. Influencers should also be your biggest fans #g2fireside
Cathy McPhillips thinks that no matter what you decide to do, your plan must be decided in advance:
A5b: I would say that compensation should be planned in advance, in writing, and should be in line with the value each influencer is bringing. It's definitely not a one-size-fits-all program. #G2Fireside
A6. It depends on the original goal of the campaign: awareness measured by views/reach, engagement measured by clicks/likes, and sales measured by… well, sales! Tools like @aspireIQ@Influencer_DB and @traackr help brands analyze & measure ROI on influencer campaigns #G2Fireside
The next question asks about the trust influencers have with their followers. We wanted to know if consumers trust influencers?
Julia Rose brings up a great point. She says consumers are very smart, so don't underestimate them:
A7: Consumers are smart - they see through what's not authentic. It's hard to "craft" something that is organic and natural. I think the best way nowadays is to pair with an influencer that has the same values as your co. You want a shared mission. That's authentic! #G2Fireside
A7) It depends on the influencer... - Some influencers obviously take any deal thrown at them, which hurts their credibility and brand, while others ensure to ONLY promote products that they can stand by. - Sometimes the consumer can see this, sometimes they can't.#G2Fireside
And who could forget the Fyre Festival Campaign? Tony Christensen thought it was particularly brilliant:
A8: Can I say the Fyre Festival campaign? haha In terms of raising awareness and execution, it was brilliant! The influencers, the mystery with the orange squares, the content... Although, we all know how that ended. 😭#G2Firesidepic.twitter.com/F1FhtM2JTG
On behalf of the entire G2 Content Marketing team, thank you to every single person who joined our #G2Fireside Twitter Chat on influencer marketing.
If you loved this discussion, you definitely won’t want to miss out on our next one all about design and branding! It will be hosted by G2’s very own Daniella Alscher on October 24th. We can’t wait to chat with you again!
If you want to keep the conversation going, or you just want to share ideas, you can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Hannah is a former content marketing associate at G2. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Journalism. In her free time, Hannah enjoys running with her dog, Teddy, traveling to new and exciting places, and capturing the beautiful places she travels to with her DSLR camera. (she/her/hers)