Konnect Daily

Finding the Right Influencer for Your Campaign

Finding the Right Influencer for Your Campaign

One of my all-time favorite actors is Benedict Cumberbatch. I absolutely loved him in The Imitation Game — a fantastic film loaded with drama and thrill that was balanced by the vulnerability and warmth Cumberbatch managed into his role as the intellectual oddball, Alan Turing. Another actor I love is Jason Segel for his charisma and comedic timing. Segel was great as the affable Peter Bretter in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but I think it’s safe to say he would have been terrible in The Imitation Game. To that same tune, Cumberbatch received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Imitation Game, but he would have missed the mark in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

This is why casting directors have such an important job, and that’s also part of the point I’m about to make.

There is a rapidly growing misconception that an influencer is an influencer, and anyone with a huge following on Instagram is going to work wonders for your brand. But that would be like saying an actor is an actor, and that they are all interchangeable for delivering blockbuster performances in any role.

When you lump different content creators under one huge influencer “umbrella” without understanding the major differences in how they built their following, you miss the mark on spreading your brand’s message to the right audience at the right time. One of the main ways we remedy this misstep at Konnect Agency is by taking the time to understand why our clients want influencer programs and what each client expects from these kinds of partnerships.

Here are some examples of how influencers become, well, influential, as well as their pros and cons as it relates to brand partnerships.

  • Some gain their following from fame. Celebrities earn their livelihoods beyond the big screen these days. They’re also raking in social media followers and monetizing that popularity with brand deals.
    • Pros: Celebrities have a huge fan base that trusts them and is primed to purchase products based on endorsements that feel aspirational yet genuine. These are great for brands that have quite a bit of extra spend they can dedicate to this kind of partner.
    • Cons: When a celebrity isn’t a natural die-hard fan of your brand, the way they speak about it can feel inauthentic and contrived. This can discredit your partnership for some of their followers.
    • Best practices: Pay attention to how the celebrity talks about the brand and see if they have an interactive relationship with their audience. If you find that a celebrity happens to be a genuine fan of your brand (congrats!), now would be a great time to connect with their talent agency to gauge a potential partnership.
  • Others gain followers from producing brand work. Artists, photographers and creative stars create beautiful content for a living and are followed by people who are fans of their talent and aesthetic.
    • Pros: These influencers can create beautiful assets for your brand and grow your content library. They put a lot of thought and time into shooting their imagery and usually use high-caliber professional cameras rather than their iPhone.
    • Cons: These influencers may have a difficult time integrating brands into their feeds, and their audience might not be as open to sponsored content outside of artistic materials.
    • Best practices: Brands are wise to work with this type of influencer for their photography skills and creative direction on a project or to launch their campaign. When you trust a creator to own your creative direction, they will be more authentically excited about the partnership. After all, you’re likely only reaching out to people whose work you respect, so give them the direction and space they need to provide their best work.
  • And then there are those that gain their following from sharing advice. People who got their start in the blogosphere have mostly combined that dedicated webpage with social media channels where they share tips and anecdotal expertise on a specific subject whether it be beauty, fashion, food or parenting. These influencers create content that is often product focused, and they interact with their audience on a regular and on-going basis.
    • Pros: This is the type of influencer that most brands tend to work with. Bloggers worth their salt are in tune with their followers, come prepared with a media kit that demonstrates how they can convert a post into sales for your brand and are probably already in touch with your PR rep to start the partnership conversation. They have built a massive amount of trust with their audience, and their audience actually looks forward to their reviews of new brands, services and products they love.
    • Cons: There is a fine line between an influencer who shares just enough and too much disingenuous sponsored content with their followers. If they’re teetering toward the “too much” end of the spectrum, you can expect to see some followers fatigue and drop-off their accounts. It is also prudent to seek exclusivity for your particular product or service category, which can come at a higher price.
    • Best practices: Apart from providing informational brand briefs, brands should always allow these creators to speak to their audience in their own unique tone. These influencers are in tune with their audience, and brands that allow them to talk about their product or service in a more natural way often see it pay off in spades. One way to bring in more traction from this type of influencer is to boost your visibility on their page by working with them on a multi-post campaign rather than just a one-off that doesn’t showcase the same authenticity.

As you can see, these partnerships come in all shapes and sizes and can get quite complicated. For help navigating influencer programs and making sure you set your brand up for success, ~konnect~ with us.