Despite its popularity, influencer marketing is hard to get right. The true value of influencers can be clouded by a lack of transparency in performance and actual impact on a brand. Many agencies aren’t helping this problem, either, as many like to puff out their chests and handwave superficial metrics around their influencer network.
How are brands supposed to get influencer strategy right (or differentiate between agencies) when these problems exist and their influencer marketing investment is at stake?
This is where an “always-on,” innovative approach to influencer marketing comes in handy, and one agency we spoke to, Ayzenberg Group, has developed their blueprint for it.
Ayzenberg is a full-service advertising agency with a focus on data-driven creative, digital, and social media influencer strategies. The agency’s influencer marketing is set up so that it integrates into an evergreen, long-term audience strategy for its brand partners. After all, why shouldn’t your influencer marketing work 24/7 for you?
Focus on the Brand, Not Just Influencer Marketing
Does this pitch sound familiar? “We have thousands of influencers that would be perfect for your brand!”
It should — almost every agency attempts to prove their worth through their extensive network of influencers when brands ask about an influencer strategy that’s right for them.
Unfortunately, having thousands of influencers and creators doesn’t mean any of them are a good fit. As Ayzenberg’s team said, “Nobody should compete on influencer network size.”
Instead, agencies should approach influencer marketing with a thorough understanding of a brand’s ethos and goals before finding the right creative partners.
It’s also important for agencies to treat brand partnerships as long-term, “always-on” campaigns instead of just one-off projects.
“If we’re looking at how social is pivoting in the last 5-10 years, how are you creating evergreen content and how is the brand always in that conversation?” the Ayzenberg team said.
In order to do this best, an influencer marketing agency needs solid organizational alignment and operations working together towards this strategy. For example, Ayzenberg’s Influencer Orchestration Network (ION) blends art and analytics to help grade, identify, and integrate influencers into brand campaigns.
From Ayzenberg’s perspective, these are the foundational elements of making social marketing work in today’s world. However, once agencies have this part down, they can move on to the next step with confidence: selecting the right talent.
Pick the Best Social Media Influencer for Brands
Identifying a social media influencer that’s the best fit for a brand can be tricky, but when they’re matched well, brands can reap huge benefits.
Ayzenberg’s ION team has built relationships with a diverse range of creators, and, as such, is able to provide a flexible selection process. Essentially, ION helps brands pick the best influencer instead of telling them who the best fit is.
Any influencer marketing agency that wants to do the same should ask themselves if an influencer’s audience overlaps with the brand’s. Do their audiences watch similar content? Are they creating similar content?
Measure the Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing
The art behind social media influencer selection and creative is important, but doing business with brands requires the ability to effectively communicate performance and ROI of influencer marketing efforts.
As such, benchmarking and reporting content is the best way to demonstrate long-term and repeated success. Ayzenberg has implemented this benchmarking process down to a “T.” Having a wealth of information from solutions like Tubular allows its ION team to be able to go back to their brand partners and prove that a given influencer is reaching the people they set out to.
For example, Ayzenberg can say its influencer efforts are doing X-times better at engaging audiences than another given how big or small an influencer is. This helps them with micro-targeting certain segments that their brand partners are trying to reach.