The success and popularity of influencer marketing have led businesses to evaluate their brand engagement strategies critically. For every dollar spent on influencer marketing, brands are able to reap $6.50 in earned media. That’s huge!
The engagement from influencer generated content has been nothing short of impressive. In fact, 63 percent of marketers increased their influencer marketing budgets between 2016 and 2017.
These days brands are continually looking out for innovative ways to engage their target audiences to achieve their goals. EatsieBox, a customized subscription snack service, gained more than 600 subscribers using basic influencer marketing tactics.
Influencer generated content is extremely effective at boosting brand engagement. In this post, we’ll take a look at some ways in which you can use it for your brand. So, let’s get started.
1. Create Targeted and Focused Content
Traditional advertising simply broadcasts a message to anyone who's watching or listening. It’s generic and isn't directed at anyone one in particular.
However, with influencer marketing, you can get your message across to your target audiences. When you work with an influencer whose niche aligns with your brand, you get access to their followers - a focused group who are essentially your target audience. Because they have chosen to follow the influencer for their expertise, knowledge, and content.
Working with such influencers gives you a chance to get your message across to an already engaged set of people. So your chances of getting conversions also increase.
Leveraging micro-influencers for your campaigns can help you get higher engagement. Because these influencers generally have a smaller number of followers than celebrities, they are more connected with them. This results in greater engagement rates.
ThredUP, an online thrift store, wanted to create brand awareness and boost their conversions. For one of their influencer campaigns, they had influencers create 15 high-quality videos. Here’s one of them by Naturally Thrifty Mom.
Image via Youtube
The results from this campaign were outstanding. The videos were watched over 364,000 times, and garnered more than 2 million impressions.
2. Use Influencer Generated Content for Better Visibility
There’s a lot of noise out there with brands competing against one other in getting their voices heard. As a result of such noise, consumers have developed selective attention and retention. This means that consumers will only pay attention to what truly interests them and ignore the rest.
Influencer generated content is extremely efficient in getting the attention of your target audience. Because followers of influencers have opted to receive their messages and view their content. So, when an influencer talks about your products and services, it is likely to be received better.
Clinique worked with fashion blogger Matthew Zorpas and photographer Mikey DeTemple when they launched a new line of men’s skincare products. The idea was to get their products in front of the right audiences. And followers of these influencers fit the bill perfectly.
The campaign was immensely successful with nearly 2.5 million hits and over 67,000 likes and shares.
3. Share Authentic Stories
Influencers spend a significant amount of time and effort to create content. It would be detrimental for brands if they do not leverage such opportunities to the fullest.
So enable your influencers to create more authentic and engaging content by sharing your brand’s values and story with them. 89% of marketers use influencer marketing because it helps them create authentic content about their brand.
Brands can leverage influencer generated content to share the stories of how they’ve evolved and what their vision is. Such content is capable of connecting with audiences on an emotional level. And hence are more compelling.
Zara was long considered to be a high-street brand by people. So, they wanted to reposition themselves as an affordable brand that creates clothing for real people.
They ran a campaign called the #iamdenim campaign in which they featured their employees and influencers. Teesh Rosa was one of the influencers who were part of this campaign.
Image via Instagram
Her posts helped Zara reach a new segment of audiences and position their brand as accessible by “real people.”
4. Associate with a Meaningful Cause
Consumers today want to associate themselves with brands who are socially responsible. The ones who support meaningful causes. Consumers expect brands to look beyond simply making money and use their presence to support social causes.
This adds more meaning to their purchase decisions. Consumers are happier if their purchases can contribute in some way to the society. In fact, 75% of people expect brands to make a positive difference to their well-being.
This altruistic streak can work wonders for your brand. Support a meaningful cause and weave it into your influencer generated content. Your influencers will be more than happy to get involved with such causes because it will improve their brand perception too.
Walmart launched their "Fight Hunger. Spark Change" campaign to create awareness about the issue of hunger and help those in need. They pledged to donate $0.90 for every tweet, share, like, or comment with #FightHunger.
Instagram influencer Logan Paul was particularly successful in raising a big amount towards the cause. And by partnering with influencers, Walmart was able to boost positive brand sentiment among their audiences.
Image via Instagram
Walmart exceeded their expectations from this campaign and ended up raising $1,656,061 towards the cause.
5. Provide Creative Freedom to Influencers
Brands are very conscious about their positioning and the way their messages are presented to their audiences. Because of this, they sometimes end up being overly restrictive with their content guidelines for influencers.
But what happens if you let your influencers create content entirely based on their own creativity? Greater engagement. Here’s an example.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority launched their Snapchat channel “LV” and hired DJ Khaled to do a “Snapchat takeover.” The objective was to win over millennial audiences by showcasing the city of Las Vegas.
DJ Khaled created 60-second videos of the places he loves to visit in Las Vegas in his own style. The campaign was a huge success. The channel got more than 400,000 views - the visibility they were aiming for.
Followers of an influencer love the kind of content they post. That’s the main reason why they follow these people. So don’t restrict influencers with rigid guidelines. According to Crowdtap, 76% of influencers prefer working with brands that give them creative freedom.
The bottomline is, if you really want to reap the benefits of influencer generated content, provide creative freedom to influencers.
An influencer is known for their unbiased and authentic opinions. The fact that posts from an influencer don’t appear like an advertisement is one of the biggest benefits of influencer generated content. It is what makes an influencer credible and trustworthy.
Brands need to make sure that the influencers they collaborate with share the same values as them. This will ensure that the influencer generated content can truly help to boost their engagement. So before reaching out to influencers, you need to go through their content.
Can you think of any other ways in which influencer generated content can be used to boost brand engagement? Let us know in the comments below.
Brian Mechem is CRO and Co-Founder of GRIN, the #1 software solution for direct-to-consumer brands who run influencer marketing programs. GRIN's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.