Tips

Find the Perfect Influencer
1024 683 Jane Hunt

Bagging the Perfect Influencer in 5 Easy Steps

The perfect influencer is a bit like a unicorn – hard to find but guaranteed to add a touch of magic to anything he or she touches.

According to Entrepreneur, influencer marketing:

  • Has an extremely high ROI ($6.50 for every $1 spent according to a recent Tomoson study)
  • Is growing faster than any other marketing channel
  • Provides quality customers likely to spend money with your brand over time

Despite report after glowing report listing its benefits, some marketers still have reservations about dipping a toe in the influencer marketing pool.

Those new to the idea might worry that influencer campaigns are expensive or difficult to manage. Factors like these are particularly relevant when you’re a new brand, small business or nonprofit. In fact, influencer campaigns can get great results with next-to-no budget – provided you do your homework.

Why do some influencer campaigns fail?

While there’s the occasional Kendall Jenner for Pepsi-style car crash, the most common reasons influencer marketing campaigns fail include:

  • Heavy-handed sales tactics (e.g. too many posts about the product)
  • Poor targeting (reaching out to people who are unlikely to be interested)
  • Disingenuousness (when the posts sit awkwardly on the influencer’s social feed and it is clear they aren’t genuinely interested in the product)

Posts and campaigns that snag on any of the above ultimately lead to the brand and the influencer losing credibility with the audience. This is why good influencers are choosy about who they work with.

For the right influencer, money and/or gifts will probably not be the deciding factor. They might already be a customer, or be on the lookout for a product like yours to solve a problem. They might be interested simply because they think their audience will benefit from hearing about your brand.

The best branded content or promotional posts blend seamlessly into the influencer’s social feed. People won’t think, “Zoella must be getting paid a lot to advertise those bedsheets” – they’ll think “Her bedroom looks so cute, I wonder where that bedding is from?”

You might think that this is all well and good for brands selling fun or Instagram-friendly products but what about my charity/ software/ event?

We promise that there are unicorns out there for virtually every niche. Here are a few steps you can take to help you find yours.

 

1. Think Objective-ly

What are your objectives for the campaign? What are your overall business objectives? Chances are a good influencer strategy can help you meet all of them. It’s cost effective, raises brand awareness and boosts SEO value – to name a few benefits.

Points to consider:

  • Context: Zoella won’t help you sell software. Jack Dorsey probably will – but remember that you can make waves with even the tiniest budget.
  • Reach: Millions of followers aren’t everything but make sure you’re satisfied that the budget is in line with the number of people who are likely to see the content
  • Action: Is the fit so spot on that the influencer’s audience is likely to take action and buy?

2. Does Size Matter?

Not always. According to Jay Baer: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

We’re starting to learn that the level of actual influence an influencer has is not necessarily relative to the size of his or her following.

Interestingly, according to a recent study, once an account grows past a certain point – the percentage of people engaging with influencer content actually takes a dip.

Lots of brands are realising the value of working with micro influencers – namely the potential for lower costs, more effective targeting and better results in the long-term.

That said, you will want to have a good grasp of their key metrics: reach, engagement, post frequency. These will help you make an informed decision about who you work with and how. Don’t just look at unique visitors and blog DA – followings on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest vary wildly from influencer to influencer. The most important thing is that they are creating high-quality content in your niche – and delivering it to people likely to be interested.

3. Create Influencer Personas

Creating influencer personas is a great way to get a concrete idea of who you’re looking for. You could even draw them to help you visualise.

The perfect influencer for a new vegan meal box delivery service

Note down everything about who you’re looking for. Think about their age, their following, where they shop, how they use the internet and anything else you think is relevant. All this information will help you when it comes to tracking down ‘The One’.

4. Do your hashtag homework

Once you know who you’re looking for, it’s time to find someone who fits the bill. Spend your time searching platforms like YouTube to get an idea of who is leading in your niche but don’t discount those with smaller followings. A search on Gethashtags.com for “vegan” reveals that popular hashtags include #vegan #vegansofig #veganism #veganfoodporn #plantbased #veganlife #crueltyfree and so on.

Google your desired hashtag e.g. #plantbased and you’ll see who’s talking about your niche. A good cheat tactic is to look at what accounts the really big influencers are following. Best of Vegan has 1.3million followers but only follows 893 accounts. Look through those and you’ll see accounts with more manageable followings in the same niche.

Searching #plantbased on Instagram brings up millions of posts. Hovering over the posts shows the number of likes and comments per post – helpful if you’re looking to find someone with a particular level of engagement.

5.Meeting your match 

Alternatively, you could Google “British vegan blogs” to get an idea of your options. Always consider your desired influencer in terms of how aligned they are with your messaging. Read their archived blog posts to get an idea of the kind of consumer they are. They might post vegan recipes but are they likely to be interested in a vegan meal delivery service? It might be that the nature of your service technically makes you a competitor. Don’t ignore tone of voice either. Some bloggers and brands are edgier than others – to some extent you need to match.

Don’t try and slide into their DMs either . Collaborating on a professional project warrants a phone call or at least a well-written email clearly outlining the terms of your proposal.

Lastly, make sure you’re well aware of the legal requirements of working with influencers – every platform has its own rules. To find out more, check out our definitive guide to working with influencers.

1000 523 Jane Hunt

5 Timeless Content Marketing Wins

We love to hear the new stuff, but you can’t beat the hits.

In the wise words of former Google CEO and current Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt:

“The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we’ve ever had.”

In other words, it’s every man for himself. If the internet is one big experiment, is experimentation what is needed? Yes and no. Tweak, revise and update your strategy constantly, but in mind that the simplest ideas tend to be the ones that stand the test of time. Here are five of the best and most timeless content marketing wins.

Sell stories or products but NEVER both at the same time

 Great content tends to focus EITHER on the product OR on wider storytelling. It would be unfair to say that you should never create content based on your brand’s products and services. Just don’t try and do everything at once. If you have something new, educational or totally unexpected to say about your product then feel free to share it with audiences. Unfortunately for you, your customers and potential customers don’t care about your sales. They probably don’t really care about your product. Talk about the things they do care about. Teach, engage and inspire.

Encourage participation

Why not get your audience to generate the content for you? User-generated content is a tried and tested way of forging a meaningful connection between brand and customer and can increase the potential ‘virality’ of your campaigns. Something as simple as designing the user’s next Facebook cover photo can get fans and their friends excited about contributing to a brand’s marketing footprint. One of the oldest tricks in the book but it works.

 Personalise

Inbound marketing gets your message in front of appropriate audiences without being too intrusive. It can be argued that SEO and social media targeting kind of do the same thing – by delivering relatively personalised content in an unobtrusive way.

It works in the real world too. One great example, Google placed interactive posters around the San Francisco Bay community, giving passers-by the opportunity to choose the charities worthiest of a donation.

Leverage brand ambassadors

 Some brands find it difficult to convey a personable tone of voice with their marketing activity. Thankfully brand ambassadors are an easy and effective way of bridging the gap.

Unlike sponsorships and paid influencers rand ambassadors don’t necessarily need to be approached or employed by the company itself. In fact, the most influential ambassadors will be your customers themselves, which will require greater engagement and inclusion.

Use emerging technologies

With nearly every experiment, you’re bound to get something wrong at least once. But you might as well try to utilise an emerging technology just in case it turns out to be the next big thing.

Recent developments like virtual and augmented reality haven’t fully found their feet yet, but as reported on previously, brands including Jeep and Cancer Research are still capitalising on its capabilities. Other opportunities such as wearable technology are slowly but surely gaining traction too, but they could soon be classified as ordinary rather than experimental.

614 323 Jane Hunt

Influencer Marketing Win: YESldn X The Wall of Comedy

Back in the spring we collaborated with The Wall of Comedy for youth employability specialists YESldn. As coverage starts to come in, we reflect on one of our favourite campaigns of the year so far and reveal our top tips on how to get the absolute best out of your influencers.

Influencer marketing is here to stay. With 84% of marketers rating influencer marketing as effective and 67% planning to increase budgets, we can expect great things from this new and exciting channel. Influencer marketing helps you connect not only with your own audience, but with untapped audiences in your target demographic who might not otherwise be aware of your brand.

The Campaign

YESldn (Youth Employment Services London) are a London based branch of Reed In Partnership, a not-for-profit committed to helping young urban minorities get into work through skills workshops and apprenticeships. For its spring campaign, the brand commissioned us to develop a series of humorous videos to help get its target audience interested in the brand. We agreed fairly quickly that influencer marketing was the right way to go.

Finding the right influencers is absolutely key in influencer marketing. Influencers are reaching out to people like them. If it’s mummy bloggers, they’re reaching out to young women who may be daunted by the experience of motherhood. If it’s a makeup artist, she might want to share her expertise and connect with others in the same world.

The right influencer doesn’t just know your target audience – they are them.

After reviewing a number of options, we started to get excited about popular YouTubers The Wall of Comedy.

The Wall of Comedy

Founded by creators of YouTube series Mandem On The Wall and stars of E4’s Youngers (Joivan Wade, Dee Kartier and Percelle Ascott), The Wall of Comedy are dedicated to creating and sharing video content. As Mandem on the Wall, the three discuss everything from serious social issues to youth culture and their daily antics, using humour to bring these stories to life and resonate with their audience.

We identified that they had a real connection with the people we were looking to attract, namely young urban people aged 18-24. The trust, love and mutual respect the boys at WoC have with this demographic is the kind of connection that no amount of money can buy – and no amount of marketing expertise can authentically replicate.

Brands using video is nothing unique – what made this campaign relatively unique was the approach. From ideation to production, we entrusted the entire scope of the content to the experts – our influencers. Passionate about helping young people get into work, the boys were confident they could create some really strong content, appealing to their audience and encouraging them to sign up to the service.

Don’t get too involved

Letting influencers reach their audience in their own way is undoubtedly the way to get the most value out of them – and will probably make them actually more receptive to the idea of working with you in the first place. 

Of the campaign, Emma Rider, Marketing and Communications Manager at YESldn said: 

“We know that we’re trying to engage a hard to reach demographic. Our audience isn’t easily fooled; they don’t want to listen to messages from marketers who presume to know them and their interests. That’s why influencer campaigns are so effective – you stay out of the way and allow an authentic conversation to happen.”

Someone else coming up with your entire campaign for you and sharing it with their big, engaged audience? It seems too good to be true. There is a huge catch. Finding the right influencer(s) and getting them on board is a lot harder than it looks. 

There’s often a lot of fantasy and ego-tripping involved in how brands see themselves. Influencer campaigns get rid of all that. Resist the urge to pay someone to advertise your product – more often than not it looks staged and false, audiences are wise to it.

With more than 6,000 post engagements, a combined reach of nearly 2.5 million and a 140% boost to service sign-ups, it’s fair to say the campaign has been a success. We’re just starting to see the coverage coming in, here’s a screen grab of our handiwork in print in the Evening Standard.

With more than 6,000 post engagements, a combined reach of nearly 2.5 million and a 140% boost to service sign-ups, the success of the campaign is clear to see for all involved.  Jane Hunt, our marketing director said:

“Working on this campaign has been a dream. From the off, we knew the audience were tough to reach and influence. Joivan, Dee and Percelle were so passionate about the objectives of the Yes London campaign and really wanted to do it justice. The boys challenged our thinking every step of the way – their professionalism and creativity took the campaign further than we could ever have hoped.”

But what did the ‘mandem’ themselves have to say about the campaign? In Joivan’s words:

“We really enjoyed collaborating with JBH and Reed in Partnership to create the sketches and raise awareness of an important issue currently affecting young people. The content sparked much needed discussions.”


 

To find out more about influencer marketing, take a look at our comprehensive guide.

If you would like some exclusive content to feature the campaign on your site or would simply like to find out more about what we can do for you, please contact Rob John rob@jbh.co.uk

860 450 Jane Hunt

Build Your Own Brand Community

Help your people find their people.

Send a James Bay fan into a mosh pit and you’ll probably kill him (or at least give him a fat dose of PTSD). Send in a metalhead and he’ll be overcome with a warm, fuzzy sense of belonging.

We all belong in different places, with different people.

Consumers want to have meaningful relationships with the brands they buy from. Establishing a genuine connection with your target market means giving them a space where they can come together around shared values.

The past couple of years have seen plenty of brands experimenting with communities with varying degrees of success. Brands who do manage to build communities where their customers can enjoy exclusivity and engagement are reaping the rewards.

 

1

Brand communities embrace a certain ethos or ideology shared by each and every member. Think carefully about what unites your audience. Here are some key points to consider.

– Who are they? Think age, gender and geography.

– What industries do they work in?

– What do they care about? For obvious reasons this is the most important one. What is their political stance? Their ethical position?

– How do they speak? What language do they use?

Don’t be afraid to generalise – you want to tap into the beating heart of your audience.

2

A brand community is built on the collective desire for a great product and/or a sincere service. This means you will need to put your finger on the best way for the experience of your product to be supported in a brand community environment.

Do you want your customers to share photos of the product in action? Do you want to give them a forum to discuss possible improvements? Whatever you go for, be creative, but put the wants and needs of your customers first.

3

Even the best brands receive complaints and condemnation from all sides on social media. While it can be difficult to keep ahead of criticism, a brand community should encourage criticism and deal with it with patience and good grace; consumers will be more likely to get involved if their opinion has an actual impact or influence. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and let the people in your community shape your strategy.

4

Even though brand communities can generate impressive exposure and contribute to a glowing online reputation, you should let your efforts grow organically. Don’t be tempted to build your community according to a fixed plan or idea; chances are it won’t succeed. Your customers know best. Allow for new ways of thinking and allow your community to take shape in its own way.

5

 It might sound obvious, but putting your community before your brand will lead to the most rewarding results. Consumers are smarter than you think and don’t need to see content dripping with your branding to realise it’s the work of your brand. This approach will go a long way towards convincing people of your credibility.


6

LEGO Ideas –

LEGO is offering its devoted following another opportunity to get creative. LEGO Ideas is a community where members can design and submit their own concepts for new sets. Projects that receive over 10,000 votes from members will be reviewed and possibly picked by LEGO to be created and sold worldwide. The creator gets final product approval, a percentage of sales revenue and is recognised on all packaging and marketing material.

 

Spotify –

By its own admission, Spotify has a lot of amazing, undiscovered artists that “need a push into the spotlight.” To increase exposure and give unknown talent that all-important break, the music streaming service constantly seeks the opinions of its customers to promote exciting new acts. Most recently, subscribers were asked to recommend their favourite artists with less than 500 followers. This simple move demonstrates that Spotify is interested in making a worthwhile contribution to the music industry, going some way to combat the negative way music streaming services are portrayed in the press.

 

Manchester City FC –

Nothing says community like standing alongside thousands of other fans in support of your favourite team. Manchester City recognised this when it made the move to overhaul its desktop and mobile websites with co-creation in mind. With the help of focus groups, user tests, prototype designs, and surveys, it knew that supporters would appreciate a mobile first, video rich experience featuring trending and relevant content. The message for fans and followers of Manchester City is that the club has its best interest at heart, both on and off the pitch.

860 450 JBH - The Digital PR Agency

5 of the Best B2B Content Marketing Platforms

We talk a lot about how brands can reach consumers but what about when you’re working B2B?

According to the sixth annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends— North America report 2016, less than half (44%) of B2B marketers are clear on what content marketing success would look like in their organisation.

What’s more, only 30% consider their organisation effective in terms of its content marketing efforts – way down from 38% in 2015. While these statistics are somewhat worrying for B2B brands looking to commit to content marketing, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Respondents who felt their content marketing efforts were successful reported well-documented processes, good communication, experience and a clear understanding of success.

This might sound easier than said than done but au contraire – there are a wealth of ingenious tools and platforms out there dying to help you with your B2B content marketing.

Here are five of our favourites.

 

  1. Promoboxx

Designed to provide marketing support to independent stores, Promoboxx “connects and aligns national brands and local retailers to drive sales.” This means that advertising and content from the top-level can be processed by Promoboxx and then sent through to ground floor channels for promotion across social, email, websites, and mobile.

“We believe that by aligning with your local retailers, you’ll increase local awareness and drive sales, all while making your retailers better marketers,” says Promoboxx. “By creating better marketers, you in turn are creating better business people.”

 

  1. Kapost

Used by some of the biggest names in technology and telecommunications (IBM and AT&T, anyone?), Kapost is one of the most popular B2B platforms available. It claims to be the “only system designed to support, planning, executing, distributing, and analysing the full-funnel content that delivers real business results.”

Kapost allows you to make the most of collaboration through shared calendars and workflows, meet every deadline with its scalable project management, ditch messy shared drives with an intuitive content repository, and score individual assets by revenue generated and conversion metrics.

 

  1. HubSpot

Another prominent industry player, HubSpot has three different pieces of software available to B2B brands. With what it calls the ‘HubSpot Growth Stack,’ you can “grow like a company twice your size while connecting like a real human being.”

HubSpot’s first offering is a free CRM that enables you to easily align sales and marketing for better organisation. The second is a marketing platform to grow traffic numbers and convert more visitors into customers. Last but not least, its sales software can increase productivity and close more leads with less work.

 

  1. LookBookHQ

Sold as the only “always-on” content engagement platform, LookBookHQ believes that attention is gold. With that in mind, the platform has developed a way for B2B prospects to self-educate at their own pace. Inspired by the way TV viewers binge-watch their favourite shows, this behaviour-driven marketing model empowers your clients to discover and convert more by arranging content in a personalised and interactive way that prompts them to want to find out more by clicking deeper and deeper.

“We’ve entered a new era of content engagement in which attention is a rare commodity that marketers can’t afford to waste,” says LookBookHQ. This is why it has designed a system that eliminates dead-end experiences and accelerates engaged prospects through the funnel.

 

  1. Curata

With a content marketing platform as well as its well-loved content curation software, Curata has every B2B base covered. Claiming to “eliminate your content blind spots,” some of Curata’s high profile customers include J.P. Morgan, Symantec, and Cisco.

Curata’s content marketing platform enables you to track published content, discover more about its influence on the funnel and analyse all relevant metrics.  Its content curation software uses a self-learning engine to unearth the best content, which can then be organised, annotated, published, and promoted.