Beyond the collab tag: how to maximise your influencer partnerships

So, you’ve secured a collaboration with a creator boasting an impressive engagement rate for your next influencer activation, and you’re about ready to see your engagement pile up as a result. But have you taken the necessary steps to optimise your partnerships? Here are some key considerations for kickstarting your next influencer collaborations.

Set Clear Goals and Manage Expectations

With access to uniquely engaged followers, tapping into those who are not perhaps aware of your brand, partnering with these individuals has a lot of merit and is a great avenue for tapping into new audiences.  While the allure of gaining new followers is exciting, it’s important to evaluate your goals against the partnership. For example, a collaborative competition will likely result in a higher follower count post-campaign.

Since Instagram’s humble beginnings in 2010, the way in which users interact with brands and creators has come a long way. The algorithm is a lot more complex, the user base is much more saturated, and the competition for follower taps is more fierce. Plus, there are plenty of useful metrics you can look at to determine the success of your activity.

Many brands opt for partnerships that are higher up in the marketing funnel – aiming to increase these brand’s level of exposure. According to CreatorIQ’s 2022-2023 Influencer Marketing Trends Report, 40% of marketers believe impressions or reach is the most important metric when reviewing influencer performance, followed by engagement rate (33%). The engagement rate and the number of engagements provide a great overview of how well users resonated with the content. Likes and views are less complex engagement, while comments, saves, and shares show richer levels of engagement with content. 

The 2024 survey from CreatorIQ reveals conversion as the number one factor for brand consideration in engaging with influencer partnerships. Later in this article, I will share how best to track conversion-based goals such as capturing traffic and sales.

Whatever your goals, it is important to leverage your expectations and consider how platform nuances can impact your activity. Many social channels have limited features and capabilities and the “add to basket” journey is rather more complex than that of an e-commerce site.

Speaking to a social media expert about the goals you would like to achieve can be a great way to get started on getting your goals from your pen to paper.   

Influencer Due Diligence

Like with any marketing collaboration, research is key. Selecting high-performing influencers can help you create strong partnerships, minimise brand risk and create something memorable for your audience .Ask yourself: Does their content align with your target audience’s interests? Is it suitable for your audience? Have they collaborated with your competitors before? What is the public perception of this individual?

Ensure compliance with ASA guidelines and leverage tools like Hype Auditor to assess the quality of an influencer’s audience, authenticity of engagement, and more. This tool can also provide demographic data for effective audience targeting.

Track and Evaluate Results

No social media activation is complete without a post-campaign evaluation. Tracking your engagement rate is a no-brainer, but the engagement rate should be compared to industry benchmarks to gauge the success of your content. Platforms like Hype Auditor offer up-to-date benchmarks for meaningful comparisons.

Consider delving deeper into engagement metrics and examining the number and sentiment of quality comments received on a post for richer insights. If evaluating traffic is of interest, incorporating UTM tags to your links can allow you to attribute clicks to specific influencer – showcasing how they can drive clicks through their presence. GA4 can be used to analyse audience behaviour within the backend of your brand’s website.

Long-term collaborations

Did you know that 70% of influencers prefer to work with brands in a more long-term fashion, posting more content over a longer period of time (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2023)?

Engaging in extended partnerships can bring various benefits. It fosters a stronger relationship with the influencer, saving time and money in the long run. It also builds credibility as the influencer features the product consistently, reaching multiple touchpoints authentically.

These recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg for maximising your influencer campaigns in 2024. If you’re ready to take the plunge, reach out for more advice from the 8MS social media team.

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