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What We’ve Learned: Three Tips for Improving Your Social Content

Are you considering adding influencer marketing to your media mix?

If you’ve started the process, you know that 92 percent of consumers prefer recommendations from trusted people to other forms of advertising. You also are aware that digital advertising has taken word-of-mouth advertising to a whole new level through the power of influencers. According to Twitter, nearly 40% of users made a purchase decision based on an influencer’s tweet.

As you plan an upcoming campaign or are thinking about ways to enhance existing influencer marketing ROI, here are three lessons we’ve learned along our influencer marketing journey.

1. Content Matters.

Video is king. Consider several of the statistics:

50% of advertisers are shifting budgets from TV to digital video. -AOL

Social Video generates 1200 more shares than text and images combined. -Brightcover

80% of millennials consider video content when researching a purchase. -Animoto

While video itself is a powerful marketing medium, high quality production sets an advertiser apart on a platform where 100 million hours of Facebook videos are watched every day. The shooting and editing of video content that is organic, unexpected and shareable is an artform not readily replicated with an iPhone camera.

Authenticity and transparency also are hallmarks of great content. Once you’ve engaged influencers you trust, give them the freedom to tell YOUR story in THEIR voice. Give them the leeway to represent your product or service in the way that connects with their followers.

2. Content distribution and amplification strategy matters.

A large social following does not make one influencer better than another. Quality rather than quantity and influence rather than audience are the drivers of consumer engagement. In our experience, micro influencers (under 100K followers) actively engage with their followers and are committed to producing content that connects.

In a recent campaign, we engage influencers with 35K to 75K Instagram followers. While all influencers had engagement that surpassed the client’s benchmarks, the influencer with the fewest followers produced the strongest engagement results.

At the same time, there are many faces of influencers. Beyond the obvious, your influencers might be your excited, engaged employees or your loyal customers. Any brand advocate with a strong social following has the potential to be YOUR ambassador.

When working with micro influencers, the key is to scale the campaign with layers of influencers to extend reach. With video, for example, a second tier of influencers can be engaged to distribute the content through their social networks.

3. Engagement Matters.

Influencer campaigns, like all other marketing channels, need clear objectives and success metrics. While objectives focused on business results are key, influencing perception and brand engagement also have long-term payback. Our two most recent clients both included “shift perception” high in their campaign objectives and engagement metrics tell you whether people care about what you are saying. That’s the first step in shifting perception.

Telling the story behind the brand -- using real people telling real stories about what makes the brand unique -- is one great way to produce content that results in shares, likes and comments and ultimately drives brand perception.

“Companies that actively engage with their target audiences are earning the loyalty of their customers; other companies are simply losing out by using social media as a cheap channel for promotion. Social media is a continually changing landscape and brands that learn how to stand out from the noise will dominate.”

-Ahmad Kareh, Managing partner at Twistlab Marketing