By now, we know that utilizing an influencer (via social media) for your brand’s marketing strategy can pay off in many ways (i.e. increased revenue, brand awareness and preference, etc.).
That all sounds great and it should, but you might be asking yourself, “What does my brand need to do in order to ensure itself of all those great endorsement marketing benefits?”
The answer? Establish trust with your audience!
Marketing campaigns that are not built on trust between customers and brands are doomed to fall flat on their face and fail.
A good relationship relies on building mutual trust. In this case, we are talking about a brand establishing trust with its consumers via influencers.
Influencers are leaders whose opinions are trusted by their audience. Because many athletes are idolized and trusted by fans and consumers, they can be some of the most influential voices for your brands marketing strategy!
So, with that in mind, here are five ways your brand can establish trust with your influencer’s audience.
1. Clarify your audience
It is important to know exactly who your influencer’s audience is. Trying to appeal to anyone and everyone in the hopes that someone will listen is almost always ineffective. Furthermore, getting people who aren’t your target audience to trust you won’t do you much good.
Instead, identify your buyer’s unique persona based off your influencer and align your brand to that buyer. Listen, research, and ask questions to discover your audience’s preferences, wants and needs. Then package your products, ideas or solutions to meet those standards.
The key is to get a sense of the influencer’s audience and target the end consumer. In a nutshell, ensure your brand is offering products and services that your influencer’s audience is actually interested in consuming.
2. “Keepin’ it real”
Influencer marketing strategies work best with content that provides value to the target consumer. Brands need to change their mindset from telling customers about how great their products and services are to focusing on creating a lasting connection with the consumer.
To do this, provide consumers with content that will engage them.
Authentic and interesting content should be the primary focus with reference to the brand as secondary. Content which just glorifies the brand should be avoided.
But don’t take our word for it. In the end, it will be your audience who will decide whether your content is authentic and interesting.
At opendorse we advise brands to steer clear from uninteresting and unauthentic content. Digital endorsements that look and sound like spam are unlikely to foster any engagement. On the other hand, authentic and interesting content will enable your endorsement strategy to thrive. For example, some type of graphic, whether it be a picture or an infographic, is a great way to engage fans beyond simply text in a tweet.
3. Use stories and emotion
“The best way for influencers to promote brand campaigns is to create stories that are based on personal experiences or beliefs” –Marketing Principal Jennifer Beaupre
We cannot stress this enough. Using stories and emotion is the easiest way to make a tweet or Facebook message sound authentic automatically.
Getting your influencer to show emotion for your product also has another really powerful effect. It will cause your audience to mirror that emotion; it is human nature. There is no quicker way to build a connection with someone than by sharing an emotional connection.
Another option for creating an emotional connection with your audience is to cause them to express emotions themselves. Create content which will cause your audience to laugh, cry, ponder or learn something new. This will keep your audience interested as well as strengthen your relationship with them.
4. Engage your audience by asking for their opinion
Another helpful way to build trust is by initiating a conversation between your brand and your audience by using your influencer as a medium. Simply invite your audience to engage and interact with your influencer and your brand via social media. Coca-Cola, for example, teamed up with USWNT star Alex Morgan and encouraged fans to expand their “playing fields” by sharing pictures involving outdoor exercise activities.
Just the act of extending the invitation shows that you care about the opinion of your audience. This will further engage consumers and build authentic and trusting relationships.
Even more, when readers love content on social media, they share it with friends, family and colleagues. This increases the exposure of your campaign, which results in increased awareness for your brand amongst its target audience.
For example, a sports apparel or equipment manufacturer might ask the influencer to create a workout involving a brand’s product.
A call to action would challenge the reader to do the workout and encourage them to post their results to the brand’s social media sites. This activity engages consumers and encourages them to share their own experiences and stories involving your brand with other existing consumers and/or new consumers all together!Hint: Buzz like this between consumers helps ensure your brand of some of the residual benefits (i.e. increased revenue, brand awareness, preference and loyalty, etc.) of endorsement marketing.
5. Be consistent
Your audience expects a certain level of engagement, authenticity and intimacy. It is important to consistently deliver that kind of quality material.
One unauthentic or ‘salesy’ tweet will detract from the value of every other tweet following. It can also damage your influencer’s reputation and make future negotiations with other influencers more difficult.
However, when you consistently deliver engaging and authentic material, your influencer’s audience will come to you first, rather than looking elsewhere. Consistency can create a long-term connection between an influencer and their audience, therefore creating long-term loyal consumers for your brand.
Trust us on this one
People engage with influencers online because they value their opinions. Influencers can create and share content that influences a person’s opinion of your brand, and ultimately their purchasing decisions.
That is why it is important for your brand to establish trust between an influencer and their audience by:
Clarifying your audience
Creating real and authentic messages
Using stories and emotions
Engaging your audience by asking for their opinions
Producing consistent content
Adopting a different strategy for building trust? Have other ideas? We would like to hear about them; leave a comment for us. Additionally, check out our posts on Finding Your Audience and Using Voice to establish trust with the right people, more effectively.
How that you know how to establish trust with your influencer’s audience, now is a great time to sign up with opendorse.