5 Tips for a Successful Influencer Campaign on Vine or Instagram
New social technologies and the move toward mobile devices as the primary web portal have changed the way brands communicate with customers. At 10 years old, Facebook is now considered a traditional social media channel, as is YouTube and Twitter. Advertisers have built sophisticated campaigns around these platforms, often including influencers — i.e., original content producers who have built a strong following.
Influencer-driven campaigns on microplatforms like Vine and Instagram are less common. The short video content length (a maximum of six seconds for Vine and 15 seconds for Instagram) means advertisers have to cut to the chase and lose many of the elements that are typically included in a longer-form campaign.
Another major difference between Vine and Instagram and other social video mediums is the use of audio. Since these channels are typically viewed on mobile phones, it's common for consumers to view them with the sound off. Advertisers can include audio, but they should be aware that it might not be heard by a significant portion of users.
Given the different way users interact with content producers on these platforms, how do you create an effective influencer campaign on Vine or Instagram? Here are five tips that can help:
1. Get to know your potential influencer's Vine or Instagram approach. Influencers are successful because they've created a strategy that appeals to users. Some use audio, some don't. Some post a series of related videos, some make each post entirely separate. To successfully work with your influencers, you'll need to understand their approach.
2. Understand why consumers are drawn to the apps. Just as the influencer has a distinctive approach, the consumers who follow Vine or Instagram feeds have their own reasons for choosing that particular platform. Keep in mind that consumers either have an existing relationship with the influencer or the content has prompted them to view a post.
3. Find an authentic voice. Think about the social media feeds you follow. Chances are you don't seek out corporate messages or look for information on products, but are instead drawn to topics you find interesting or people whose voice you find funny, unique or compelling. The same is true of the people you're trying to reach with your campaign.
4. Collaborate with your influencer. When you find the right influencer, make sure you establish a transparent relationship and communicate your objectives and expectations up front. It's important to provide the influencer with a clear vision of your brand and let him or her know the time frame, milestones and success metrics for the project.
5. Trust your influencer's instincts. If you've carefully selected your influencers, you've chosen people based on the value they can deliver for your brand. Now step back and let your influencers do their jobs. It's difficult to let go — after all, you're responsible for the campaign's success. But if you've chosen wisely, it's time to let the influencers engage the audience.
Of course, any marketer worth his or her salt will want to carefully shape the content the influencer develops. It's your brand, after all. But the thing to remember is that Vine and Instagram are unique mediums, and the people who've built a following on the platforms have found an effective way to communicate. That's why you're working with them.
Make sure you fully understand a prospective influencer's approach and what drives their followers. Go for authenticity; allow the influencer to include you in their story rather than scripting a story around your message. Work closely with your influencer, but once you've made your needs and expectations clear, let your influencer do what he or she does best — communicate with the audience. By following these tips, you can create an effective Vine or Instagram campaign.
Nick Pahade is the CEO of Poptent.
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