By Bassam Mustafa
Influencer marketing has seen a major growth spurt, and is currently all the rage. With football superstar Leo Messi kicking off the Expo 2020 Dubai video campaign, to Bollywood king Shahrukh Khan being locked down by Visit Dubai, the region has been bursting at the seams with celebrity and brand unions this year.
But how do brands decide which talent is best suited for their end goal? How do brands decide whether an actor, a singer, or a social media superstar is the ideal choice? How can a campaign yield amazing results? Cue talent procurement professionals – the middlemen brands need.
Below are three key steps on identifying the correct talent for your brand:
Define clear objectives and don’t let the number of followers on an account, be the sole indicator of success. Influencer marketing is much more than set KPI’s or CPC’s – a campaign does not necessarily need to get so technical, especially since a majority of the influencers do not fully understand these digital benchmarks.
A more feasible way to identify your campaign goals is to focus on an influencer’s strengths, engage the target audience, create appealing content and most importantly invest time in the ‘brand x talent’ relationship.
Research, research, research ! Map it out and identify a relevant person for your target audience. This is generally the most time consuming part of the influencer marketing process.
Setting up clear goals and criteria’s from the start, will aid in creating a clear roadmap and allow you to use time and resources in the most efficient manner.
Delve and do a deep dive into the influencers you are considering. Check all their platforms, assess tone of voice, past content, engagement rates, like, comments, demographics and most importantly if followers have been bought – this is becoming very common lately.
Build a story board and work with the selected talent to create compelling content.
Most brands usually have a set storyline and key messages that are given to the celebrity/influencer without getting their input. Individual creativity of the influencer is very vital to a brand collaboration when creating the story, as they are able to mould key messages in a manner their followers would understand and relate to.
Striking a balance between the brands objectives and a talent’s personality is crucial as it ensures a more organic approach. Additionally, it is important for a brand to meet the influencer prior to campaign activation, this sets the tone for the campaign and is an approach that Nine71 take very seriously.
The use of influencers acting as brand advocates is getting more and more popular, and needs to be properly thought out. Essentially, an incorrect message sent out to 1M followers can do a lot more harm than good. Therefore, choosing a blogger or celebrity to tell your brand story requires careful selection and research.
Bassam Mustafa is the founder & managing director at Nine71