Your brand needs the right influence

I’ve had the pleasure of working with different clients on several influencer marketing projects – something very interesting in a country like the UAE, where people highly value the opinion of others, especially those they consider inspirational.

It is perhaps one of the reasons why social media influencer marketing works so well for many brands. But choosing the right influencer to market your brand is not always easy.

Some influencers have lost credibility in the eyes of their followers because they were happy to market just about anything for the right price. This has also led many businesses, especially international brands, to be picky when it comes to choosing who to associate with. So here are some tips on finding the right influencer for your brand:


1. Make sure that you are targeting the same community

While some influencers have millions of followers, their target audience, or those who tune into their page may not be the kinds of customers your brand wants. As you evaluate an influencer, scan their followers and ask yourself if those are the kind of people you would like to direct your message to. For instance, if an influencer shares funny videos that are popular with teenagers, then selling car insurance or corporate training programmes would not be relevant in that case.

2. Familiarise them with the brand

A client of mine took an extra step and worked with a social influencer who although already in love with the brand, was not a regular customer. The influencer learnt about the brand’s history, its story and genuinely loved everything about it. And so when they went ahead and worked together, the fit was perfect and the message did not come across as pure advertising. In fact, their followers kept praising the collaboration, saying it was about time the duo worked together.

If your target influencer is not familiar with the brand, then before you embark on your journey introduce them to your brand’s history, sit them down with your marketing team and discuss any questions that they may have. This is important because they will be asked many questions about the brand they are highlighting and you want to ensure they sound knowledgeable and are an effective ambassador for your business.

3. Avoid using a scripted text, and allow it to be natural

Brands have guidelines that should be respected. Perhaps, when talking about a brand on camera, the message should have a certain feel to ensure customers associate with the company behind it. But the delivery should also have your influencer’s personality infused in it. Avoid anything too scripted, otherwise it will come across like an advertisement. Sit down with your influencer and agree on ways where you both would be comfortable in how the message is delivered. It should their incorporate their voice and their style along with yours at the same time.

4. Make it fun and original

Using influencer marketing is different to any other form of marketing. Social media offers numerous ways to make your content engaging and, more importantly, appealing to customers. Avoid too much descriptive text underneath the post when uploaded and make sure that the posts, be they videos or photographs, are enough to convey the message. People have extremely short attention spans when it comes to social media, so you want to be sure that you get what you want to be delivered within seven seconds, if not less.

Hiring an influence is a business relationship, or a partnership, which is why you have the right to be choosy when it comes to choosing who you associate your brand with. People know that influencers are often paid for their advocacy, but it could backfire on your brand’s credibility if they think you are associating yourself with someone just because of their number of followers, and not because they are the right fit for your brand.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai.

business@thenational.ae

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