How to Make Influencer Marketing Work for You

Posted by Alex Ditty on May 30, 2017 6:30:00 PM

In Influencer Marketing

Perhaps you’ve tried influencer marketing before…

We’ve had plenty of conversations with marketers who have made attempts at leveraging influencer marketing for their brand. There is an obvious appeal to partnering with tastemakers who have built trust with their audiences. Enabling them to share your brand’s story is a smart way to connect with these key audiences.

But putting this into practice is often easier said than done.

2535-1.jpegWe’ll outline some of the most common struggles we hear from marketers and our tips on how to combat them. For more tips, subscribe to our blog and receive regular updates on successful influencer marketing. 

Common struggle #1: I can’t figure out which social network is best for my influencer campaign

When you’re planning an influencer marketing campaign, one of the first factors to consider is what network to focus the activation on. Our answer to this is simply that there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to social network solutions. Each social channel has its own strengths and weaknesses both in terms of content sharing and audience distribution.

Instagram is currently considered by most marketers to be the top player in the influencer world. Snapchat is making inroads on Instagram, especially with the millennial audience. When determining which network is best for your campaign, consider the audience you’re trying to reach and the content format you’re hoping to leverage to achieve those goals. For Instagram and Snapchat in particular, as these networks mirror each other’s features more frequently, the lines on content formats are continuing to be blurred.

We have a more detailed breakdown of each of the top networks and how they can be leveraged for your brand. You can also download our ebook on Snapchat marketing to get an in-depth view of how to leverage Snapchat for your brand.


Common struggle #2: How do I know if an influencer is a good fit?

The evaluation of an influencer for your campaign should take into account both qualitative and quantitative metrics. Finding the right fit is both an art and a science.


Quantitative metrics -

There are a few top-level metrics that you’ll absolutely want to be aware of. Things like the influencer’s audience size across channels, the demographic makeup of that audience, and their average engagement rates are all important to know when evaluating an influencer. You need to get an idea of how the influencer could perform for your campaign.

Qualitative metrics -

Besides numbers, you also need to look at the influencer’s aesthetics and content style. Their previous content and their overall tone will give you a sense of how your brand’s message will fit within their feed. An influencer who is posting primarily neutral muted photos probably wouldn’t be a great fit for a brand like Method who is known for using bright vibrant colors in their marketing. Pay attention to their caption style and how they engage with and respond to their audience. @Shonduras is known for being a fun, off-the-wall creator. That’s great for brands like Taco Bell who are trying to connect with teens but probably wouldn’t be the best fit for Ensure’s standard audience.

You’ll find your ideal influencers at the intersection of those quantitative and qualitative metrics.

Common struggle #3: How do I find influencers?

Sure, knowing what to look for is one thing… but you’ll need to know where to look too.

There are plenty of tools available for your influencer discovery like SEEN Creators. This platform was built to be a highly curated list of only the best influencers. We leverage social listening software to crawl the social web for the creators who are driving engagement within specific interest areas. Our community management team then manually vets each of these creators to ensure both accuracy of information and quality of the creator. This additional work on the backend for our team saves you time on your initial searching.


For more tips and details on how to find the right influencers for your brand, download our free ebook on finding influencers


Common struggle #4: How much should I pay influencers?

Influencer compensation and how to determine it has been a hot-button issue lately. If you’re new to the industry, the different compensation rates can seem random. You’ll find very little consistency across follower ranges or content verticals. Each influencer wants a different rate. This can be overwhelming for brands trying to initiate and manage influencer campaigns. First things first, influencer marketing is not a media buy. If you’re trying to justify influencer marketing spend the same way you measure TV, radio or billboard buys, you’re going to come up short handed. Make sure that you’re ready for influencer marketing.

Ok, you’re ready?  Good, we thought you were.

Influencer marketing, unlike a media buy, is a creative process that is unique to each program. Much like other creative roles, there are a lot of variables that go into setting the price. Think of it like commissioning a painting from an artist. You’ve got to deal with each person individually. For the sake of simplicity, there are a few main factors that play into compensation: who you are, who the influencer is, and the content ask.  

Common struggle #5: How do I make sure I’m getting the best influencer marketing content?

The first step to gaining great content is establishing content guidelines for the creators involved in your program. These guidelines inform all of your stakeholders (other members of your marketing team, clients, and influencers) what the content will look like and how it will be shared. Making these concise and clear is vital to effectively educate the influencers on proper program involvement. It’s also important that the guidelines are open and flexible enough to give the influencers some room for creativity to create content that matches their posting style. These guidelines don’t mean that you get to dictate exactly what to photograph and exactly how to caption the images. Rather, they exist to educate the content creators on your brand, the goals of your campaign and provide them with inspiration to spark their creativity. This is also the place to share compliance information and disclosures to make sure you are in accordance with FTC rules and regulations. You want to make sure that your influencers are following the right rules with their posting. Successful content guidelines will ensure that your program runs smoothly and produces authentic content for your brand.

Common struggle #6: Are my influencers following the FTC Guidelines?

The FTC has been laying down the law for both brands and influencers. With each passing day, the need to comply with their guidelines becomes more and more serious. But many brands are still unsure of whether the rules apply to them and how to actually follow them when they do.

We’re here to tell you that, yes, you need to follow the rules. And, fortunately, it’s not that difficult to do.

On our sister site, Snapfluence, we’re informing influencers of the guidelines too,  to help them stay compliant on your campaigns. In the past, creators could get away with using vague phrasing like #sp, #spon, or “thanks @brand for X product,” but that will no longer meet disclosure requirements. In letters to the 90 individual influencers, the FTC outlined the new, more clearly defined, terms:

  • Consumers should be able to easily notice the disclosure without having to search for it.
  • Disclosures should be included in the first 3 lines of an Instagram post caption, before the “more” button.
  • Disclosures should not be hidden amongst a large cluster of hashtags, especially where they appear at the end of a long post.

More details can be found in this guide on the FTC website. A few notable guidelines include:

  • If you get free product and monetary payment, you need to indicate this clearly. It’s not enough to say that the brand gave you free product to try. You don’t have to disclose how much they paid you, but you need to be clear that you were paid.
  • If your company is a network or agency that recruits and manages influencers for brand collaborations, you are responsible for your influencers’ failures to disclose properly.

At the end of the day, keeping influencer content compliant and clearly disclosed is the marketer’s responsibility. We all have to be aware of the expectations and consistently apply this knowledge to every post in every campaign. But it’s not all bad news. Properly disclosed posts improve influencer marketing by helping creators be more authentic and therefore more effective for your brand. For more details on how to implement these rules, download our free ebook on the FTC Guidelines.


These are just a few of the struggles marketers commonly face when deploying an influencer marketing campaign. Fortunately, they’re not too difficult to overcome. Especially when you have an experienced and trusted partner like the SEEN team. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how you can build smart influencer marketing strategies.

Come see, and be Seen.