The Real Value Of Influencer Collaborations? Think Long Term.

The term “influencer” is now commonplace in most people’s vocabulary. However, ten years ago, this was not the case. Influencer partnerships as a marketing tool have exploded in the recent decade, owing to their reliance on the time-honored approach of word-of-mouth marketing. Many customers felt highly attached to their favorite influencers during the start of influencer marketing’s climb to prominence.

Influencers were seen by them as trustworthy friends, rather than mere digital billboards as many claim they have become. Whatever you want to say about influencer marketing, you can’t deny its appeal among marketers. Influencer marketing is expected to be a $13.8 billion industry in 2021, up almost $5 billion from the previous year. Influencer marketing will not go away anytime soon. However, there is still a great possibility in influencer partnerships, and many businesses are not making use of those connections to their full potential.

What Makes for a Successful Influencer Collaboration?

Effective collaboration can be defined in several ways. Is it an increase in followers? A temporary surge in website traffic? Is it better to apply a CPM or a “media value” to it? Is it about the bottom line? Some firms are just pleased that their brand is being highlighted in front of a specific audience.

All of these elements are vital, and we don’t intend to minimize them, but if they’re the only ones you’re concerned about, you may be focusing on the wrong things. The value of influencer-generated content and its reactivation across marketing platforms is grossly undervalued and should be the focal point of brand-influencer efforts. Many of the criticisms leveled towards influencer marketing are that it appears to be a fad. Brands get dissatisfied when they invest a significant amount of money on an influencer collaboration and then, poof, it’s done. It is sometimes possible to meet your KPIs. It isn’t always the case. It’s critical to remember that influencer content has a long life beyond a single post and may be leveraged to create outcomes when properly repurposed.

Professional picture and video shoots may cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. They are still in need of material in some way. Furthermore, many companies are seeing their stock ideas become old and underperform. Turning to lower-cost influencer content and enabling highly creative influencers to be visual storytellers on behalf of the business can help to cover the content gap and improve content performance.

Common Objections to Repurposing Influencer-generated Content

Why don’t more marketers reuse influencer material, assuming lower-priced and higher-performing content is desirable to all brands? The following are the most prevalent objections from marketers to reactivating influencer-generated content:

1. “Influencer content is not within our creative control.”

To begin, determine whether or not “creative control” is required. Begin by cultivating trusting connections with influencers who are smart, and creative, and have spent time learning about your brand’s image. If you want details in the material, put them in a brief for the influencer to examine before you create it.

In an ongoing partnership, resist the impulse to be a total control freak, but don’t be afraid to provide input on how you’d like them to change or develop their job. Influencers like the feedback and have frequently informed Cohley (a content marketing platform) that they prefer open communication over restricted instruction.

2. “The content quality isn’t up to standard, and we don’t trust influencers to deliver.”

In terms of video or photo quality being lower than professional content, examine the success of user-generated content (UGC). According to studies, advertisements using UGC have up to 4X greater click-through rates and a 50% lower cost-per-click than ordinary ads. Those are formidable statistics. According to AdWeek, visual UGC is more powerful than brand photographs or videos for 85 percent of people polled.

The power of UGC, which is not professionally generated by definition, is widely recognized and understood. So why not simply use user-generated content and forego the influencer stuff? Here are a few examples:

  • You can’t manage the inbound flow of material or which items are featured using UGC.
  • Small businesses generally do not receive enough UGC, but large brands have much too much to filter through.
  • On average, just one out of every ten UGC photographs is deemed “useful.”

Influencer-generated content flawlessly bridges the gap between UGC and professionally created content.

Also, keep in mind that quality is a subjective concept that differs from person to person. It is more about whether or not the content fits inside the brand image. If you uncover influencers that are exceptional content creators but don’t necessarily match your style, don’t make them publish on their social networks. Instead, collaborate with them only for the purpose of reusing the information. An influencer’s feed is essential to them, therefore they seldom stray too far from the style they’ve worked so hard to create. By omitting a social post entirely, you make it easier for the influencer to adhere to your brand’s requirements.

3. “The influencers we work with are too expensive”

In terms of influencer pricing, you may adjust the perceived value of influencer collaborations by considering both the long-term advantages of partnerships (content acquisition) and the short-term benefits of partnerships (follower growth, web traffic, etc.). Because the content is being sent to each influencer’s audience, it should be considered “working spend.” When influencers talk to their audiences, people usually pay attention.

Think about working with micro-influencers, who have smaller social followings but can nonetheless produce high-quality content. While sponsoring an Instagram post with Gigi Hadid is apparent, consider 40 to 50 partnerships with micro-influencers for the same price.

What Does it Mean to Repurpose Influencer Content?

Depending on the desired outcome, you may reuse influencer-generated content in a variety of ways.

Organic Social

Because it already appears and feels local to the platform, influencer-generated content is frequently recycled on organic social platforms. Repurposing influencer material may provide a brand’s social media with much-needed authenticity and relatability.

Digital Ads

Try repurposing influencer content into digital advertising for paid media. Analyze the outcomes of testing influencer material versus your current content. The findings will tell you what forms of content are most popular with your target audience and which influencers to continue working with. The benefit of employing influencer-generated content in advertisements is that you can track the success of your influencer engagements. Executive suites, as we all know, are most interested in demonstrable ROI that has a direct influence on the bottom line. Engagement and impressions are excellent, but the return on ad spend will give your influencer approach more legitimacy.

Email

Marketing emails are also viable channels to repurpose influencer-generated content. Cohley works with brands that test influencer content against in-house creative within their cart abandonment emails. The idea isn’t that Influencer-generated content becomes the top-performing content for a business. That may or may not be the case. The key is that it gives a wide pool of material to test, understand what resonates with an audience, and then leverage those findings into development.

Website

Repurposing influencer material on your website allows your brand’s message to be told directly at the point of purchase, which is crucial. Expanding on the idea that influencer produced content is very similar to UGC, it’s important to note that displaying UGC on a website leads to 10% more conversions and 90% more time spent on the site.

An Important Tip for Repurposing Influencer-generated Content

Repurposing influencer material isn’t rocket science, but it’s important to make sure you have the correct usage rights to prolong the content. In your conversations with influencers, make it obvious that you want to use the material on your channels and are willing to pay extra for it. It’s certainly worth it, and you’ll just pay a fraction of the price for professionally created photo and video material. Try to obtain complete content rights in perpetuity if at all possible. There are two reasons for this. For starters, you never know when you’ll need to use a certain piece of material again. Second, you won’t have to keep track of when certain influencers’ and content pieces’ rights expire. Obtaining perpetual content rights whenever feasible will save you time and money in the long run.

Putting a Bow on Influencer-generated Content

Today’s demand for materials is the biggest it has ever been in history. Digital consumption is increasing, as is screen time, and traditional marketing material is becoming less successful in this oversaturated market. To differentiate themselves, companies must provide highly relevant material at every stage of the buyer’s journey. The difficulty arises from the fact that in-house content frequently lacks authenticity and is difficult to scale. The solution to this problem is influencer-generated content.

Influencers are very creative content creators that can communicate your company’s story in a real and approachable way, in addition to being amazing brand megaphones. Framing influencer connections as long-term content providers can help you maximize your influencer strategy and interact with customers across numerous platforms.

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