Part Two of How to Select the Right Collab Set for your Goal
By Colleen Patterson
One of the most common questions among small-to-mid-sized businesses is “how do I begin with influencer marketing; are they the expert or do I call the shots?”
The answer is yes. Influencer marketing is inherently collaborative and it’s up to the business and influencer to develop their campaign plan together. That said:
If your objective is to drive web traffic or improve the engagement percentages across a specific social channel, we have a very specific answer for you. But first (in case you missed Part 1) a recap of the definitions you’ll need to know:
(Social) Post Exchanges are simply a reciprocal swap: free products for a discount code shared out by an influencer to their audience, or services in exchange for reviews, or any other trade as you see fit.
In-Person Collaborations result in the creation of authentic and shareable social content like behind-the-scenes photos, or live videos, or shout-outs and reviews. The collaboration could be as simple as a restaurant hosting a brunch for a group of food bloggers in which the food is comped in exchange for social posts.
Guest Bloggers are an effective way to cross-pollinate your web traffic by adding your own byline to a partner’s website or vice versa.
Engagement Groups are a method of support among brands and individuals looking to build awareness and increase engagement. Within a group, members share social and blog posts or site content and reciprocate likes, shares, and comments.
On to driving web traffic:
The Goal: Web Traffic
Here are the two ingredients you need to drive content to your site, links and search engines.
All social media platforms are search engines. Hashtags are but a search function, a filter aggregating similar material. The more searchable features you incorporate into your content (links, keywords, hashtags, etc.), the higher your chance of discovery.
What to Measure: Page views and session duration
Page views are a desirable metric which indicator the number of eyeballs on your site, but an eyeball which barely glances at your blog post is hardly as valuable as an eyeball which took the time to read everything. Session duration is context through which your page views should be interpreted. Low page sessions equate to a lack of engagement.
How to Go-about: Guest Blogging
Every credible business has a blog, or at the very least a webiste. Orchestrate a blog swap wherein you partner with a credible blogger to write a piece of content for your site. In exchange, write a piece for them. You’ll drive traffic both ways. Here’s the deal. Guest blogging can do a world of wonders to your SEO efforts thanks to the beauty of back-links which can be shared on a webpage or within a social post or newsletter.
Bonus: We all run out of ideas from time-to-time or run into a creative rut. Determine whether or not it’s worthwhile to invest in a content contributor or freelance writer to create a piece of killer SEO or timely scoop. Interesting novelty and fresh ideas are more likely to become widely circulated.
How to Go-about: Post Exchange
For the influencer who doesn’t quite the following large enough to charge for social posts or for the small business that doesn’t have a large enough marketing budget to pay an influencer, mutually-beneficial exchanges are the way to go.
A small local grocery with a brand new menu offering it would like to promote for the summer. Rather than pay $500 to an influencer with a six-figure Instagram following, that local grocer can treat 10-20 influencers with the sandwich in exchange that they each share a post out to their respective followings. It’s win-win. The influencer is rewarded with a delicious meal and restaurant gains relevant exposure.
Another common method of initiating a post exchange is to offer an influencer a coupon deal to share to their followers. A retailer will offer an influencer a slightly larger discount for themselves, or a free product, or a commission on the sales they drive from their platform. The latter-most method is referred to as an affiliate link.
The Goal: Active Engagement
Engagement is a great indicator of how consumers feel about a brand, a measure of likelihood-to-buy and a gauge of their long-term interest.
What to Measure: Likes, Comments, Shares
Everything from clicks to the website, likes, comments, video views, number of sales, re-pins on Pinterest, retweets on Twitter, and shares on Facebook, among other social interactions.
How to Go-About: In-Person Collaborations
Nothing inspires engagement like original content. In-person collaborations may sound logistically difficult to pull off but in actuality, you’ve probably executed a few.
Local photoshoots and video production, events hosted by a series of sponsors, scavenger hunts, grand openings, blogger brunches, and interest group meetups are a handful of iterations.
Here’s a more complex example than most:
H&M recruits a beauty blogger with an active following on Facebook to host a scavenger hunt. The blogger writes a post detailing the rules: “Tuesday go to your nearest H&M, take a photo of this shirt, and you’ll get 20% off when you show it at check-out.”
That’s called a scavenger hunt, a gamified version of an in-person collab which simultaneously drives foot traffic and sales while initiating those customers and their friends on social media.
A retail store can also host an exclusive, invite-only shopping event for bloggers to sample and review a new product line.
It’s called group mind. When you gather a group of people together at an event whether as attendees or creators, they’re more likely to engage when they witness engagement first hand. It inspires a ripple effect.
Bonus tip: Remember when you employ the help of an influencer — they’re more than a skeleton key to your audience. They create content for you. That’s built into the price of employment: beautiful images or social posts or blog posts or whatever it was specified. Note to establish ownership prior to the initiation of any campaign.
The Method: Engagement Groups
If coordinating an in-person collaboration isn’t an option for you, the alternative is to connect remotely via Facebook groups, Twitter Chats, and direct messages.
Find a cohort of people who will organically ‘promote’ you on a specific platform. These users like your content, find it useful, and will happily share it out to their friends. They’ll comment on your blog because they enjoy in engaging in conversation. Together, you aid each other in content discovery and cross-promote to each other’s audience.
Here’s an example:
A meal delivery company and fitness center share their go-to sources for healthy living tips. By actively liking and engaging with companies and influencers tangentially-related to your business, you also boost your own content’s reach and impressions.
It's simple, isn't it? Try it out for yourself on the Muses app today!