All brands share a dream of having a loyal customer base who return to them, over and over again. Building that loyal relationship can be done in many ways, but as the digital world and the real one merge together, it’s important for brands to be seen where their customers spend their time. Magazines are no longer the go-to source for inspiration and TV-commercials are oftentimes overlooked by customers who reach for their phones to scroll social media as soon as a commercial comes on.
Therefore, a lot of brands have chosen to implement influencer marketing into their marketing strategy, which is clearly the right way to go as they’re meeting their customers where they are. However, many influencer marketing strategies are not being correctly optimised. Some brands don’t understand the importance of having an always-on strategy, and are too focused on short-term ROI, where they rather opt for a single campaign and expect sustainable results. Expecting a one-shot ad to bring long-time value to your brand is, unfortunately, quite wishful thinking.
This article will focus on why always-on should be the default for influencer marketing strategies, as well as how it will come to benefit both brands and influencers alike.
Having an always-on influencer marketing strategy makes it easier to measure results holistically. Since campaigns will run for longer, there is a wider window in which to track the knock-on effect of influencer marketing on other channels, rather than relying on misleading vanity metrics to tell the whole story. Likes and following count are no longer relevant metrics that can inform us whether a campaign was successful.
Going all in and limiting a campaign to a massive, one-time thing, you’re not going to hit the spot for your audience. They need to be reminded and exposed to your brand constantly, in order for them to remember you (and for them to even consider you is a whole other route that we’re going to dive deeper into later in this article). Ultimately, in order to earn some recognition and stand out in a crowd with thousands of brands doing the same thing, showing up daily online is a crucial step brands must take, if they’re going to stand any chance of winning market share.
Recent studies by Cure Media show that 62% of marketers struggle when it comes to measuring the results of influencer marketing. An always-on strategy ensures that measuring the ROI of influencer marketing is both more efficient and more reliable, as you have more to measure.
Greater audience insights
Always-on influencer marketing provides deeper insights into audience preferences and behaviours, and can function as a runway to adjust and adapt your findings on an ongoing and real-time basis.
This gives influencers leeway to try different approaches with their content, and provides brands with the data they need to identify which tactics drive the greatest results – something they can repeat or tweak as necessary to meet their goals. More than often we see brands take for granted that their chosen influencer will work great with their brand, just because it “seems” like they’re a good fit. That’s rarely the case. Figuring out a good format of how the influencer is supposed to communicate the product in a way that their audience is receptive towards takes time.
Audience insights are what inform effective optimisation, which (if you cross your fingers and say a little prayer) most often lead to better results throughout your always-on influencer marketing campaign.
Trust takes time
In a tricky economic landscape and a hyper-competitive marketplace, customers become more aware of their spending habits and evaluate their purchases carefully. They’re also more prone to turn towards brands they already know (and prefer). Which is why trust becomes an equally important part for consumers and brands alike; shoppers increasingly want to feel like they can trust a brand before they put their money on the line.
An always-on influencer marketing strategy provides ample time in which to build this relationship and trust between the brand and the consumer. Having an influencer as your spokesperson means you can piggyback off their following base, and the established relationship they already have with their followers.
On the other hand, a one-shot campaign risks making brands appear more mercenary by comparison, coming to the conversation only when it serves them commercially. Although many strike the younger generation as a bit cynical (they’ve technically founded cancel-culture hence making brands’ lives much harder) they’re smart and should not be underestimated. They will know if what you are doing is truly genuine.
Working long-term and always-on also provides an opportunity for brands and influencers to develop trust in each other, with reliable products being promoted and shared by the influencer in creative ways that make sense for their audience. The trust that this brings often has many positives, including the ease with which brands and influencers collaborate, and the efficacy of their work when they do.
Strengthening the bond between brands and influencers
The best influencer marketing results come from a strong bond between the brand and the influencer. Without it, campaigns won’t appear authentic. In a research study we performed in 2022, we found that one of top three qualities consumers look for in influencer collaborations is authenticity (Cure Media, 2022). With the popularity of TikTok and the even more impromptu BeReal, this becomes really evident as audiences are demonstrating their preference for content that eschews polished profiles in favour of in-the-moment, true-to-life documentation. Having that stated, if your brand is unable to provide that authentic vibe, you will most likely see a decrease in conversions.
Always-on influencer marketing campaigns allow brands to nurture a deeper relationship with the influencer. Not only can this entice the influencer to use and therefore promote more of the brand’s products, it can also give enough time for the influencer to create more detailed content as they learn about and come to understand the brand’s values, messaging and identity.
Summing it up
To fully reap the benefits of influencer marketing, an always-on approach should be the strategy to go with. Brands that work always-on with the channel tend to see better and more sustainable results, which can often prove to be far more valuable than those from other digital marketing channels.
Influencer marketing takes time (so don’t freak out if your first attempt wasn’t a big hit!) and within this time brands can learn a whole lot about what content is driving their sales, as well as being able to develop closer relationships with the influencers – all of which can help brands succeed in the long-term closer towards that top-of-mind status.
Author: Saga Jakobsson, Content Marketer at Cure Media