Influencers: It’s a buzz term for a reason. They produce content, broadcast key messages, and connect brands to new audiences. But for every benefit, there are equal and opposite misconceptions that cloud the subject. So, let’s clear the air and debunk some of the most common.

a list

Misconception #1: It’s all about the followers

Reach is part of the equation, sure, but reach and engagement is where the magic happens. As you search for potential influencers in your industry, be sure to explore how well they mobilize their network to take action. Capitalizing on impressions is one thing, but an authority in your vertical who can inspire their followers to dive deeper with your brand, creative campaign, landing page or beyond is much better.

Misconception #2: You can’t afford influencers

Depending on your ask, there are a few creative ways to launch into healthy relationships with influencers that won’t break your bank. A collaborative approach is key. Try to meet content producers halfway to create processes and projects that are exciting to be a part of.

Here are few ideas for starters:

  • Can you seed product or grant access to unique opportunities as part of their involvement?
  • Will you be putting other dollars behind supporting their personal image throughout the promotion of the content they produce? Will you be actively encouraging your fans to check out their accounts?
  • Can they repurpose the project for their own use as long as it doesn’t compete with your program?
  • If your ask is long-term, can you explore a retainer relationship to better negotiate pay and expectations?
  • Are there ways you can tap into their existing travel plans to gather the content you envision?
  • Can you extend timelines or pay a portion up front to make the exchange as comfortable and seamless as possible?

Misconception #3: You have to hold their hand

On the contrary, quality content producers can run with a creative brief to execute on your vision in a unique way that genuinely inspires their fans. Scripted and turnkey contracts rarely gain legs. So avoid the prescribed posts.

A better approach is to invite creatives into your process to brainstorm and spitball alongside your brand. This allows influencers to explore the sandbox of what’s possible without breaching brand standards or campaign goals. These are experts and artists of their unique craft. Play into their strengths and preferred outlets.

If John is a strong photographer but a weak writer, it’s OK to recognize that. And it’s equally OK to ask contributors their comfort level and expertise. This may seem elementary, but far too many campaigns fall flat on account of activating a strong influencer in a foreign realm. If the fit is unnatural or the ask is obtuse to the content producer, it’ll undoubtedly confuse their fans.

Strive for creative projects that clearly define your needs while leaving room for authentic interpretation and output from those involved.

Misconception #4: They have to be A-List to make a splash

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, from mainstream celebrities to niche idols and subject matter experts. Your audience ought to define how “big” you’ve got to go. The best question to ask yourself is, “Will this person truly resonate with the demographic we wish to connect with?”

Some campaigns put all of their eggs in one basket. They bank on a premium celebrity and the success of one flagship message or piece of content. We’ve found success in building a team of influencers at a comparable or lower price who can cross-promote the success of each other and the brands we serve.

Furthermore, many up-and-coming influencers will go above and beyond to impress an established brand. This may manifest itself in organic posts, behind-the-scenes videos, word-of-mouth advocacy and beyond. When you invest in their individual growth, they’ll often go beyond the contract to drive yours.

Misconception #5: Influencers are impossible to manage

Still intimidated? We understand, and that’s why we’re here to help. LaneTerralever has award-winning experience collaborating with teams of influencers. And while no two campaigns are identical, we like to think we’ve mastered the art of partnering with amazing talent to help elevate brands.

Contact us today to tell us more about your influencer marketing needs. Let’s build something beautiful together.