The Future of Your Career in Influencer Marketing + The Strategy That Will Get You Promoted
Influencer marketing is here to stay! Lucky for you (and your job) what started as a trend has proven to have a lasting impact on B2C businesses worldwide. It is estimated that influencer marketing industry will be worth a whopping $10 billion by 2020.
- Out of the 86% of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2017, 92% of them found it useful.
- Among e-commerce marketers, 36% are planning to use influencer-generated content in 2018 to increase their product sales.
- A survey found that 39% of marketers will increase their influencer marketing budgets this year with the majority planning to spend between $25,000 and $50,000.
But, with growth comes change. And with the changes occurring in the influencer marketing industry comes the point where the marketers who can can thrive and adapt will rise to the top.
The typical role of social media managers who have handled influencer marketing in the last five years, used to be to find the influencers with the highest follower count, get the influencers to post a picture holding the brand’s product, and repeat. The focus was on vanity metrics, including the number of impressions, comments, and likes. And the only goal was to generate sales. But now, that approach to influencer marketing is so 2016. [See updated job description below]
Say hello to influencer marketing 2.0!
While increased brand awareness and sales will always come as a result of influencer marketing, progressive marketers have expanded the goals of their influencer marketing programs. Today, instead of solely focusing on influencers’ ability to generate brand awareness and sales, the best marketers also look at their influencer programs as a way to source high quality content that can be used on all of their various brand-owned marketing channels.
Think about it. What does every single marketer need more of? Content. And what do influencers do? They create content for a living!
As social media managers and influencer marketers you have access to a goldmine of content through the influencer marketing you’ve already done. Influencer marketing 2.0 is taking your collaborations a step further by repurposing the content you’re sourcing from influencer relationships and using it in marketing assets like emails, paid ads, print, and you name it.
Use all of the influencer generated content created from your campaigns to your advantage and become the marketing team hero who’s saving your company thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent on content creation.
Why Influencer-generated content is so valuable
While Influencers act as a distribution channel that generates product sales and brand awareness, their value is no longer limited to their audience. Social media stars have a unique talent for understanding their audience and creating content that tells your brand’s story authentically, creatively, and appeals to the influencer's followers in a way that cannot be duplicated in a professional studio. Influencer-generated content (IGC) appeals directly to your target audiences, and it gets results.
Smart marketers are now using influencers as an always-on channel to source high performing content that they can effectively repurpose for use on their brand's websites, social platforms and other brand-owned channels, such as email and paid ads.
Why? Because IGC is:
much faster and cheaper to create than traditional means of generating content.
diverse and authentic, which today’s consumers demand.
For these reasons, many companies are “double dipping” into their influencer investments by repurposing influencer content to fuel other marketing channels owned by the brand.
How to become the marketing team hero (& get one step closer to that promotion)
What warrants a promotion?
- Professional growth
- Surpassing expectations
- Taking ownership
- Problem solving
Here are four ways you can adopt and show all of these qualities in order to launch into the next step of your career.
1. Become more focused on high quality content
The extent of Influencer marketing is no longer limited to a post on Instagram. Influencer content can be used on your own social media channel, emails, newsletter, paid ads on social media, in-store signage, print ads, and more.
To make the most out of digital channels, 44% marketers are planning to use influencer content.
That means 56% of us still need to get on board.
If your company is still focused on the old school approach to influencer marketing, it’s up to you to update them. Not only will you see tangible returns, but you’ll show your boss your growth professionally.
Lauren Dyer, Social Media and Content Manager at Pinrose fragrances notes that when she first started at her position, her “initial influencer marketing KPIs were very sales-oriented. We wanted to ensure that our influencer marketing efforts would pay for themselves. As we started working with more and more influencers, it became clear how valuable the content was, in and of itself.”
Lauren goes on to say that “having access to a bank of IGC has made a world of difference in our Instagram presence and enabled us to elevate our visual brand identity on the platform.” Not only has the content shifted her entire program, but “Content Manager” has been added to her job title.
How can you do this too? Chose influencers to work with based on the quality of their content, not necessarily their follower count. Then run a content only campaign. Instead of asking an influencer to post on their social, reach out to see if they’ll just create content for you. You’ll be surprised to find that influencers are willing to provide you with tons of amazing content for less money than they would normally charge to post one image on Instagram.
2. Build relationships with influencers and the rest of your marketing team
Lindsay McClelland, Director of Partnerships and Brand Experience at YogaClub is no stranger to the social media manager role. She worked her way up to becoming a director who handles all of the strategies behind content, PR, and influencer marketing for her company by understanding that influencers are much more valuable than just their reach.
“One of the biggest pieces of advice I can put out there is to really focus on building relationships,” says Lindsay, “it doesn’t matter if it’s with brands, with influencers, or with other social media managers, those relationships will help you advance your career. That’s where the growth comes from.”
Shift from one-off partnerships with influencers to always-on relationships.
Then, surpass expectations of your role by communicating with other departments within your marketing team. Your email marketing, paid ads, and PR teams could really benefit from some of the amazing content you’re sourcing from influencers. Which leads us to...
3. Work with your team and run some tests!
Taking the ownership to work with your marketing team to test out the performance of IGC in different marketing channels is the perfect way to get branch out of the social media world and integrate yourself into the broader team.
Because influencer-generated content is a product of your influencer marketing campaigns, there’s no reason not to test repurposing content on your brand's social media, email campaigns, website, or other channels.
The best social media managers have a broad knowledge of all of the needs of their marketing teams and how they can benefit from influencer-generated content. Start with the channel that is most important to your organization:
- Paid ads need to be constantly refreshed and highly targeted in order to maintain a good relevance score and to be seen by a large audience.
- Emails need to be relevant to the season or campaign you are running. Plus, influencer-generated content gives emails an authentic touch.
- Websites and product microsites need to provide customers with information. People like to see reviews and testimonials from real people before making a purchase. Having IGC on your product page can make ecommerce products come to life in a way that traditional models cannot replicate.
For example, Lauren works closely with her email marketing team to provide them with engaging content for their newsletters. “Pinrose is a small company, so I'm actually a big part of the marketing team in addition to my role as social media manager. One of my marketing tasks that I find goes hand-in-hand with my social media role is creating email marketing initiatives, where I often pair an email campaign with Instagram content.”
4. Measure your impact
The traditional content creation cycle (ideation, planning, photoshoot, editing, repeat) is time consuming, not to mention expensive, and makes it impossible to source the amount of content we need to fuel all of our various marketing channels.
Put on your problem solving hat. Influencers can actually save your company time and money. Influencer content allows you to be more efficient with your budget by repurposing content you already own the rights to. Plus, there is no shortage of influencers willing to constantly generate inexpensive, yet high performing content for you at all times. Lindsay, Director of Partnerships and Brand Experience at YogaClub says “we’ve been able to minimize things like photoshoots and hiring content writers because our influencers help us create that content.”
Keep a running tally of the amount of budget you’re spending on influencer content, and compare it to what you might have to spend to reproduce the volume of content with professional shoots. Then, once you’ve tested IGC outside of just social media, work closely with each team to see what pieces of content are performing the best on each channel. If you learn that particular images, settings, or individuals perform well in certain ads or marketing channels, use those learning to find more creators who can continuously generate similar content. The result will be a continuous cycle of improvement.
Now that you understand what it takes to advance your career, here's an updated influencer marketing manager job description to take to your manager as well as a few open positions you may want to take advantage of!
San Francisco, California
Los Angeles, California
NYC, New York