Influencer Marketing has continued to evolve and mature, becoming a potent tool for brand marketers everywhere. However, many still struggle with key aspects of the business. Chief Campaign Officer, Ricky Ray Butler, has been featured in several publications discussing key points one should consider before engaging with influencers. We’d like to summarize it for you here:

Influencers are Not Digital Celebs

They’re lead-generation agents that can market products in a super-authentic way for brands. Influencer is a widely adopted term. However, it is worth noting that most influencers think of themselves as creators or YouTubers. They are in tune with their audiences and can create engaging content. They really know their stuff, yet brands are treating them as younger gen celebrities and plotting campaigns based on this mindset, rather than viewing them as a sales channel.

Committment is Crucial

It allows for trial and error. Ongoing campaigns are also the most effective way to build ongoing relationships with creators and monitor for momentum over time. A brand can take the time to figure out what (and who) is producing results to continue optimizing the campaign based off of the data collected.

One-Off Projects Don’t Work

You should approach your influencer spend like TV Upfronts. Plan ahead, formulate a strategy, then execute. Goals and KPIs should be established ahead of time. This way brands, creators, and agency all have clear targets to strive toward.

Influencers, Your Most Important Media Buy

Influencer marketing is not going away any time soon. The brands that do it right will be the ones that build an infrastructure that supports sales measurement of influencer activity, both in online and in retail stores—something that can only benefit everyone in the influencer ecosystem.

To read more about us in the Press – check out Ricky Ray’s perspective at the Brand Storytelling Conference and on AdWeek.