August 18, 2020
How effective is influencer marketing? Because of its nature alone, we can assume that the answer is "very". Big brands spend millions annually promoting influencers for their products. Nonprofits and movements have also gained widespread support thanks to the visibility of influencers and celebrities who stand behind their values.
Granted, this industry took a hit in 2020. Many influencers who used to be paid to get involved in the community, travel, and create content outside of the home lose contracts because they can't achieve that goal. Some have wondered if the era of influencer marketing might be coming to an end in the face of a changing economic landscape due to the pandemic.
In late 2019 and early in the year, many believed that influencer marketing budgets and campaigns were going to skyrocket, not decrease. What was once relevant has taken a sharp turn and we are forced to look not at numbers but at anecdotal evidence.
That kind of data is still valuable. Using the example of COVID, you can see that support for hospitals, campaigns from people, homeless shelters and more has increased worldwide, even when many have faced economic hardship themselves. Why? It's because of the kindness we share with each other in difficult times. In some cases, however, it could also be influencers who use their muscles to share these messages and bring in donations where they are needed most.
Use influencer marketing for your own cause
According to a Cone Cause Evolution survey, if they found out they were supporting a cause the customer believed in, 87% of respondents surveyed said they weren't just ready, they were dying to switch to another brand. This shows that the desire to support root causes through brand awareness is already there – your job is to get the message across.
This is where influencers come in. An influencer already has a strong audience that remains loyal to them as their own brand. They enjoy their content and have largely stuck with them even though the formats have changed to meet the quarantine requirements. The first part of the process is already done for you: visibility.
In fact, influencers are becoming a real marketing powerhouse in a number of industries including cosmetics and beauty, fashion, education, and nonprofits. Influencers can increase traffic and exposure to just about any project, even if it's brand new and doesn't have its own traffic.
Next we want to address these influencers. This is also easier when we look at causes versus products because we're limiting ourselves to something the influencer has a strong feeling about. We can assume that your audience also falls into this population group and is more likely to care about this cause – it may even be that they follow this influencer at all.
Approach with the cause in mind
Influencers get a lot of offers on campaigns, so you need to stand out. Give out a strong message about the cause and how you think they are specifically useful in promoting the message. Let them know what specific traits they have that make them uniquely suitable to work with you, such as their passion, content or aesthetic.
Share what you want to achieve and how you can be a part of it. Do you have a specific task in mind for them – don't just tell them they will share posts. Remember that influencer marketing is more than just a connection with these influencers. It's about getting them directly involved in a campaign that is tailored to their talents and audience.
One tool to help you with this is the Text Optimizer, which allows you to better research the context of your target keyword and create a streamlined strategy for content and social media when working with an influencer:
Don't target a single influencer
The more channels you have to promote your cause, the better. Lady Gaga has already raised $ 35 million for coronavirus efforts in the U.S. stages of the pandemic. It was an amazing accomplishment, but we can't all get Lady Gaga to do one thing, especially when she's already associated with so many top brands.
In contrast, YouTuber Vaush managed to raise $ 19,000 for the Black Lives Matter movement by streaming his Minecraft videos. Mr Beast raised $ 20 million to plant trees around the world to correct environmental damage from deforestation and climate change.
Influencers come in all sizes of viewers, skills, and passions. Can you imagine what it would mean to have two on your side? Three? Thirty? There is no limit to the number of influencers you can get on board, especially for charity. It's about finding those who best represent what you want to achieve.
Have your creatives ready
While most influencers prefer to create their own assets to suit their style and aesthetic, having branded content ready is always helpful. It's a good idea to create your own branded kit and share it with influencers. Add your logo in different dimensions, screenshots or graphics for reuse and color palettes. Both Visme and Venngage are good resources.
Create at least some graphics with your logo and message so influencers and publishers can easily reuse them (and even take them offline as branded items). Here are tons of free Placeit templates to help you out.
Whichever social media channels you choose to go with, make sure you have your own website set up to promote your cause and consolidate your entire marketing strategy onto your website. Make sure to post your story and reuse your graphics on your own website for consistent visibility that doesn't rely on a single third-party platform.
After all, marketing is difficult, but the right influencers can make a real difference.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to support 100,000+ marketing colleagues expanding their skills and knowledge.