Helen Cable, senior digital consultant at Good Relations, talks about micro influencers, her favourite “rising stars” and why every brand should be using influencers in 2018.
Good Relations launched its influencer division at the end of 2016. How has the influencer landscape changed over the past 12 months? And what lessons have you learned?
Influencer marketing has only become more important. Influencers are an essential part of every marketing strategy and need to be given the same consideration as you would social media or a TV campaign. This is no longer an optional extra but a critical component.
During 2017, we’ve really put science into this art, with a robust and results driven methodology that drives real returns.
How do you expect the way brands work with influencers to evolve over the next 12 months? What are the biggest challenges and opportunities they’ll encounter?
We will start to see more long term influencer relationships with brands rather than one-off collaborations. This highlights the need for authenticity, which is the biggest challenge, as these will become a bit like ambassadorial relationships.
There’s a huge opportunity to leverage influencer advocacy, content co-creation and other areas of collaboration – but a massive challenge if influencers aren’t genuine fans of the brand.
With new micro influencers gaining traction all the time, how should brands go about finding the best influencers to partner with?
As the best-known influencers become more expensive, micro influencers will continue to be as a cost effective way to reach a target demographic.
Our proprietary algorithm identifies rising stars and assesses their potential impact. We also have strong relationships across the industry, so are alerted to up and coming influencers through our extensive network of contacts.
The Good Relations team boasts a number of in-house influencers, including a prominent parenting blogger. How do they like to work with brands?
Having influencers working on our own team keeps us at the forefront of best practice and gives a real insight into current trends.
Like most influencers, they prefer to have creative control when working with a brand because they are best placed to know what content their audience will love. As always, it’s a case of making sure we have a tight brief then letting the influencer put their creative flair on it.
How important is it to measure the performance of influencer marketing campaigns? How do you go about this at Good Relations?
Very important – influencer marketing needs to be given the same strategic weight as any other marketing channel and that means it needs to show ROI. We take a very data-driven approach, in part through our both our proprietary algorithm to assess impact.
Of all the influencer campaigns you’ve been involved with over the past 12 months, which are you proudest of, and why?
For Subway, we brought together a “Subsquad” of four influencers (Arron Crascall, Cian Twomey, Jahannah James and Scola Dondo) and created a YouTube series featuring the group undertaking different challenges.
The weekly episodic content drove a huge reach and engagement – it’s far more than a media buy. Bringing influencers together in this way has real brand impact.
Finally, can you name an influencer you love, and whose career you think will take off in 2018?
We do a lot of work with Mum-fluencers and I think this is an area which is only going to continue growing. Personally, I love watching (and working with) Katie Ellison (@mummydaddyme) and I think we will see her really hit the ‘big time’ in 2018!
Helen Cable is one of five influencer marketing experts Cision interviewed for its brand new white paper, ‘Why every brand should be using influencers in 2018‘. Download it now using the form below.