How to Work With Influencers with Juliette Hill

The latest series in our bi-monthly seminar, The Curate Collective, was hosted by Juliette Hill, Campaign Director at influencer marketing agency The Fifth.

Juliette has worked in the influencer marketing world for five years on both the talent management and campaign side, working with legendary brands such as Fenty Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Bobbi Brown, to name just a few. For those who missed the seminar, here are some key points guide you through the ins-and-outs when working with influencers.

Identifying Outcomes
Whether it be raised brand awareness, conversion to sales or driving conversation around a particular product, it's important to work out exactly what you wish to achieve from the campaign before delving into working with influencers. Knowing this will help you focus on finding the right influencer for your brand and your desired outcome. 

When it comes to choosing an influencer to work with, it doesn't necessarily mean that the more followers they have, the better option they are. The three things to look for are:
  • Someone who engages: Audience engagement is key. You want to look for creators who drive conversation amongst their followers who trust them.
  • A loyal following: We're all more aware of those who have bought followers so you want to find one who have organically built their audience and engagement.
  • Strong messaging: Influencers are creative and know who their audience is, so think about the message you want them to get across whilst also bearing in mind their own tone of voice.

Paying vs Gifting
Once you have identified the influencer/s you would like to work with, you must decide how you would like to work with them.
  • Paying: Paying an influencer ultimately means more control in the key messages that are being posted about your brand/product. Paying influencers and entering a contract with them means you'll be able to work collaboratively but it's important to offer pay accordingly and take into consideration the time involved with creating content and the influencers' expertise. This option can be expensive, but if you're in the position to have a brand ambassador or a larger social campaign, this is a great option.
  • Gifting: Gifting is a great way to get a large number of influencers to try out your products. However, you are then leaving yourself open to their own interpretation of your product and they own way of creating content around it which may not fit your brand - there are no guarantees.
How to Choose an Influencer
Outlining key objectives and KPIs before selecting an influencer will help narrow down the search.

If yout goal is conversion to sales, you are looking for an influencer with high engagement relevant to their audience. This way, you know the influencers' followers are likely to click on links which in turn should result to better conversion.

If it's brand awareness you're after, you will be looking for maximum reach. This doesn’t just mean a high following, but how many people will actually see the content.

Insight such as impressions and views can be obtained from an influencer or their management team. It's important to look at this information before making a decision.

Paid Social
If working with a large influencer is outside your budget, don’t be disheartened. Working with micro-influencers can be just as effective, especially with the help of paid promotion. This also enables you to be specific with the audience you want to reach including age, demographics, interests and behaviours.

Working with an Agency
Working with an agency may be something to consider if you are new to working with influencers or struggling to find the time to do so. There are a wide range of agencies available covering a range of needs. This could be simply helping you to come up with ideas to full-on production of content.

When finding an agency, you should send your creative brief to a few different agencies to see how they would use your budget. It also helps to identify which agencies understand your brand. Although you pay a fee when using an agency, they will often have useful contacts and resources.

While working with an agency has many benefits, it is important to still try and build relationships with influencers directly. Building a relationship personally with the influencer is invaluable, particularly with micro influencers as you can both grow and develop together, building a trusted, long-standing partnership. 

The Future of Influencer Marketing
The world of influencers and influencer marketing continues to move at a fast pace. Influencer marketing is very much becoming part of standard marketing with many companies putting a percentage of their marketing budget towards paying influencers which is something to think about, no matter the size of the brand. We're seeing more professional influencers, whether they're makeup artists or journalists, brand founders are coming to the forefront (a great opportunity for you!), bigger doesn't mean better in this case - with micro influencers on the rise, and authenticity is key.