Influencer marketing can be a very polarising topic and we appreciate that there are some very good reasons to be wary of it BUT we know that when it’s done thoughtfully, it can really work. One of the main things stopping brands from trying is often the lack of knowing whether it’ll bring measurable results. This is a hard enough hoop to jump through for big brands, let alone not-for-profits (NFPs) who don’t have huge marketing budgets to splash about.
However, over the past few years, we’ve seen some incredible examples of how powerful influencer marketing can be for fundraising. Like when Celeste Barber raised well over $50 million for Australian bushfire relief programs or when Born Bred Talent’s influencers raised over $95k for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Examples like this prove that when you align the right influencer with the right cause, it can truly affect change.
Social proof is a term for the psychological phenomenon that happens when we copy other people’s behaviour in a social situation. We all know the feeling – we’re in a new environment, maybe we’ve just started a new job, are going to a new fitness class, or even trying out a new bar, and everyone else seems to be acting in a certain way, except us. Most people (granted not everyone) will attempt to change their behaviour to fit into this new environment. This is social proof.
The right influencers can garner this same reaction. As they’re often seen as a trusted source of information, when their followers see them promoting something, they’re encouraged to try it too.
For NFPs, the “right” influencers are people who have a genuine connection with your brand. In most cases, this means they probably have a personal story or strong beliefs to make them feel this way. This is the perfect situation for influencer collaborations, because the content they create will likely be emotional and naturally fit within their organic feed.
We strongly suggest you ensure your influencers’ audience aligns with yours, but that’s just in terms of data. While there’s a chance of cross-over between your social media followers and theirs (which would actually suggest you’ve chosen the right person!), you’ll still be able to reach people who may not have heard about your brand or campaign otherwise.
One of the biggest concerns about influencer marketing is that it’s not genuine, so when that’s also somehow one of its biggest selling points, it’s understandably confusing. The key to using authentic influencers in your campaigns is to try to find people who already like your brand. You can start by looking through who has tagged your brand in their posts or used one of your unique hashtags. If you’ve got time (or someone to palm the task off to), you can go through your client list and cross-check it with social platforms.
The comment section of a post, particularly on Instagram, is an invaluable tool which brands often don’t make the most of. It’s a space where you can engage with your influencers’ audience and add value by answering their questions or showing appreciation for their love of your organisation.
By adding this unique brand touchpoint to your repertoire, it will encourage genuine and, hopefully, long lasting relationships with your customers.
One of the hardest parts of my job is hearing from brands who’ve spent money on influencers and THEN asked, ‘how do I know if their followers are fake?’ or ‘how do I know where their audience is from?’. It can be time consuming, but putting effort into background research before you work with anyone is an essential step in making sure they get you worthwhile results.
Influencer marketing can be a great tool to add to your marketing mix, but it can also be tricky to get it right. We’ve created a free downloadable e-book that you can access if you’d like some more thorough guidance on running a campaign from start to finish. Otherwise, feel free to get in touch with us to ask any questions you have.