As the influencer marketing landscape seems to be changing daily, authenticity and credibility are more important now than ever before. Cookie-cutter campaigns in collaboration with a mass number of influencers now carry very little brand trust, creativity and genuineness – and audiences are noticing.

Designing an effective influencer campaign means creating something that is catered specifically to an influencer’s niche and his or her unique following. Doing this makes the content that much more impactful and influential. Today we’re sharing tips and insights on designing authentic influencer campaigns that are a true collaboration between a brand and influencer.

Be extremely selective about the influencers your brand partners with.

At its core, influencer marketing is all about tapping into the trust between an influencer and their loyal audience. A true influencer is someone who makes their audience care and inspires behavior changes. When you connect with an influencer’s audience, the influencer is giving your brand their approval and so passing that trust on to your brand.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to select an influencer who is your target consumer (and vetted at that). If the influencer is your target consumer, then their audience very well is your target as well. This makes the content produced truly hit home. You wouldn’t target ads at the wrong consumer, would you? The same goes to targeting the right influencers. This also leads into why niche, micro influencers (5-30K followers) are so powerful. Their audiences are often extremely engaged and invested into whatever the influencer discusses on his or her platforms.

Leave room for influencer creativity.

This is where genuine collaboration comes into play. While it’s imperative to have key messaging and campaign goals, it’s just as important to give your influencer(s) creative freedom to produce content and storytelling that is true to them. Audiences know when an influencer is being real vs. spitting out whatever a brand tells them to. We see so many campaigns in which a brand tells 30+ influencers exactly what to post, what to say, etc. etc. At the end of the project, nearly each piece of content from every influencer looks identical. The campaign lacks storytelling, diversity, creativity and unique voices from the influencers. At this point, influencer marketing has lost its magic.

Invest in your influencers and build authentic, long-lasting relationships.

When you find an influencer partnership that clearly works, it’s imperative for you to keep the fire burning and the relationship strong. Even if you’re not working on an active campaign together, continue to keep up with the influencer, engage with their content, and send them gifts / product during launches so they’re also kept up to date with your brand. Rather than doing one-and-done collaborations, show the influencer that the relationship matters by inviting them to future campaigns and brand projects and events. When an influencer is consistently talking about a brand, it begins to feel more and more authentic and the message is really embedded into the audience’s feed (and mind!).

Ready to design a next-level, authentic campaign? Hit us up, we’d love to help! And in the meantime, be sure to download our four-step vetting process that goes beyond the numbers and assess an influencer’s content to confirm brand match and best brand partners.