So I’ve been investing a lot of time these past few weeks in deepening my understanding of influencer advertising. Why? Well because it’s a really effective way to grow accounts and get attention in a world where Facebook and Instagram make increasingly dystopian choices. I wanted to break down some best practices for engaging with influencer marketing.
Obviously this is an inexact science, and that’s honestly the first thing you need to understand about hiring influencers. Furthermore, when you hire them you need to be clear and direct about what you want and make sure they understand and can meet your expectations. Then of course you need to make sure that you are giving something cool to post – their social followings are their livelihoods after all!
3. Influencers Are Kind Of A Crapshoot
This is the thing that makes influencer marketing really scary. While you can get a lot more reach and definitely turn around some sales, it’s definitely not as clean-cut as the world of Facebook Ads Manager, where everything is nicely coordinated.
On top of that, not every influencer is a match for every band. If you are an art doom band but go to a more stoner rock-oriented influencer that could definitely blow up in your face since the fans won’t really get it. You’ve got to do a lot of research because of this.
2. You Need To Be Clear About What You Want!
If people aren’t clear on what you want they are more likely to do nothing than anything at all because they don’t want to screw up. So you need to make a point of telling people what you are about and why you are interested in getting it done in a particular way. Most people are relatively easy to work with, but they need some instruction.
If you’re unsure what’s reasonable – look at some of their other posts and ask them. Usually, you can tell if someone is trying to rip you off. Generally speaking though, getting set up to have someone feature a clip of your band, or themselves wearing your shirt or LP can be an effective way to move the needle.
1. Give Them Something Cool To Post!
This is why a lot of people get turned down from influencer marketing – they don’t have content that’s cool to post. And the thing is something that’s cool can be as easy as a t-shirt that’s well designed and fits them well!
However, if you just expect people to post your album cover, or run a shot of your band that’s not really compelling in some way it just won’t happen, and if it does you won’t get great results from it. You’re much better off collaborating with the influencer on getting some creative that makes sense with their feed since that will ensure you get more content.
So yes – there is a good reason everyone is talking about the value of influencer marketing. But it’s still really hard to do right and really requires you to do some research, realize it’s a crapshoot, have clear desires and have something meaningful to share. If you don’t – you’re shooting yourself in the foot!
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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