How effective is influencer marketing? Just by its nature alone, we can assume the answer is “very.” Major brands spend millions a year to get influencers on their side to promote their products. Non-profits and movements have also found mainstream support thanks to the visibility from influencers and celebrities standing behind their values.
Admittedly, this industry has taken a hit in 2020. Many influencers who were once paid to engage in the community, travel and create content outside of the home are losing contracts due to their inability to meet that end of the bargain. It has led some to wonder if the era of influencer marketing could be dying in the face of a changing economic landscape due to the pandemic.
At the end of 2019 and into the beginning of the year, many believed that influencer marketing budgets and campaigns would be skyrocketing, not declining. What was once relevant has taken a sharp turn and we are forced to look not at numbers but at anecdotal evidence.
This kind of data is still valuable. Using COVID as an example, you can see that the outpouring of support for hospitals, people’s campaigns, homeless shelters and more has grown across the globe, even as many have faced economic hardships themselves. Why? It is due to the kindness we share with one another in times of trouble. But it could also be in part to influencers who are using their muscles to share these messages and bring in donations where they are needed most.
Utilize Influencer Marketing For Your Own Cause
According to a Cone Cause Evolution Survey, 87% of the participants who were asked said they were not only willing but would absolutely switch to another brand if they found out they were supporting a cause in which the customer believed. This shows that the desire to support causes through brand awareness is already there — your job is to get the message out.
Here is where influencers come in. An influencer already has a strong audience that is loyal to them as their own brand. They enjoy their content and have largely stuck with them even as formats have changed to meet the demands of quarantine. The first part of the process is already done for you: visibility.
In fact, influencers are becoming a real marketing powerhouse across an array of industries including cosmetics and beauty, fashion, education and nonprofits. Influencers can drive traffic and exposure to just about any project, even if it is brand new and has no traffic of its own.
Next, we want to be targeting those influencers. This is also easier when we are looking at causes versus products because we are narrowing in on something about which the influencer feels strongly. We can assume their audience also falls into that demographic and are more likely to also care about that cause–it may even be why they are following that influencer in the first place.
Approach with The Cause In Mind
Influencers get plenty of offers for campaigns, so you need to stand out. Come out with a strong message about the cause and how you think they would specifically be useful in promoting the message. Let them know what specific characteristics they have that make them uniquely suited to work with you, like their passion, content, or aesthetic.
Share what it is you hope to accomplish and how they can be a part of it. Have a specific task you have in mind for them–don’t just tell them that they will be sharing posts. Remember that influencer marketing is more than just connecting with those influencers. It is about getting them directly involved with a campaign tailored to their talents and their audience.
One tool to help you here is Text Optimizer that allows you to better research context around your target keyword and create a more optimized content and social media strategy when working with an influencer:
Don’t Target a Single Influencer
The more channels you have promoting your cause, the better. Lady Gaga managed to raise $35 million for Coronavirus efforts early on in the US stages of the pandemic. It was an amazing feat, but we can’t all get Lady Gaga signed onto a cause, especially when she is already associated with so many top notch brands.
In contrast, YouTuber Vaush managed to raise $19,000 for the Black Lives Matter movement through streaming his Minecraft videos. Mr Beast raised $20 million to plant trees around the world in an effort to correct environmental damage done through deforestation and climate change.
Influencers come in all different sizes of viewership, ability and passions. Can you imagine what having two on your side would do? Three? Thirty? There is no limit to how many influencers you can get on board, particularly for a good cause. It is all about finding the ones who most represent what you are hoping to accomplish.
Have Your Creatives Ready
While most influencers will prefer to create their own assets to be in-line with their styles and aesthetic, having branded content ready is always helpful. Creating your own branded kit and sharing it with influencers is a great idea–include your logo in different dimensions, screenshots or visuals available for reuse, and color palettes. Both Visme and Venngage are good resources.
At the very least, create some visuals featuring your logo and message for influencers and publishers to reuse (and even take offline in the form of branded merchandise) easily. Here are plenty of free templates on Placeit to help you.
Whichever social media channels you decide to use, make sure you have your own site set up to promote your cause and consolidate your whole marketing strategy around your site. Make sure to publicize your story and reuse your visuals on your own site to build consistent visibility that doesn’t rely on any single third-party platform.
Cause marketing is tough but the right influencers are able to make a real difference.
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