Should You Automate Your Influencer Outreach?
The buzz around influencer marketing has transformed from trending marketing topic to brand mainstay. In fact, marketers see such potential in influencer outreach that they plan on increasing budgets up to 59 percent, according to a study by Tomoson.
Marketers will also see an impressive ROI on their increased budgets. Brands are reporting a $6.50 return for every dollar they invest into influencer marketing.
The above statistics are a clear call to action for any brand planning an influencer marketing campaign in 2017. But developing a powerful influencer marketing campaign can be labor intensive and very time consuming.
This brings into question the latest trend of automating your influencer outreach. As the industry grows, the development of applications and platforms that simplify influencer outreach are meeting demand.
How can brands streamline their influencer outreach efforts while still cultivating meaningful influencer relationships? Should you automate your influencer outreach? There are certainly both positives and negatives.
Understanding the Brand/Influencer Relationship Cycle
In order to truly evaluate the need to automate your influencer outreach, you should examine the brand/influencer relationship cycle. Can automation be a one-size fits all solution?
“Currently, with influencer marketing technology, there isn’t one solution that comprehensively covers all areas,” explains Travis Wright of MarTech. “From discovery to engagement to tracking and reporting, there are many different solutions, but they don’t always fit together.”
The brand/influencer relationship cycle includes . . .
- Influencer Discovery: Analyzing a relevant influencer’s industry, following, content, engagement, and message.
- Touch Points: Contacting an influencer via a concise pitch.
- Content Development: Understanding the best route for content creation, whether it is crafted by you, or by your influencer.
- Compensation: How will you pay your influencer? Will it be monetary, with products, social mentions, etc.?
- Influencer Metrics: Knowing how to measure the actual influence an influencer has for your brand or marketing campaign, your ROI.
Finding solutions that maximize these different aspects of influencer marketing may not always be seamless. This is due to the variety of philosophies involved. Automation could be a viable solution for some aspects, but not so great for other areas.
Can Automated Influencer Outreach Vet Quality Influencers that Deliver Results?
Nearly every brand wants to save time and money when it comes to influencer marketing, and marketing efforts in general. The resources saved can be allocated to other areas to drive a brand’s industry success.
This could be a benefit of automating your influencer outreach. Instead of wasting personnel hours on manually identifying influencers, brands can simply find the perfect influential partners via an optimized algorithm driven database.
The downside to this facet of influencer outreach automation is the effectiveness of the algorithm. If the brand/influencer match is not perfect, it could create a serious problem, seen in the latest PewDiePie marketing implosion.
“Working with influencers is sensitive for both parties involved,” says Paul Armstrong of Forbes. “When situations like the one with PewDiePie happen not only do things move fast but armies can be forged.”
Can an automated influencer outreach platform protect against these types of influencer risks? Saving time and money is important, but brands also need to understand the sensitive nature and importance of building intricate influencer relations.
A Marketers Passion and Creativity Can Balance Automated Influencer Outreach
There is certainly no doubt that automated influencer outreach via an integrated SaaS platform would be beneficial. However, your success hinges heavily on the technology and capabilities of the program.
Any tool that reduces resources and simplifies influencer outreach is fantastic. However, tools aren’t the only element. It is essential to remember what truly drives powerful influencer marketing campaigns; passionate and creative marketers.
Automation platforms and creative marketers are both relevant to any influencer outreach effort. Automation could be seen as a support factor, freeing up those creative to do what they do best.
Spending less time on administrative tasks can certainly take a toll on the creative process. A marketer with less admin duties can cultivate more powerful influencer relationships, develop innovative campaigns, and use analytics in a personalized way to enhance brand success.
How important are your brand’s creative minds?
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