The No-Bullshit Guide to Influencer Marketing For Startups

*The following is a transcript to a community of start-ups at the Secret Sauce Conference. I'm really getting tired of people in the influencer marketing space ripping off clients with misinformed strategies and lack of knowledge.

Everything below is knowledge gained from our experience running Fanbytes, as well as over 300 campaigns with our influencers and with brands. We're now the largest video influencer platform in the country, both from a brand perspective and from an influencer perspective (3000 influencers), so we know a thing or two about how to drive results.

I will take you on a journey; everything from finding influencers, the type of influencers and the type of content. By the end of this article the aim is to have you become a pro in influencer marketing and stop getting ripped off. I will also back up each point with real world examples of mobile apps that have seen results with

1. How to pick influencers (Reader Alert: This point is a little self serving)

When you're a startup with a budget, you have two options when it comes to influencers. You could either crack open an Excel sheet and list the names of every influencer, take a guess as to what their prices are as well as their audience stats. The whole process is quite laborious and built on guesswork. The other way to do it is through a large agency; the problem with that is that agencies, by their nature, are staffed with the kind of people who lead to massive costs for a campaign. Unless you're GoPro or Disney you can't just fork out a 15k spend for a campaign; it makes no sense. This is partly why we built Fanbytes; to be able to help anyone including Joe Bloggs run influencer campaigns. We've made it as easy as running a Facebook ad; target your audience, mention your maximum budget and then start inviting influencers to your campaign. It’s that easy!

2. The type of influencers

The poster child for influencer marketing is beauty vlogger Zoella; with over 10 million followers, many brands are completely enamoured by her. In the YouTube community, she serves as the face of influencers with large subscribers. According to brands, she wields enormous influence. In my view, Zoella is dead. The appeal of the person with massive amounts of subscribers is no more. Rather, we're seeing the growth of "micro influencers"- influencers who don't have massive amounts of subscribers but have a high degree of authority in their space. At Fanbytes, we came up with the Fanbytes score: a measure of how authoritative an influencer is in their space. We used this to plan a campaign with a mobile app called Paperclip, which lets you trade stuff with people around you. Using our Fanbytes score, our system recommended 5 micro influencers. These influencers did a campaign where they put their stuff on Paperclip and then told their fans to trade with them. This campaign went splendidly; within 36 hours of the campaign going live, Paperclip went from its initial position below the Top 100 in the App Store to the Top 40. From this, they went forth to raise further funding.

examples of the influencers and videos

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3. How to measure influencer campaigns

Let me make this abundantly clear: impressions are bullshit. It pains my heart when I see brands run influencer campaigns in which the success factors are impressions. A scroll past a post on Instagram or Twitter counts as an impression, regardless of whether someone seems the post or not. One of the leading opportunities that influencer marketing provides is the ability for real engagement with audiences, real connections in which people are not just treated like numbers. Thus, it is crucial that brands don't run campaigns whilst blinded by impressions, leading to lower brand results and downloads. At Fanbytes, we like to run our campaigns solely based on engagements and time that audiences connect with brands. We have built some of the most robust technology to make that happen.

4. The type of content to create

Ok so now we know where to find influencers and what type of influencers to use; the next thing to look at now is the type of content. Oftentimes, brands treat influencer marketing like they treat normal advertising, thinking "lets give influencers something to say and let them say it." However, that’s where the problem lies. Influencers are human and, consequently, it is important to use their human element in campaigns. A recent example is a campaign we did with a lip syncing app called Musations. Rather than merely getting influencers to promote Musations, we used their human element to create the largest music video ever. Below you can see an example of one of the videos, which resulted in 10,000's of downloads within a 72 hour period, as well as actually creating a world record - watch out for them in the next Guinness Book of World Records!

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5. Giving them control

Linked to the above point is the need for brands to let go of creative control. To reiterate, these guys are people too and know their audience best. The key is to offer them a general creative guideline while letting them have fun with it. We recently did this with Popchips in our “Cheesy Chat Ups” campaign. The campaign had a very simple guideline - "We're releasing a new line of cheesy crisps, we want you to do a video around cheesy chat up lines. Go". Had they maintained a tight fist around content, the results of the campaign would have been very different.

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6.Timing

Through running 100's of campaigns, we've noticed something funny, especially regarding mobile app campaigns and trending on the App Store. We've noticed that in order to drive results, its essential that your campaigns have influencer content for 3 days straight - that is new videos, Instagram posts or Snapchats, for example, for 3 days. I theorize that this is because the influencer community is a small one and it’s likely that were you to do a campaign with multiple influencers, the same audience will view the content again and again, thus driving home the message. This was proved right in a recent campaign with a student revision app. Amongst their marketing push, they ran an influencer campaign which collectively led to them to trend in the App Store and reach number 3 in best education apps. You can read more about that here.

7. What content works

So now we know how to use influencers, how to give them creative control and how to plan out the timing of campaigns. The last thing then is the content itself. From our 100's of campaigns, we have realized two main things make influencer - brand content tick. The first is FOMO, the idea that the influencer is in the know and the audience is not. It’s the fear of not having what the influencer has. The second is the feeling of being closer with the influencer. The best campaigns have not only positioned influencers as the insiders, but also have then positioned their app as a way to bridge that gap.

*Conclusion

So that's it, the no bullshit guide to running successful influencer marketing campaigns for app marketers. Everything here is taken from our knowledge of running over 100 campaigns for mobile app brands with great results. If you're a mobile app company, using these tips in your marketing repertoire will do wonders. If you'd like to test these out, we've just launched a self-service platform, which will enable you to start a campaign from £100. You can check it out here. Until then, Happy Marketing!