According to Twitter, people trust an influencer’s opinion almost as much as they trust their own friend’s feedback. Clearly, what an influencer says matters, and it can significantly impact how consumers feel about your brand.
Nurture that influence by working with influencers to build brand trust with your consumers. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Influencers
Your choice in influencers can make or break your brand. Distance yourself from influencers who have lost credibility by doing too many promotions, or sharing controversial posts (ahem PewDiePie). Instead work with an influencer who your target audience trusts, one who is relevant to your industry or niche.
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For example, Kyrzayda Rodriguez is a fashion blogger and style influencer. She often does promotions for clothing and accessories, and her posts get tons of engagement. Here, she’s talking about how she loves her new bag from STAUD Clothing.
Note this promotion seems natural. There’s nothing forced or suspicious about it because Kyrzayda is known for her style. And she mostly talks about fashion-related topics, so the post blends in.
But what if she were to promote something like a new car or tech gadget? Then the post would seem out of place. People trust her fashion recommendations and style tips, but they may not necessarily trust her to provide tech or vehicle advice.
It might seem tempting to work with an influencer outside of your niche, based solely on their significant reach. However, although a large number of people will see the content, there’s little chance they’ll trust the promotion. Since your sponsored content doesn’t fall in line with the content the influencer usually posts, it will seem suspicious.
Play it safe and stick to influencers within your niche.
Tip #2: Have Influencers Give Honest Reviews
When you strike up a partnership with influencers, don’t just ask them to give you a review. Encourage them to be honest with their review. By pointing out the positive and negative aspects of your product or service, it will make it seem more authentic.
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Here, micro-influencer The Kavalier reviews the Watch Gang subscription service. Notice he keeps his reviews down-to-earth. There’s no product set up ahead of time. Instead, he unboxes the product and goes through each feature, just like any consumer would.
Source: The Kavalier
As he conducts his product review, he doesn’t hesitate to point out any aspects that he doesn’t like about the product or service. He makes sure to state in the video description (see below) that the product was provided by the Watch Gang, but that all the opinions expressed in the video are his own.
Source: The Kavalier
Tip #3: Showcase Influencer Testimonials
If you have an influencer who is a big fan of your product, consider having them give you a testimonial. Testimonials from influencers show potential clients and customers that these influencers trust you. They’re putting their reputation on the line by vouching for you.
Like a review, testimonials can be in the form of text or video, whichever you prefer. You can even turn it into a video interview to enrich your website’s content.
For example, OptinMonster has its own testimonials page, featuring testimonials from several trustworthy authority figures like QuickSprout founder Neil Patel, and Search Engine Journal founder Loren Baker. These authority figures explain how OptinMonster helped them increase their signups.
Anyone who comes across these testimonials will think, “Hey if Neil Patel is an advocate for OptinMonster, that must mean it’s a great product.”
Tip #4: Give Influencers Creative Freedom
You’ve probably seen some influencers (and definitely celebrities) promoting products with canned captions. Typically this is a result of brands having too much control over what influencers say. When working with influencers, it’s important to provide them with creative freedom to maintain authenticity in their promotions.
Remember that influencers are content creators. They’re used to creating engaging content that their audience loves. Their followers are already familiar with the influencer’s unique voice. So, scripted promotions aren’t going to help you win the trust of their followers.
Not to mention controlling an influencer’s voice could potentially ruin your relationship with the influencer. In fact, according to Crowdtap, 77% of influencers continue their partnership with a brand when given creative freedom.
Now this doesn’t mean giving influencers free reign. Still provide them with a few basic guidelines on what you need out of the promotion, then leave the rest up to them. While the post is promotional, it should blend in seamlessly with the influencer’s usual content.
Jack Douglass is a YouTuber who regularly creates sponsored content for brands and companies like Audible, Leesa, Lynda.com, etc. What’s notable about his promotions is that he blends them in seamlessly with his entertaining "Yesterday I Asked You" series. To create these YIAY videos, he asks a question or assigns a task to his viewers and then compiles their submissions for the next video.
One of his latest sponsored videos was for MVMT watches. To create the video, he asked viewers to photoshop a picture of him holding up a blank sign and wearing an MVMT watch. When one viewer points out that, “The sponsor is that watch site,” Jack seamlessly moves on to the promotional part of the video. In just over a week, the video received more than 1 million views and 55,000 likes.
Whenever you work with influencers, remember they aren’t just another advertising tool. They’re real people. Treat them as such, and invest in building and nurturing your relationship with them. With time they’ll help you build brand trust, by becoming an advocate for your brand.
Got any questions about the tips provided here? Feel free to reach out to me directly if you need expert guidance for your influencer marketing efforts.