[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Rich Nardo.]
Over the past few years, influencer marketing has become an integral part of reaching fans directly. If you are going to incorporate influencers into your marketing plan, it’s important to recognize that the best practices have changed as the category has come to maturity.
Traditionally, a brand or artist would pay an individual with millions of followers to do a post that comes across as promotional. It was acceptable for these posts to be a bit ‘salesy’, as there was considerable trust between the influencer and their followers. As “influencer” grew into a career, the market for these posts became oversaturated and, as a result, their value diminished along with the trust of their followers. When you couple that reduced value with higher pricing demanded by influencers and a lack of solid analytics, influencer marketing began to feel like a short-lived bubble that was already about to burst.
Enter micro-influencers. These are accounts with considerable following, though not quite as large as the traditional influencer. Their content tends to be more niche and, as a result, the engagement tends to be higher. These individuals are usually more open-minded to creative partnerships and they tend to be more adamant about keeping the feel of their posts organic.
What does that mean? Rather than spend your entire budget on one post from a major influencer, you can incorporate several micro-influencers at smaller prices (or just for cross-promotional purposes) and get innovative about how the opportunity will unfold.
Here are a few ways you can work with these more modern influencers:
Use Your Song to Soundtrack Their Video
Does your song fit perfectly in a surf video? Reach out to influencers in that world about having your song soundtrack their next highlight reel. A lot of times song usage will be achievable in exchange for sharing and the influencer will be willing to link back to your song on Spotify, YouTube, or to one of your social media profiles. Look for these influencers on YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok.
Go Live Together
Instagram is a great place to start for this sort of initiative. You can do a livestream together where you can collaborate on a topic (i.e. – a cooking class or recipe review with a food influencer) where you share your common interest. You can also move this to Tik Tok in an abbreviated version. In the above example, you could even tie it back to the music by playing a song acoustic while they are doing the prep work for the meal.
Get Creative with a Dance or Riff Recreation
This is a great way to create a call-to-action with your following as well as that of the influencer. When you find the right influencer to partner with, create a dance around your new single or replicate a key riff from the song. When the influencer posts the initial video, make sure to encourage fans to do their own version to amplify how many people are being exposed to the song.
Be A Guest on their Vlog
This is an extension of the “going live” idea. Let’s use mixed drinks as an example here. You can be a guest on a mixologist’s vlog where you talk about your love of a particular spirit and what flavors you enjoy in a mixed drink. You can then work together to create a new concoction tailored to the conversation or inspired by the subject matter of your new song or album.
One of our favorite ways to reach new audiences through a trusted source are reaction videos. These YouTube influencers will watch a new music video or listen to a song and react in real time to what they see and hear. These genuine and often comical instant reviews can get hundreds of thousands of hits and expose your music to a ton of potential fans.
Post Live from your Show
Okay, okay. So this one isn’t available as an option right now, but it will be again someday and it usually doesn’t cost you any money to get an influencer to do this. Instead, you can offer to put them on the guest list for the night and any other sort of “VIP” treatment that you can come up with based on the size of the venue. In return they can post to their Instagram story live from the show and possibly incorporate the experience (or at least the song) into another post as well.
Rich Nardo is a freelance writer and editor, and is the VP of Public Relations and Creative at NGAGE.