Influencers are all the rage these days in Bahrain, and the Gulf generally. From a marketing perspective, an influencer collaboration is an opportunity to raise brand exposure, awareness, and lead generation. In Bahrain, a quick shout-out to a restaurant or major event by an influencer can translate to sales growth.
Today, your go-to celebrity influencer can promote restaurants, supermarkets, makeup, and even cars. We’re talking about Mahmood Janahi, Azhar Hubail, Ahmad Sharif, Imran Al-Aradi, and Khaled Janahi, among others. As a business owner, it’s important to consider what these influencers can deliver in terms of numbers—in other words, measurable metrics.
- Stalk their previous posts. This shouldn’t be too hard to do. Looking into what they’ve posted in the past gives you a good indication of what you might be getting. Run some quick and dirty number-crunching on the likes they’ve gotten, and the ratios between their followers and likes.
- Fake followers are where it’s at these days. For the trained eye, spotting someone with fake followers is not a challenging task. Fake followers give the illusion of someone with a lot of organic followers, when they have little to show for it. Do your due diligence that their lists are real—that’s all we’re saying. The Fakers App allows you to check fake and empty Twitter accounts. As a plus, the app allows you to weigh the competition. Also check out https://www.twitteraudit.com/, www.followercheck.co/, and http://truthy.indiana.edu/botornot/.
- References from reliable clients who have paid for them more than once. Have they delivered any measurable results? Look into that, and prepare yourself for some gossip—the good kind, hopefully.
- Realistic deliverables. What can you not do as an influencer? What can you deliver? Set the expectations from the beginning, and leave no room for surprises or disappointment. Some businesses request metrics, reports, and other analytic tools. This is a good test of credibility.
Taking all of these aspects into consideration, what should you do next? This may sound boring, but come up with a brief that clearly lays out your goals, objectives, outcomes, and expectations for an influencer campaign. We asked Ali Fareed, tech geek and influencer, what he thinks business owners should know before approaching influencers. Get these things in check, and you should be good to go:
- Specific, realistic deliverables. Be sure to let the influencer know any feedback or approval processes you may need to abide by.
- The ins and outs of your social media. Pick the medium you think will be the most appropriate for your platform: Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or all of the above? Identify key information (like hashtags, social accounts to tag, trackable links to use, and messaging).
- Points of contact. When you’re launching your campaign, you want the influencer to have a clear idea of who to contact in all planning stages—basically, a “go-to” reliable person to contact (almost) whenever, wherever.
- Your customer’s “bait.” In a nutshell, this is your main selling point, if we’re trying to be technical-casual. Figure out which message you’re trying to convey about why people should use your product, and have your influencer clearly communicate that through his/her follower database. Ali Fareed’s final word of advice: “Be aware of your audience, and then you can make up your mind.”
Overall, we wholeheartedly believe in the value of research. And not just any research—we’re talking about research that is backed up with data, references, and even testimonials.
While business owners should set realistic expectations and deliverables for influencers, we also think influencers can offer more if businesses can zoom in on their talents and/or services. Just do your research, think it through, and begin execution.