Influencer marketing – a powerful tool
Simply a modern name for an old-school concept, influencer marketing is a trending strategy at the moment. The definition? Basically, influencer marketing places the classic celebrity endorsement concept into a more contemporary content marketing campaign. An influencer is someone with trusted followers who endorses particular brands and products. They could be a celebrity figure or an ordinary person who has accumulated a mass social media following.
Influencer marketing a way to research, engage with and identify your target audience through influencers who create conversation around your brand with consumers. A good influencer has created their personal brand to be trusted by their loyal following. This is the kind of ongoing influence that maintains brand awareness through regular engagement with their audience.
An influencer’s power lies in their credibility and trust. If they promote honest opinions about particular brands and products, their audience is more likely to build a strong relationship with the influencer.
This kind of marketing strategy has the ability to bring together PR, digital marketing and social media efforts through relationship-based interaction with audience.
It’s not all about the followers, though.
To be an influencer is not just about being popular. Remember that followers are not necessarily fans – they might be watching a celebrity’s daily goings on but that doesn’t mean they even like them. Think about your own social media profile – are all your friends or followers, true friends? It’s more about having the right kind of followers. If the followers of an influencers are not in line with your brand, then no matter how many likes or comments they get, it’s not your target audience. Whilst celebrities are paid to endorse products, products reach a larger audience without much control over who it reaches. Influencer marketing, however, is focused on a smaller, organic, word-of-mouth communication strategy.
How does an influencer become famous?
There are various ways one can rise to the popularity of an influencer but one thing is for certain – it’s not an overnight process. It’s all about ongoing engagement and interaction with your audience.
Here are some ways influencers gain popularity:
LinkedIn’s power lies in one’s career achievements and how they link to networking. People within similar fields take notice and some interact with likes, comments and reactions to like career-driven content. LinkedIn insights can sometimes become so viral that they escalate into helpful presentations such as TED Talks, placing the creator’s name as notable in the industry.
Today, many interactions on Twitter are politically-fuelled and are a good example of how to distinguish between followers and fans.
Lifestyle influencers that have risen to fame via YouTube have continued to grow their following with continuous uploads and engagement with their audience. By employing tactics like trying and testing brands and products in their videos, people are able to see immediate effects and results. This allows for partnership between brands and influencers and audiences.
In today’s world, society has thankfully moved away from the concept of perfection on social media platforms. In fact, people are more likely to trust models who are genuine and imperfect, rather than someone who seems too perfect to be true.
How do you find an influencer for your marketing strategy?
First, you have to find out how to track down influencers. There are many out there but it’s likely that conducting your own research will have better results.
Create a list to track your research, including audience, social media platform, number of followers, content and contact information.
Try search for influencers who already know of your brand or who will immediately see its appeal.
Don’t reach out to influencers who have partnered with your competitors – it’s simply a waste of time.
Personalise your outreach to gain their interest in an attempt to generate a solid partnership.
Is influencer marketing measurable?
Of course, if you are investing in a marketing strategy you want to see results. You can choose to track your influencer marketing in any way you like – just establish some kind of performance indicator to make the judgement.
Here are a few ways to measure results of an influencer marketing scheme:
By giving influencers access to unique promo codes for their audience to use, every time someone uses the code, you can track the income to its origin.
You can create a hashtag that’s specific to a particular influencer and suggest that they use it on social media. Using this, you can track how the hashtag catches on – if it’s successful or not.
Depending on your experience with data analysis software and tools, you may want to engage help from an SEO pro for this job.
Let’s talk about trust
Remember that influencer marketing is primarily based on trust as it’s an effective tool to promote products – when done right. It’s not, however, a quick win or overnight success so you have to invest time to do it correctly.
Find legitimate influencers with authentic followings and partner with those that are relevant to your brand.