To put it simply, influencer marketing is the same as previous strategies that included celebrity endorsements, except with more options. An influencer is anyone with a substantial following on social media, or other platforms, that has an effect on their following (e.g. Instagram fitness accounts, a finance specialist with a blog, or a gamer that streams on Twitch). While influencers may not always reach the same large amount of people as celebrities, they are more likely to have a greater impact on their following. Influencers spend more time communicating with their followers and that allows the relationship between the influencer and the followers to grow. A lot of influencers are also “normal people” and are trusted by their followers, meaning a more powerful brand endorsement.
As social media grows, so will the importance of influencer marketing. This trend isn’t going away anytime soon, so now is the time to embrace change and work on your influencer marketing strategy.
Why Are Influencers Important to You
Influencers can help increase your brand awareness where it counts. Finding influencers that share your target market can help you reach potential customers and get products in front of them. This way, you are able to reach target markets efficiently by putting your product out there.
Influencer marketing can help you create credibility with your customers. Potential customers are more likely to believe an influencer that uses your product every day than a celebrity that posts a photo every other week. Seeing a product in use and in action by someone that is trusted and admired could make a difference for your brand.
Partnerships with the right influencers can drive conversions. Influencers encourage their followers to try new things, buy new products, and more. By having an influencer market your product, you are likely to gain new customers that trust the influencer and have the same interests.
Influencer marketing can help boost your search engine rankings! When customers use influencer links to your product, your website traffic and search engine rankings increase. If you are new to SEO, you can get more information here.
What’s Important When Choosing an Influencer
Relevance is one of the first things to consider when choosing an influencer to work with. An influencer known for gaming may not be the best choice if you are marketing fitness equipment. Another part of relevance is their personality and how that fits with your brand.
Authenticity is important when partaking in influencer marketing, because you want followers to trust the content that the influencer posts. An influencer that posts sponsored content in every post may not be viewed as authentic by followers. You want to choose an influencer that followers believe to be trustworthy and, if possible, someone that will actually use and enjoy your product.
Engagement is a good way to see how interactive an influencer is with their followers. This is important because it can give you hints about the relationship that the followers have with the influencer. Readers responding, commenting, and sharing is a good sign. Influencers that respond back to follower engagement build solid relationships with their followers and are able to impact them more based on that relationship and trust.
Frequency can show you how long it may take to see results. Choosing an influencer that posts more is likely to get you a return quicker than an influencer that is inconsistent or doesn’t post blogs, videos, or social media content on a regular basis. It is going to take multiple exposures to get followers interested in your product and looking at frequency can help you choose the influencer that is best for you.
Reach is important to consider, but you have to take relevance into consideration. Using the fitness equipment example again, choosing a fitness model based on Instagram with 10,000 followers would make more sense than a travel blogger with a regular following of 60,000 followers on their blog website.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Failing to understand your audience can lead to choosing an influencer that will have no impact on your campaign.
- Using the wrong channels in your influencer marketing campaign will reduce your reach.
- Not using analytics to measure performance can hinder your evaluation, leading you to spend more money on an ineffective campaign or losing out on a truly beneficial one.
- Expecting overnight results can lead to disappointment and neglecting a campaign that could be successful long-term.
Where to Start Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
The first thing to consider when starting any marketing campaign is your goals. You have to define your goals in order to choose the appropriate direction and influencer. Remember to choose goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. These are the same goals that you should have outlined in your marketing plan. These goals could focus on brand awareness, engagement, sales, customer loyalty, or more.
The next thing to consider is the type of influencer marketing campaign you would like to run. You can gift products for reviews and encourage them to share your product. You can hire influencers to share your product. Or you could create a relationship that involves a mix of both.
Once you know what you want to achieve and have an idea of how to achieve it, it’s time to define your audience. This is the group of people that you are specifically looking to market to. Your target market should be very specific to help you make decisions and changes.
Finally, it is time to find the right influencer for you. While considering the goals, type of campaign, and target audience, you need to choose between bloggers, social media influencers, celebrities, industry experts, thought leaders, and more. Making this decision will help you when you begin researching individuals or brands to partner with.
Another way to begin your influencer marketing campaign is to hire an agency. There are influencer marketing agencies that will do all the work for you. Influencer marketing agencies like IMA, Obviously, and Viral Nation work with large companies and offer various services.