Chances are, if you follow anyone on social media then you have been influenced at least once or twice to try something. It could have been by someone you follow on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, or any other social media platform. Whether it was to try a product or an activity, you may not have known at the time that the “influence” on you was intentional, but it was. Completely. Intentional. It's a subtle but not-so subtle marketing technique called Influencer Marketing, and for anyone wanting to promote their brand in 2017 and beyond, it's becoming an important part of a business's digital marketing strategy.
So what is Influencer Marketing?
It's a marketing scheme unlike traditional marketing methods; it doesn’t take your brand directly to consumers, but consumers unwittingly come to know about your brand through a third party: the “influencer.”
The influencer is usually someone who is known within your brand’s market, and there are four types:
(1) celebs (e.g., Kylie Jenner, Ellen DeGeneres)
(2) journalists/execs (e.g., CNN types)
(3) bloggers (e.g., well, the prolific blogger types)
(4) micro-influencers (e.g., you - if you're a consumer)
Basically, the influencer writes about your brand or promotes it on their personal social media platform.
The type of influencer you use is contingent on what your brand is, what your goals are, who you want to market, your preference for exposure v. conversions, and your budget. Each type has its pros and cons. For instance, celeb influencers have upwards of millions of followers. So if your primary goal is outreach to the most people, then a celeb influencer is a good option, but they are also exponentially more expensive and their followers may not all be in your market niche. A micro-influencer, on the other hand, usually has a social following base of less than 100,000, but followers are fully engaged with the influencer and are much more likely to trust and, therefore, try what the influencer says or does. Thus, if your goal is conversions in the most cost-efficient way possible, micro-influencers are the way to go.
The process to hire an influencer depends on the type of influencer you want. Generally, you want to consider your goals. Do your research online to determine a handful of potential social media stars who can be your influencer. You want to consider relevancy, content, and engagement. Is the influencer in your particular industry? This is your brand, so you need to protect it! The influencer you choose should be able to provide content that is quality and consistent with your brand. Poor quality and inconsistencies in recommendations can translate into a lack of trust. Finally, you should know how engaged the influencer is with his or her followers. Research how many "likes" they have, how many comments from followers and how responsive they are to comments. The more engaged, chances are the more conversions there'll be, at least according to a Digiday study. Once you've done your research, you're ready to connect with the potential "influencer" and make an offer.
It's an exciting time for businesses, and influencer marketing can prove to be exceptionally successful for you if do your research and approach it correctly. Contact our team of professionals to help you through this process.