Influencer marketing is a powerful tool that has been growing in relevance over the past few years, and a business would be remiss to pass it up. To use it effectively in this day and age, you need to have a solid understanding of what influencer marketing is. So, keep reading to find out how it works, and why it is so effective under the current circumstances.
What is an influencer?
As defined by influencermarketinghub.com, an influencer is a person who has two useful traits.
The first trait is possessing “the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because.”
The second trait is having “a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages.”
Contrary to how the marketing definition of the word is structured, the most critical aspect of the influencer is that they are popular with a particular community.
Most often, they are an entertainer or specialist of high esteem and renown. This definition includes celebrities, but their effectiveness as influencers seems to be on the decline. These days, the really important influencers, who are both more accessible and cost-effective, are social media influencers.
Social media gives its users an unprecedented opportunity to keep in touch with people they find appealing effortlessly. A huge aggregate of people use social media and every single platform encourages its users to engage with individuals, organizations, and events they like, as well as form communities with similar interests. This, in turn, gives influencers an unprecedented opportunity to interact with their fans. Also, hey build a loyal community with a strong sense of identity that’s based on positive things they all share. It is this bond of trust that you wish to capitalize on in your campaign.
How to Implement Influencer Marketing?
Traditional ways of using influencers in marketing before the age of social media have already been explored in detail—the wealth of information on his subject that is well beyond the scope of this article.
Working with social media influencers, on the other hand, is a practice that is less than a decade old. It offers excellent marketing opportunities, but it does require a bit of research and introspection to use effectively. Here’s how to do it right.
Know your product and the people you’re selling it to.
Products are never universally useful or desirable – you need to be keenly aware of what type of person you want to attract as a client.
Pick an influencer in the appropriate field.
Ideally, the cause of their renown is closely related to your product. If you’re manufacturing and selling makeup – you’d do well to look for an Instagram model or a beauty blogger. If you represent a travel agency, you should contact a travel vlogger. While it is not strictly necessary that the product that you’re should be directly related to the interest of the community you’re trying to market it to, this certainly helps.
Do some research on that person.
Once you’ve identified an influencer with a suitable audience, partake in some of their content and familiarize yourself with it. Take notes on aspects of their work you like and don’t like. The goal here is to ascertain beyond a shadow of a doubt that this influencer displays a quality of work that you are happy with, as well as maturity and professionalism. These two later points are important because collaboration with an immature or unprofessional influencer can reflect poorly in your brand and do severe damage to it.
Ascertain that the influencer you’re planning on working with has genuine reach
Make an effort to spend time in their community; try to gauge said community’s engagement. Don’t just look at some baseline analytics for follower activity – pure numbers can be faked by dishonest actors. Do some real due diligence here.
Ascertain sponsorship saturation
This is another thing you should look out for when choosing an influencer to work with. Too much sponsored content, especially if it is unrelated to their brand in any meaningful way, can reduce the quality of their work and erode the bond of trust between influencer and their audience. Basically, you’re looking for people who haven’t “sold out” yet.
Be prepared to surrender some creative freedom
Ideally, you should give the influencer you’re reaching out to information about the product, and that’s it. Only work with influencers who you trust to do a good job of promoting the product on their own, in a way in which their existing audiences are most likely to appreciate. Aside from making it understood that you don’t want your brand damaged, you should have very little involvement in the actual campaign.
When you’ve taken all of these necessary steps, you’re ready to reach out to the influencer in question
How accessible they are depends on their niche and their following, but seeing as how they’re most likely actively engaging with their community on social media, doing this directly and personally should be easy.
Convince the influencer to promote your product
How much resources that would cost you will depend on the nature of the relationship you intend to build with them, and their reach. If it’s a prolonged ad campaign with multiple endorsements of various kinds, you’d have to make it worth their while. If you want a one-time shoutout for a product that they are already positively disposed towards, they may well be happy to do this for free or in return for some product.
Establish a way to track the effectiveness of the campaign.
Assigning each influencer their own unique links with UTM codes or discount codes for your products will allow you to measure the impact of the campaign on your bottom line.
Take care of legal matters
Ensure you and the influencer you partner up with follow the correct legal proceedings for advertising in the area you do business.