Influencer marketing strategies are harder for brands to navigate than ever, and now we seem to be seeing social media influencers rise, saturate the market, and even be caught out as fraudsters. If you have ever researched “Influencer Marketing”, you will find conflicting information, with recommendations ranging from “You should definitely use social influencers” to “They’re not for you.” Here is our guide to understanding all of this, from the pros and cons of different types of social influences to the best marketing tactics for your brand.
Influencer Marketing? What’s that?
Influencer marketing is when a brand collaborates with social media personalities and influential people to promote a product or service. With the right research and strategy, it is easy to throw dollars at influencer marketing without making the investment pay off. An excellent influencer marketing campaign can strengthen existing marketing efforts and generate significant traffic for your business.
Now, who are these influencers, exactly?
Influencers are all those who can influence your behaviour, followers and appearance through social media, such as celebrities, bloggers, influencers or even your own followers.
At a fundamental level, influencer marketing is about the use of social media marketing by influencers, people who have a dedicated social following and are considered experts in their niche. Social media platforms affect consumers incredibly strongly, and knowing your audience makes a huge difference. They allow you to reach a more specific audience, making it easier for your brand to reach the right people.
Knowing the exact demographic can save you a lot of time and money on your marketing investments in social media. Increasingly, investing in social media influencers has become a key strategy for social media marketing. Planning a budget for them can be a highly rewarding investment if done properly.
There is a growing number of social media influencers in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other social media networks making it easy for your message to reach your target audience.
The best way would be to reach out to some of the industry’s leading influencers/content creator and showcase your great products and services. Otherwise, research your target audience yourself and find those who have them as their followers and start from there. To get the attention of potential customers, it can be helpful to work with an influencer who is already attracting attention.
Either way, understanding how to use influencer marketing to its true potential will help increase brand awareness, leads, and revenue.
Small businesses continue to trust social media marketing, but only a small number of those who use Facebook and other social media platforms as their primary marketing channel have adopted this strategy. Making influencer marketing work to its full potential is simple: Have a clear understanding of your target group and how they want to connect with you. When we talked to small businesses to understand their thoughts on influencers, we found that many of them recognize the value of influencer marketing, but are not quite sure how to use the trend. To be effective, you need to do it right and do it in a way that is effective for your business, not just for yourself.
Do you use the platform consciously to see a return on investment, i.e. to make the most of every contribution, or do you use it as a marketing tool?
A recent study by Analect (an Analytical Company) and Twitter found that 49% of people rely on influencer recommendations for their buying decisions. Similar to celebrity endorsements and sponsorship, “influencer marketing” is when brands ask certain influencers to create valuable and relevant content for a particular campaign, product or service. Brands have repeatedly picked up the trend of “influence marketing” in recent years, and their success depends on it.
As users grow, many of them become content creators, curating and creating their own stories, photos and videos that others can see. About 40% of people say they bought a product after seeing an influencer use it, according to the same study by Analect and Twitter.
This is how social media influencers emerged and how quickly they caught the attention of marketers. Over the past five years, brands have worked with their channels to raise awareness, and influencer marketing has gone from a companion marketing tactic to a $5-10 billion industry.
Nevertheless, many small businesses are reluctant to invest in influencer marketing as a channel, as the investment costs are high. Although not limited to female audiences, the fashion and beauty industry is another niche that relies heavily on influencer marketing. 57% of companies use it as part of their marketing strategy.
If you’re looking for social media content as a business, you can take a look at our content creation service.
For social experts, one of the most important ways to use influencer campaigns is to focus on blog posts rather than traditional affiliate links and tracking methods to increase revenue. This once unconventional content marketing route has become the norm for shoppers who travel and swipe through Instagram stories while shopping. From asking for recommendations from friends to finding the perfect product for themselves, women are increasingly seeking the help of their favourite influencers.
Hence, seeking out an influencer is a good idea for marketing your product. But while communicating with them, make sure you go through their portfolio first as you may unintentionally step in the wrong foot, if you don’t do the prior research.
Which Instagram influencer is your favourite and why? Let us know in the comments section.