Have You Ever Heard of Influencer Marketing?

Have You Ever Heard of Influencer Marketing?

At a fundamental level, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche. Influencer marketing works because of the high amount of trust that influencers have built up with their following, and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to your brand’s potential customers.

How to create an influencer marketing strategy

Like any marketing tactic, an influencer program takes deliberate targeting and planning. You won’t find strategic success just by sending free things out to everyone who asks or to your existing friends and acquaintances
1. How to find and pay social media influencers
Much like any strategy, research is the first step. Choose the network you want to focus on first. You can always expand to other networks later but if you’re just starting out, stick with one. Ideally, your brand should already have a presence on this network or be looking to expand into it. Demographics vary on each network. If you’re unsure of where to begin, our article on social media demographics is a good starting point.
The industry you’re in also matters when you’re planning to implement an influencer marketing strategy. Beauty and fashion brands shine on Instagram and YouTube.
You’ll need to think about the expected ROI of your influencer marketing campaign: how will you gauge the contributions of influencer posts to your overall marketing goals? One approach might be to compare your expectations for influencers to other firms – look at how you might gauge the budget for a video production firm’s work in creating an ad for you versus an influencer creating a video. It may initially seem like judging the value of influencers is unpredictable, but this type of approach will give you a familiar point of comparison and contrast.
2. Set a budget and management strategy
Now that you have some idea of what to influence, you need to create your own budget.  Be sure to also factor in time for planning, executing and reviewing your strategy. Running a successful influencer marketing campaign is not a set-it-and-go type of strategy. It’ll involve careful monitoring and follow up. influencers are human and frequently balancing multiple partnerships, so some may fall behind in their commitments to post on time or make errors in your requested tags or calls to action. You’ll need to have the time to be more hands-on with these relationships to cultivate them, and refine your approach through experience about what works and what doesn’t in your niche.
3. Decide on goals and message
The two most common reasons for using influencer marketing are to elevate brand awareness and increase sales. However, instead of setting these broad targets as your two goals, it will be more effective to kick off on your strategy by honing in on what your brand’s needs are. Perhaps you want to increase your customer base in a younger demographic. Or you want to expand into a new user group with a new product. Or you want to skip trends and utilize influencers to talk about your brand values.
Influencers have the ability to reach very specific audiences. Instead of relying on thousands of followers, influencers will help you ensure a very targeted audience who is likely to be interested in your product reads and engages with your content.
4. Find your influencers and contact them
Back to step one: research. With a plan set around your network, goals and what types of influencers you want to target, we go back to researching to actually find the right influencers to work with.
During this research, keep in mind the below:
  • Does the influencer already post about similar things to your service? For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want to promote a new menu, you should be looking for influencers who regularly post about dining out and the food they eat.
  • Are they legit? This means scrolling through their feed and clicking through on posts. A poor engagement ratio to follower count and spam-like comments are signs of a fraudulent account.
  • Have they worked with similar brands before? Depending on what type of influencer you’re looking for, a seasoned one will be able to show you a press kit that contains a portfolio of their work. The more you invest in an influencer, the more you’ll want to vet them.
5. Review and change your strategy
Even if your influencer marketing campaign is ongoing, you should still have pre-determined dates where you’ll measure its progress. The next part of this guide will go into how to track your results. Not all campaigns are successful but hopefully, you’ll learn with each one you create.

Disadvantages of Influencer Marketing

Using the wrong influencer can harm your brand: 
Today, it is bad news indeed for a brand to be associated with an influencer who ends up causing the wrong kind of controversy. Making racist statements, not disclosing that a post is sponsored, making insensitive posts, using bots to inflate follower numbers or accidentally posting the brands instructions in the post (which happened to influencer Scott Disick) can all make the influencer, and any associated brands, look bad. And as a brand, you will have no influence over the influencers’ behaviour.
If a consumer feels misled by an influencer who has not made it clear that their endorsement was part of a paid partnership, they could be less likely to buy that brand. Because of this, hashtags such as #ad and #sponsor have become more common. These are good for transparency, but can detract from the authenticity that makes influencer marketing so effective.
It can be hard to measure success
It can be very difficult to track and monitor the performance of an influencer-led campaign. Businesses need to be prepared to measure different types of engagements, such as clicks, likes and shares, as well as the cost per engagement.
It’s also important for businesses to keep their ROI in mind. The whole point of an influencer marketing campaign is to generate leads and turn potential customers into buyers. To maximize their ROI, businesses need to be able to identify the influencers and marketing channels that are generating the most leads. For a small brand, this may require spending additional money on an analyst. 
The increasing advertising of life: 
If you are a customer, then you need to think about the fact that it can often be difficult to tell when a post you like is actually an ad. This may not bother most people, but it does point to the way in which everything around us is becoming an advertising tool. Before long, it may be difficult to tell if anything is really free from advertising

Final Thoughts

Social media influencers gain the attention of their followers through relatable, sensational, entertaining, or educational content — and the genuine and transparent personalities behind it.  Brands looking to gain similar attention will partner with influencers to build campaigns that aim to do this on a grander scale and ultimately increase conversions. Influencer platforms will increase in importance and become a tool of choice for most firms wanting to run their Influencer campaigns Inhouse. Celebrities will become less relevant for influencer campaigns.
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