Influencer marketing is being adopted by many companies now and the popularity of it is only continuing to grow. Influencer marketing focuses on the use of, well, influencers. Influencers are people, like you and I, who don’t necessarily have to be famous, but rather have a large impact on the people that follow them. It is usually someone who has a larger social media following in which their audience trusts the opinions and judgement of that specific influencer for advice and knowledge on a particular niche that they are passionate about.
Influencer marketing can be less expensive than traditional advertising and marketing and can sometimes be a more effective strategy for exposing your product to the marketplace.
Why is influencer marketing so popular? People trust real consumer’s opinions. Unlike traditional advertising, in which consumers know that all the information is coming from a biased point of view. If you partner with an influencer that matches your product and target audience, this can help your product gain more credibility because an influencer, who is just as much a regular consumer as anyone else, has an unbiased view and took the time to review a product and share it with their audience because they truly believed it was a good product.
Now you might think influencers will partner up with any company that comes their way to sell their product just for the money—and don’t get me wrong, some do—but that is not very ethical and can be damaging to the influencer’s image. And they may even lose their credibility and followers if their audience found out they were selling something that they didn’t truly believe was beneficial. Most influencers will be honest and turn down companies that offer free products that are not in line with their values or niche because it does not serve their audience in any way.
So, if you are a business, how do you get started with influencer marketing?
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Most people jump straight to finding influencers in their niche with big followings, but it is most important to understand who your target audience is first and the kind of people you are wanting to reach. Just because someone has a big following doesn’t mean your product will attract the right people. Start with a “warm” audience (one that is most likely to buy your product) and expand out from there.
2. Set goals for your campaign
Basic goals for influencer campaigns are to get more people to try your product, gain more brand awareness and social media followers, increase sales, etc.
3. Find the right influencer
It can be difficult to find the right influencer for your brand and can be a waste of time if you are working with the wrong one. You have to look further than just how many followers and likes they have. You really have to look at how influential they are by looking deeper into their content and relevance of their content to see what kind of consumer they are and if both your brand and the influencer align. Also be sure to look at their engagement. Even if they have lots of followers, if their audience isn’t paying attention to them, it may pay off to look elsewhere.
4. Measure success
It is important to figure out the right tracking methods of what is working about your influencer campaign and what is not. With this, you will be able to understand consumers purchasing decisions. For example, you can track how people heard about your business if it was through a blog, website landing page, etc. by measuring website analytics.
There is a lot more to influencer marketing than you think. If you are interested in trying this form of marketing, set a plan and outline your goals and reasons for your campaign and what kind of outcome you want. If you can partner with an influencer to create original and quality content about your product, it can greatly improve your brand’s credibility and sales. Score!