The term influencer marketing grew by 325% in Google searches in 2017. According to more recent findings, 47% of millennials now turn to social media for recommendations and reviews before deciding on a purchase. These figures alone show the importance of this type of advertising and resources are readily available to assist with the process.
Although it seems to be a very popular and new way of advertising, influencer marketing has been here for a long time. It existed for many years and has been known as celebrity marketing and endorsements. What has clearly changed in recent times is the people that endorse and promote the brands. Instagram and internet famous people, such as bloggers or YouTubers with a very high reach and a large social media following are now the influencers of our era.
As the use of influencer marketing increases day by day, we can witness this type of advertising becoming even more transparent and brands and influencers being open about sponsored posts and brand collaborations. Regulations and rules that influencers and brands need to follow to be compliant with this type of advertising have been enforced. Consumers are now protected and are always aware of the type of content they see on their news feed.
What is influencer marketing?
If we were to define influencer marketing, we would say that it focuses on people of high influence, such as YouTubers, bloggers, speakers, journalists and so on. Their influence can add value to your product or service and the content they create can vary from testimonials, reviews, or just showcases.
How to choose your influencers?
From a brand’s perspective that wants to advertise their business, influencer marketing has been proven beneficial so long as the right people are chosen for the job. Below you can find a checklist that will help you choose the right person for your brand.
Reach works as an indicator of the unique views of a post or article. Influencers are known for their high reach and this can be a valid metric to choose the influencer you want to work with. It also ensures that your campaigns and sponsored posts will be seen by a large audience.
Specific Reach (Micro influencers)
Another area of influencers that are good to explore and sometimes can be proven more beneficial for your brand, depending on the type of product or service you have, are micro influencers. Micro influencers are experts who engage with a special segment and they have an audience that feels more relatable to them and their interests. Their following is not as large and they can be every day people who can be extremely persuasive and who can drive sales.
Engagement is another important factor as it shows how interactive the influencer is with their audience and vice versa. The more engagement per post i.e. comments and likes an influencer has, the better for your social media campaign.
The right influencer should tick the box in many ways as mentioned above but being relevant to your brand is a very important factor. Choose influencers with a profile that is relevant to your brand and matches your brand’s attributes. You might be very fond of a certain person but if they are not suited to your brand and your audience then you should not be identifying with them.
It is an add on when the influencer you approach uses your products or services as the endorsements and sponsored posts will come natural to their audience.
How to work with them?
There are so many different ways to work with influencers and this will depend on the budget that you wish to dedicate for this. Below are some starting points to consider when approaching an influencer.
You can simply start by gifting them your products or inviting them to try your services. However, this type of collaboration will not guarantee that the influencers will post about these gifts or mention your brand.
Sponsored posts / Product reviews
This type of collaboration suits bloggers and YouTubers and other influencers who have a website and can talk about your product or service in their own tone of voice. This type of endorsement is best suited after gifting a product so the blogger has tried it and is covering a genuine review. Brands tend to usually check the blog post or YouTube videos produced to make sure that all the right information is communicated.
This is another way to work with influencers that will help increase your brand awareness and social media following. Giveaways work as social media competitions where influencers require the participant to follow back the brand and themselves to enter the giveaway where the winner receives a free product.
As influencer marketing becomes more popular, brands will have to make sure that the influencers they work with are following the rules and regulations and always remain transparent. In order to ensure that this type of marketing is profitable, you need to be aware to track and analyse the entire process.
The above tips are only some of the ways that you can work with influencers. Every collaboration is unique and should be tailored to what you will try to achieve.