Influencer marketing can have an enormous impact on the success of a marketing campaign. However, this is only when the influencer fits your brand. Here is your guide to choosing an influencer that will boost awareness for your business.
- 1 What is an influencer?
- 2 How can they help?
- 3 What to consider when choosing the ideal brand influencer?
What is an influencer?
Although some influencers have large numbers of followers, it’s important to remember that this is only one favorable aspect when it comes to identifying a great influencer. A real brand influencer is someone who is capable of changing peoples’ perception and altering in some way how they think or act.
Let’s have a look at 4 key influencer categories:
This form of advertising has been around for decades, and celebrity endorsement remains a valid form of marketing. These are often wildly expensive, and you’ll probably be queuing before even entering into discussions with their PR team. The other issue is with credibility; consumers are shrewd, and if your brand doesn’t fit the celebrity’s lifestyle then it may be an expensive but fruitless marketing endeavor. These are also known as macro-influencers who have a lower engagement rate than those with fewer followers.
Industry experts and thought leaders
This category includes journalists, industry leaders, academics and professional advisors. These influencers often carry prestige based on qualifications, position, experience and their place of work.
If you’re thinking that contacting a journalist to influence readers by writing an article is the same as traditional marketing, you’re right! There are overlaps between many forms of marketing, weaving the new and the old. Bloggers often use these experts to add credibility to their content. An added bonus of a journalist is that they may review your company for free to use in a paper, be it in print or digital.
Bloggers and content creators
30% of consumers are likely to make a purchase based on a blogger’s recommendation, according to a Collective Bias study. The powerful benefit of choosing this option is their specialized niche. Bloggers and content creators rarely cater to the masses; they generally talk to a community about topics that interest their followers. If you choose a blogger who matches your brand’s voice, it can be useful in connecting with your target market.
These are everyday people that are trusted for their knowledge in a specific area. Generally, these influencers have a social media presence of under 10,000 followers. Their community tends to feel more connected to the influencer which garners trust. They can then leverage their knowledge and expertise by endorsing products and services. Another benefit is that you won’t need as big a budget for collaboration efforts.
As you can see, influencers exist in a lot of spheres, attract different audiences and have various degrees of authority. It’s worth investing the time now rather than decide well into the campaign that the relationship isn’t working out. Our software makes finding your influencer a far simpler process!
Influencer marketing differs from viral marketing in that these influencers develop a connection with the brand and spend time introducing their followers to your company’s USPs and line of products. It’s not a lazy backlink inserted at the top of an Instagram page for 24 hours.
Your influencer needs to invest time in learning your brand and in implementing a strategy to create interest in your products or services organically.
How can they help?
Influencers can also help reveal to their audience the genuine and positive impact your brand can have on their lives. 94% of consumers will be loyal to a brand that is transparent.
With the average American spending 24 hours a week online, the problem isn’t that people aren’t present online, it’s that they are spread across multiple platforms. Without influencers representing brands, their marketing campaigns would become stretched far too thin.
However, achieving goals and attaining a healthy ROI is all about ensuring that you’ve chosen the right influencer for your brand. It comes down to whether they are relevant to your audience, have high levels of engagement and are authentic in attracting their followers.
What to consider when choosing the ideal brand influencer?
Prep the campaign first
Choosing an influencer involves research. And before you even consider searching for your influencer, you need to understand your own goals for this campaign. What are the objectives? Are you looking to obtain reach, increase traffic to your site, generate sales or increase social media followers.
Although, you may look at this list and think: ‘yes, all of that please!’, the reality is that it’s unlikely a single influencer can do all of this for you. Therefore, you need to be selective, put KPI’s in place and create a strategic outline for the campaign.
Select a platform
Now onto sourcing your influencer. First off, look into which social media platform is right for you. This narrows your search to a single platform. For a B2B business, you’ll probably look towards Facebook and LinkedIn. Front facing companies will often be better off on Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. Channels that offer immediate gratification and creative ways to tell a story are particularly appealing to younger generations. Often, influencers will have a presence across several platforms but will always have a dominant account.
Check out their legitimacy
In the first three months of 2018, Facebook shut down 583 million accounts. It’s all too easy for influencers to buy followers now. This Forbes article shows you what to look out for when testing an influencer’s legitimacy.
Checking their engagement rate is an excellent method of viewing their followers’ connection with their brand. It’s all well and good choosing an influencer with a large community but equally important to understand how their community engages with their content. A high engagement rate on Instagram is 3.5%-6%, and this will vary across platforms.
Do they know the ropes?
When contacting influencers, gauge their interest in actually interacting with your product or service.
Many influencers have very little knowledge about their affiliate company. If their followers detect that their social media guru is doing this for a quick buck, it’s not going to get you results. Vet potential influencers, you need to be able to trust this person to represent your brand!
Research the influencers’ audience
Find an influencer whose audience aligns with your customer profile. Get to know their audience; this includes their geographical location, age, religion, education status, gender, ethnicity and income. A fortunate result in the explosion of influencer marketing is that there is most likely an influencer out there that will satisfy your requirements.
Social media–based influencer marketing strategies are perfect for connecting with new audiences and improving engagement with existing audiences. If their preexisting loyal followers simultaneously fit your target demographic you could be onto a winner.
What you need to take home from this article is that although influencer marketing is in the limelight right now, it is not a fad. Take the time to both research and collaborate with a professional brand influencer. This is a powerful method of connecting with future customers and building a loyal community around your brand. But it all starts with a brilliant influencer.
Once you’ve found an influencer who fits the bill, check out this article on how to get influencers to distribute your content.