Influencers are changing the way we talk, buy and review products and services.
You don’t have to be a high profile brand to make influencer marketing part of your business strategy. With the surge of social media, it is no wonder influencer marketing is considered by Forbes magazine the most effective form of advertising. This billion-dollar industry is predicted to double by 2019.
What exactly is influencer marketing? It is the process of leveraging an existing social media influencer that has a large following and having them endorse your brand. In a nutshell, influencers “give a human voice to brands that benefit from the authentic relationships between the influencer and its audience.”
If you are a business looking to identify the right social media influencer for your brand, here are the first few differentiating factors to consider when making your decision:
– The influencer must be an expert or highly knowledgeable in a specific field.
– Needs to be trustworthy, engaging and a credible source of information.
– Should have a high number of followers on social media platforms.
– Their posts must also have high engagements.
– Must be passionate about what they do and share it.
– Should post consistently and have the ability to communicate well with their followers at the right time.
There are two kinds of influencers, macro influencers and micro influencers. We think it’s more affordable and sustainable for small businesses to go with micro influencers because even though they have a smaller number of followers, micro influencers will be more personally invested in your brand and will put more time and effort in the creation of each post.
The key to success behind influencer marketing is authenticity. The more freedom an influencer has over the content they post, the more believable the post is for their followers.
*Source for infographic: AdWeek
Here are additional factors to consider when choosing an influencer for your marketing strategy:
1. Followers’ Level of Engagement Matter.
While the number of followers of any influencer is important, it’s more important to look at their followers’ engagement with their content. This way you can find out whether their fan base is real or fake, and therefore decide if they are worth your money. The more engagement on their posts, the better value proposition.
2. Expect long-term results.
Sales don’t just spike the second an influencer brags about a product/service. Remember that these people do business differently. Simply put, they are not salespeople. So be patient and give it time.
3. Set clear goals and performance metrics.
Have a contract that outlines your goals, timeframe and any other important information. Be clear about what you and the influencer are offering to each other, so realistic expectations are set and all parties are satisfied with the outcome. There are now many influencer analytics tools, such as Tapinfluence, that will help you track and measure your results.
4. Share common objectives with your influencer.
It’s easier to work with a person who has similar objectives as your brand. You wouldn’t have to worry about their target audience or anything else because you are already sharing so many things. Always work together as a team, both of you have to relate to each other so your work comes out seamless and in sync.
5. Give influencers more freedom to be authentic.
Influencers will produce more shareable content for your brand if you give them more freedom to create organic content to promote your brand, not content created by you.
5. Make video marketing part of your influencer strategy.
Videos are more fun to watch, engaging and authentic which is why influencers absolutely love to experiment with videos. Whether they are stories on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, or a video on YouTube, video marketing is predicted to be vital in the surge of influencer marketing.
Ready to make influence marketing part of your business strategy? Start out by testing a few influencers with a small budget to gauge if it’s a good strategy for your business. If you want to eliminate the guess work, you can also hire a marketing agency that can help you determine what type of influencer marketer is right for your business.