The marketing and advertising landscape has changed drastically in the last ten years. There have been massive changes in the way we view and consume media, the ways we obtain information, and who we trust to get this information from.
Recently, we’ve seen the rise of influencer marketing. This can be a powerful tool for Small Business Owners as well as professional Marketers.
Read on to learn how you can grow your business with influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencers are people who have a strong social media presence and a large fanbase. They’re seen as experts—whether their channel’s purpose is to entertain, inform or teach—in their field, and their reputations are built on trust.
Because an influencer’s followers trust their authority and respect their opinion on certain topics, influencer marketing can be an incredibly powerful tool when used in the right way.
In a way, influencer marketing is the ultimate form of word of mouth. How often have you bought a product or service because a close friend recommended it to you? An influencer is an extension of that idea.
Influencers can operate on a single channel or multiple platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Twitch, LinkedIn, YouTube, or through their own blog or website.
Is there a difference between celebrity marketing and influencer marketing?
The short answer is: yes, there is a difference. Sometimes these types of marketing strategies overlap, but they’re not the same thing. Celebrity marketing campaigns (think Snoop Dogg promoting Menulog) differ from influencer marketing campaigns because influencers have a direct connection with their followers, and they’re usually seen as experts.
So while campaigns that feature celebrities can be funny, interesting, topical and can sometimes generate lots of hype, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will trust a celebrity’s endorsement of a particular brand.
On top of this, an influencer is able to reach out directly to their followers to promote a particular product, whereas a celebrity campaign is aimed at a wide, broad, indiscriminate audience. Influencer marketing all but guarantees you’ll get good return on investment (ROI) with your campaign.
Who’s the right influencer for my brand?
Before you go on the hunt for the perfect influencer to promote your business, there are a few things you need to set out first that all fall under your social media marketing campaign.
As part of your social media marketing campaign, you should already have an idea of what your goals are, who your target audience is, where you’re going to promote yourself and what your budget is.
After you’ve got these details sorted out, it’s time to find the right influencer for your brand. Don’t be afraid to be picky or super specific. There are a lot of influencers out there across multiple channels, and you want to make sure you partner with the right influencer for your brand.
You’ll need to keep the following in mind while you’re searching for the perfect influencer:
- What kind of influencer campaign do I want to run?
- Does this influencer’s values align with my own?
- Have they ever promoted my competitors before?
- Do they share the same target audience as me?
- How solid is their reputation?
- Does it look like they’re buying likes or followers? (If they are, you should definitely not partner with them.)
How does an influencer help marketing?
Here are five reasons to reach out to an influencer to help promote your brand.
- Their audience trusts them and their opinions and recommendations. Whether your main goal is to grow your business or to increase sales, an influencer can help you achieve this.
- An influencer’s post doesn’t get blocked, the same as an ad might.
- Influencers create awesome content that people actually want to see. By their very nature, influencers have to be great at creating awesome content, because that’s why people follow them. By working with an influencer, you could be exposed to some truly fun, creative and inventive ways to get your name out there.
- Depending on your goals and needs, a micro influencer can work just as well as a mega influencer. Not everything is about audience size—sometimes, engagement and reach are much better factors to consider than follower count.
- Influencer marketing campaigns are easy to track, so you can track metrics like engagement, impressions, views and conversion rates.
How do I get influencers to promote my brand?
Ok, so now that you’ve read about all the great reasons why you should start working with an influencer, how do you get in touch with them?
First of all, find out which way they’d prefer to be contacted. It might be as simple as sending them a quick DM, or they might have their email address on their profile.
Explain to them who you are, what you want them to promote, your unique selling point, and why you think they’re the perfect match. Make sure you include your own brand’s channels as well so the influencer can take a look at them.
Of course, they could still say no after you’ve gone to all this effort. But that’s ok. Not every influencer is going to say yes, so it’s a good idea to have a few backups that you can reach out to. Plus, there’s no rule that says you can’t work with more than one influencer at the same time!
There are also different types of influencer marketing tools (both paid and free) you can use to help make this process easier. Some can even track metrics for you. Take a look at tools like BuzzStream, Klear, Traackr and Awario to get an idea of which tool might work best for you.
Want to learn more about the power of influencer marketing?
Open Colleges recently partnered with Social Media College to bring you the Social Media Strategy short course. In this short course, you’ll learn how to create a winning social media strategy, as well as how to use influencer marketing effectively. There’s an entire module dedicated to influencer marketing, which will teach you how to identify collaboration opportunities, how to engage with influencers and how to interact effectively with your target audience.
Are you ready to take your social media marketing skills to new heights? Enrol today.