49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations before making a purchase, so it’s no surprise that 67% of brands are now choosing to work with influencers as part of their marketing campaigns. However, the rapid growth and development can make the world of influencer marketing a confusing place, and some brands stay clear of it altogether and miss out on the huge benefits influencer marketing can have. There are a few things you need to understand before taking the plunge to ensure your influencer campaign is as successful as it can be.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencers are creators who have a dedicated social media following. Often recognised as experts in a specific topic or niche, influencers have the potential to hugely increase brand awareness and even affect purchasing decisions.
Influencer marketing is working with an influencer (or influencers) as part of a marketing campaign to promote a brand, product or service. Influencers will usually feature a product as part of their content, often reviewing or recommending the product and brand to their followers.
It’s important to note that influencer marketing is not simply an updated version of celebrity endorsement. Unlike traditional celebrities, most influencers make their name online through platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and even TikTok, meaning it’s much easier for them to communicate directly with their followers. This engagement builds up a strong level of trust, meaning their recommendations hold a lot more value than a faceless brand or celebrity-endorsed one.
The benefits of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool to use in any marketing campaign, with brands who use it correctly earning up to $18 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. One of the reasons it works so well is the genuine credibility and trust influencers have with their audience, but it also helps you target your brand to a specific audience. Influencers tend to have a specific niche that they and their followers share an interest in, so by using an appropriate influencer, you can promote your product or service to a much wider audience that is also much more likely to be interested in your brand.
It may come as a surprise to some that working with influencers can be extremely cost-effective. Although many influencers are expensive to work with, these tend to be those with the largest number of followers, and they are not always the most effective influencers for brands to work with. Many influencers with lower numbers of followers have much more reasonable rates, paired with a more dedicated following, and many are happy to work with your brand in exchange for a free product or service.
Finding the right influencer
With thousands of influencers out there and the number growing every day, choosing the right one for your campaign can be incredibly overwhelming. The most important thing to remember is to keep your target audience in mind and know them inside and out. Take note of the platforms they are likely to use most and start your search there. Instagram would be more beneficial to target women than men, and TikTok is definitely the way to go if you want to appeal to younger demographics.
Look for influencers who share a niche or topic your brand falls into. There is little point in working with a beauty influencer to promote a technology brand, for example. Stay focussed and don’t let huge numbers of followers distract you from keeping your brand of interest to the audience of the influencer.
Remember that just because someone is famous doesn’t necessarily mean they are an influencer. Many celebrities have huge followings on their social media accounts but have built their career in traditional ways, such as acting. It’s also worth keeping in mind that some influencers, such as the Kardashians, have gained such a huge following and celebrity status that are have become too distant from everyday people that they working with them would no longer bring the benefits of influencer marketing. These are called mega-influencers.
Types of influencers
There are currently four types of influencers: mega, macro, micro and nano, with micro-influencers being the most commonly found in influencer marketing due to their strong relationship and trust level with their followers. Macro-influencers can also be great to work with as they tend to be successful online experts in their field with a great depth of knowledge. Nano influencers are sometimes overlooked due to their small following, but they can be just as powerful as their extremely specific niches are great for brands with very specialised products.
Let us make you visible
You should now understand the basics of influencer marketing, but it doesn’t end here! There is much more to think about, such as defining your campaign goals, contacting your influencers and using analytics to determine the success of the campaign.
If the world of influencer marketing is still making your head spin, let us help! Our experienced and knowledgeable team can handle the planning, research and managing of your influencer marketing campaign, ensuring it is as effective as possible. We will create a personalised influencer marketing strategy that fits your needs, helping your brand to reach its full potential.