With the popularity of social media, more and more brands have been using influencers for digital marketing. Originally influencer marketing was celebrity endorsements, but the digital age has expanded it beyond celebrities.
The idea behind influencers is that instead of spending time looking for ways to reach a larger audience, you hire these people to already have a large following with your target audience and hire them to get the word out for you. A single social media testimonial from the right influencer can expose your brand to thousands of people. With the right influencer, your SEO results can get a big boost. Some of the world’s largest brands depend on social media mentions and user-generated content, because it helps their Google visibility.
This strategy works well, too. Seventy percent of teenage YouTube users trust the opinions of influencers over celebrities. Fifty-one percent of marketers believe they get better customers from using influencers. Eighty-six percent of women seek purchasing advice on social media, this is where influencers can really come in handy. According to a 2016 survey, 53 percent of women made their purchasing choices were because of influencers. If you are in the fashion or beauty industry, influencers can be a major boon to you; 57 percent of companies in those industries use influencers as a major part of their digital marketing.
These days, consumers do not listen to everything they hear on the radio or TV; they do not read billboards; and they do not trust big corporations. However, influencers can make an impact on today’s consumers. Even if the consumers know the influencers are paid to endorse products, they still trust the influencer’s opinion on the products they endorse.
DETERMINING WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE CARES ABOUT
If you are thinking about partnering with an influencer, the first thing you need to determine is exactly what your audience cares about. This will require some research. Spend time looking at YouTube, blogs, social media, and forums to see what your audience would care about. Once you have determined what they care about, you can begin looking at influencers that may be aligned with what they are interested in.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INFLUENCER
There are three types of influencers: connectors, mavens, and salespeople. The connectors build a network with a huge range of people, giving them incredible reach; these people are the true masters of word-of-mouth communication. The mavens consume and share what they find through others. Salespeople have incredible charisma and can talk people into buying what they are selling.
An exceptional influencer has characteristics from all three of these categories, but if you have to choose one, think about what exactly your company needs. If you have products to make peoples’ lives easier or fulfill an existing need, a connector is probably the right choice for you. A maven is good for fashion — especially avant-garde fashion — and tech products. If you have something like an online course, a salesperson is probably right for your company.
When looking for an influencer, look at their social media data first. An Instagram influencer with 2,000 followers can get you some results, but one with 200,000 followers can help get your message out to a wider audience. Their follower numbers alone are not the only thing you need to look at. Compare the engagement between the person with 5,000 followers versus 20,000 followers. Who is getting more likes and comments per day?
You also need to take into account what the influencer is already doing. If you sell baby products, you may not want to partner with the swimsuit model; the model’s audience may not be right for your company.
If you are a small company, an influencer may be an expensive option for you; if this is the case, try to find one that you can make a different deal with.
Free products or large discounts are a great way to compensate an influencer. Even if you are paying them monetarily, you may want to consider giving them free products anyway, to let them truly experience what your brand has to offer.
Offering the influencer a commission-based pay is also a good option. You can give them commission on any sales generated by their posts.