The way in which consumers make purchasing decisions has evolved in recent years. Nowadays, consumers look to ratings, reviews, and recommendations from other consumers in order to make informed purchases. In fact, over 95% of consumers trust peer recommendations over content that comes directly from brands.
This change, coupled with the rise of social media, has led to a surge in influencer-based marketing. This type of marketing has the power to give brands a competitive edge and lead to business growth. In fact, studies have shown that influencer-based marketing provides an ROI that is 11 times higher than traditional marketing strategies.
Influencers have a massive built-in audience that actually wants to hear what they have to say about products and services on the market. Keep reading to learn how your brand can take advantage of this new marketing strategy.
Step One: Identify Your Audience
Just like brands, social media influencers have niche audiences of their own. Some influencers might target specific age groups, while others have an audience of people who share a common interest. Begin by taking a look at the demographics of your audience.
Determine the type of audience your brand currently reaches, as well as who you would like to connect with through your campaign. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, it’s crucial that you identify influencers who align with your brand and represent your intended audience.
Step Two: Investigate Different Types of Influencers
In the world of social media, there are essentially three major categories of influencers:
Celebrities tend to have the largest followings and the most influence over their audiences. They have a massive role in guiding trends and defining our culture. Because of this, they tend to get lots of attention from brands. It can be hard to get in contact with them and having them represent your brand can get very costly.
Bloggers and Vloggers also have significant followings which provides them with a similar platform to celebrities. They usually have a more defined audience depending on their type of content. Currently, some of the most popular bloggers fall into the categories of lifestyle, family, beauty/fashion, travel, or health/fitness.
Compared to celebrities, audiences tend to view them as “real people” and are more likely to perceive their opinions as genuine. Bloggers are also much more responsive to brands that reach out to them and will likely promote your product or service if it’s something they actually already use.
The newest wave of influencers includes micro-influencers. This category includes current customers and employees of a brand, ambassadors, or just “normal” people who have obtained a large following on social media despite not being a celebrity or having an super popular blog or YouTube channel.
For example, beauty blogger, @daniellecarolan, promotes products that her align with her type of content (makeup tutorials). Meanwhile, family blogger, @kcstauffer, posts kid-friendly ads for her audience and often partners with family-oriented companies like Disney.
Seeking out influencers that fit into these categories is as easy as taking a look at applicable hashtags, searching keywords on YouTube, or scrolling through the Instagram Explore page.
Step Three: Establish Contact
Now that you have identified the types of influencers that would best represent your business, it’s time to establish contact. For most bloggers and micro-influencers, you can probably contact them directly. This could mean sending them a direct message on Instagram or reaching out through their business email.
Some brands establish contact by leaving a comment on a post. However, this method is not recommended since it could be perceived as impersonal and will most likely get lost amongst all of the other comments.
Step Four: Give Them Creative Freedom
Once you have found influencers who have agreed to promote your brand, it’s time to relinquish some of your power. Of course, you want to provide guidelines and directions, but if your brand is too overbearing, the content might come across to consumers as ingenuine. Giving your influencers some creative freedom will make the campaign more authentic and will ensure that the posts fit their online personality.
Lifestyle blogger, Aspyn Ovard, seamlessly incorporated this ad into her feed. The post looks similar to something she would actually post herself.
Step Five: Show Them Appreciation
The most important part of influencer-based marketing is showing your appreciation for the influencers who have agreed to promote your brand. Not only should you share their sponsored content with your own followers, but you should also follow-up and be responsive when they have any questions or concerns.
Also, make sure to give them all the resources they may need to be knowledgeable about your product and your brand as a whole. These steps will help set them up for success and strengthen your relationship. Making the process as easy as possible will make them more likely to promote your brand in the future.
To Wrap It Up…
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