It’s 2017 and influencer marketing is officially the wave of the future. If you had asked someone 15 years ago when they graduated high school what their career would be, do you think any of them could have possibly answered “brand influencer”? The idea of social influencer marketing is relatively new and comes on the heels of the boom of social media marketing.
Chances are you’ve already figured out how crucial it is for your brand to be on social media in order to grow your business. But if you’re looking for that next step and interested in utilizing influencer marketing to help grow your brand, let’s break it all down a bit.
What is influencer marketing?
It’s pretty much what it sounds like. A social media influencer is someone who carries influence through social media. The form of influence can vary and no two influencers are the same. Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing, but in the digital age of online connection, regular people have become online “celebrities” with powerfully engaged social media followings, especially in certain market segments.
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How can social influencers work for your brand?
Just think of influencer marketing as another ace in the hole. 99% of the time, brands use influencer marketing to extend the reach of their brand messaging by working with social media influencers to create or support content they post on their own social media channels. This allows you to piggyback on someone else’s follower base, either to reach a broader audience or to segment your efforts in ways that would never be possible through your own branded social media accounts.
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What do they get out of it?
Well, money, usually. Think of social influencers like any other form of paid advertising. Depending on what you offer, you can either pay them in products or services, or just good old fashioned cash.
How to find the right influencer for your brand
There are a few things you’ll want to consider before reaching out for potential collaborations:
Relevance - Will the influencer sharing your content have the target audience you’re looking to get in front of? If your ideal client is a 25 year old female who is interested in fashion, a style blogger is going to be a better choice for you rather than someone in an unrelated industry.
Social reach - How many followers do they have? And I’ll let you in on a little secret because this is where a lot of brands miss the mark - how ENGAGED are their followers? You see, it’s really easy to buy followers these days and make it look like your influence is larger than it actually is. So instead of going just by the number of followers on their account, dig a little deeper and see the engagement level on their most recent posts. Are people commenting? Are the engaging? This will help you weed out those spambot accounts!
Trust level - Do they seem trustworthy? Your influencer’s audience needs to feel like they can trust whatever they are endorsing. This is where you’ll want to pay attention to how many other collaborations or partnerships they are currently participating in. If every other post ends in #sponsored, their audience is less likely to take them seriously when they post about your brand. Find someone with a high capability to reach, but who isn’t currently bombarded with partnerships so yours has a chance to stick out.
So what do you think? Are you ready to invest in social influencer marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new trend in the comments below!