You follow some people on social media and suddenly you notice they start posting pictures promoting products from a particular brand, then you have been introduced to the world of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is becoming very familiar now but a decade ago, it was limited only to celebrities and few bloggers. But now there is a rise in the number of influencers. They are the people who influence the target audience. These can include people who are experts in corresponding subjects, highly active people on social media having dedicated fan following, or even high authority people like CEOs, politicians etc. Digital media presence and content management are the two tools that can promote your product and help attract, engage and inspire consumers. What makes influencer marketing more unique and authentic is that it can implement both of these tools.
Is it the same as Celebrity Endorsements/Branding?
When the fame of a celebrity is attached to any product or brand, it is celebrity endorsement or branding. People who are known for their presence in any particular field, who can be related to your product or campaign, you associate with such people in celebrity endorsement strategy. For example, a film star doing a beauty commercial. Whereas advertising through word of mouth among people in a certain circle is what is called influencer marketing. The only similarity in both the strategies is, to influence the target market, both use well-known people whereas the drastic difference is there in the way targets are influenced. Another thing is in influencer marketing, people trust that the endorsement is not a simple signed contract between two people rather it comes from a reliable place that is well researched.
Thinking about a strategy?
Some basic influencer marketing tips to be followed before you start your marketing:
Do your study just as you do in any other marketing technique. Multiple platforms are available but if you are doing it for the first time, find one best platform and stick to it. The only thing is in that network, your brand must have a good presence. At this stage, also decide on how big an influencer you are looking for. As per your business, you can choose someone with a mass following or someone having below 5000 followers (also called micro-influencers). This also helps to decide the budget.
When you know what you want, it’s time to decide the budget. Here you need to consider the efforts, from planning to execution and to review. It is possible that influencers are handling many partnerships and may make some errors or may fall behind in some commitments. So it is essential to do continuous monitoring and reviewing. In the budget, the compensation offered to influencers should be considered.
Goals and Message
Increasing brand awareness and subsequently increasing sales is important, but one should focus on the right path for these. When you set your goals, be aware of your needs, what are your expectations and be focused on that rather than going for a broad approach. Be sure to pass the right message to the influencer. Include your product features in such a way that they should not bore the audience. The most important is to give the right info at the right point.
Finding your Influencer
Like the first step, do your research for an influencer. Know what you are looking for and identify influencers accordingly. Once you find the appropriate person, ask these questions:
o Does the influencer post similar content?
o Are they good influencers?
o What is their engagement ratio to the follower count?
o Have these influencers worked with similar brands before?
The next step is to reach such influencers. If you need to connect to micro-influencers, it can be done by direct messaging them on the same platform. For influencers who are well established, they can be contacted through their agencies or their official page.
Once your campaign starts, keep reviewing your market strategies. Not all campaigns are successful. So if the current one is not working, find new methods and for each campaign you create, you will learn something.
People are using social media extensively and influencer marketing is an emerging marketing strategy. So to see what it can do for you, give it a try. Remember you can target the right customers by this and increase your reach. To connect to your customers and market your product, influencer marketing is one of the best ways provided it is used properly.