Due to the large influx of both big and small businesses coming into the online world, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for brands to get attention on the internet. This has made consumers doubt the brands that self-promotes. New digital marketing strategies have been planned and created, and one of these is influencer marketing.
Ten years ago, influencer marketing was only limited to celebrities. But times have changed, and now in this modern digital age, tons of newly grown influencers have been paving their way into the market.
Influencer marketing is now an established form of online marketing and has been a buzzword in the media for a while. If you are one of those people who haven’t heard about this term yet, you have come to the right post. We will talk all about influencer marketing, what it is, why it’s important, how it works, and how you can leverage it for your business.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is a form of online marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from people who has a large following on a distinct niche who can likely persuade other people to buy your product – hence the term “influencer”. This type of marketing involves collaboration between the brand and the online influencer to market their products or services.
Rather than doing all the marketing yourself across your consumers, you instead hire and pay influencers to get the word of your brand out across their followers.
Influencer marketing goes hand-in-hand with social media marketing and content marketing. Influencers have their social media accounts, the platforms where they are expected to spread the word. Influencer campaigns carry content elements, whether the brand has created content for the influencers to share, or the influencers create the content themselves.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer doesn’t automatically equate to celebrities. You can be an influencer without being a celebrity. So, what makes a person an influencer?
An influencer is defined and characterized as someone who has a loyal band of followers and has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his/her knowledge, position, authority, and relationship with his/her audience. They are regarded as experts in their niche and what they recommend is highly considered by their followers.
Influencers are real-life consumers who are knowledgeable about certain topics. This gives them the “influence” they have that enables them to urge their followers to take desired actions.
The Importance of Influencer Marketing
The influence economy has forever changed the way we purchase stuff. About 67% of marketers report that they are engaged in influencer marketing. With more mainstream exposure, this type of marketing will undoubtedly rise. Brands that don’t take part in this innovation will more likely miss out on the grand idea that consumers are now in control of the buyer’s journey.
The conventional ways of digital marketing no longer yield the desired results. Over 66% of customers are bombed with too many marketing messages online and about 20% of these will avoid the brand because of the excessive ads. This is why marketers should care about influencer marketing because this is one way to prove your brand’s authenticity.
Smart marketers leverage influencer marketing to create engagements with their consumers. Unlike conventional digital marketing, influencer marketing goes beyond just reach and clicks, they create ongoing conversations with potential customers that drive purchase and gives the results you desire.
Customers want authentic people who attract and influence their perceptions. It’s not a question of doubt, content creators have a huge influence to drive business growth and deliver authenticity that resonates with their audience.
How It Works
It’s important to recognize that brands no longer have the center stage, it’s the consumers who run the show. If you want to take part in the conversations and customer engagements, you have to think like a consumer. These people have conversations over various social media platforms, this is where influencers emerge.
The goal here is to plug into new communities and connect your product/brand to new viewers via a trusted voice in the community. Authenticity creates trust and people gravitate toward online influencers because the content they create is valuable. Collaborating with these influencers will allow the brands to integrate their message into their content which will be shared with their followers. To ensure authenticity, the brands must allow their influencers to be true and sincere when doing sponsored content. Consumers do not appreciate insincere and irrelevant content, this will negatively affect the influencer’s power as people start to unsubscribe.
Brands wanting to be pertinent to consumers should approach the media as a way to attract, engage, and convert prospects, which means they should create content that consumers care about and trust. Collaborating with influencers is the most effective way to make this happen. Influencers are experts at generating online discussions so the content they share with the brand’s message will be discussed, shared, and reposted. This is earned media and what makes this valuable is that it is trusted more by the consumers. When influencers write about their own experience with the brand and share compelling stories about it, it will influence their audience.
How to Use Influencer Marketing for your Business
Before you start looking for influencers to collaborate with and create a strategy, there are a few things you need to determine to set the stage.
Know Your Audience
Define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Who are your target consumers? Who do you want to hear your message?
Set Your Goals
The key to influencer marketing success is setting appropriate goals. For influencer marketing campaigns, some of the common goals are brand awareness, gaining social media followers, getting people to try your product, and increasing sales.
Define What Success is
How will you and your client measure success? Define some key performance indicators (KPIs) and by setting up the right tracking methods, you will be able to identify where a consumer is in their buying journey – awareness, consideration, preference, purchase, or loyalty.
How To Get Started
There are five key components to build an influencer campaign:
- Planning your strategy
- Selecting and Identifying your Influencers
- Content Collaboration and Campaign
- Analytics Monitoring
Planning Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
It takes careful planning to make a successful strategy. Research is key.
Selecting and Identifying Influencers
This depends on your budget and the scope of your campaign. Influencers come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, and have varying levels of impact. You can find them in agencies and webpages online.
Content Collaboration and Campaigning
Creating great content is what makes up a great marketing campaign. Your content should compel your target audience, authentic to the influencer’s voice, and stands with your brand’s values and objectives.
Create a content strategy that extends its usefulness. Use content from your influencer in your testimonials. Feature celebrity influencers in your print ads. You can even share your content in your newsletter. Don’t just stop with the content that influencers have created, optimize it to get more results.
To check if your influencer marketing strategy worked, monitor your analytics. There are different metrics and methods for measurement to define your success. Collect more data so you can optimize your marketing efforts. Based on these data, you can rank your influencers, conclude which content resonates best with your audience, and see which social media channel is best for sharing.
There’s only so much we can do with today’s technology, but one thing is for sure. Influencer marketing has come a long way and has the potential to become the future of digital marketing. Taking advantage of how consumers would rather hear from real people than brands, influencer marketing is the best choice because it delivers connections and authenticity that the consumers crave.
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