November 28, 2018

Influencer Marketing: An Intro

“True influence drives action, not just awareness.” – Jay Baer, digital marketing specialist, author.

At some point or another, you’ve probably been convinced to purchase a product based on a rave review by someone you respected. In general, that’s the gist of influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing leverages individuals who have influence over potential customers, and designs marketing efforts around these influencers. On social media in particular, this strategy often takes the form of influencer marketing ‘campaigns’.

Today, influencers often make up the face of brands’ advertisements. But influencer marketing is not just about a pretty face. Their endorsed opinions about products are shared across social media platforms, catalyzing conversation about the brands online.

So, let’s get to the point. Does your brand need an influencer marketing campaign?

Not every brand necessarily does. B2B companies are especially tricky when it comes to assessing their need for influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing looks different for all industries. It can take skill to negotiate rates with an influencer, creativity to project manage their (two-sided) campaign, and is an entirely different beast to tackle compared to many typical digital marketing campaigns. You should also ensure that your brand is established on social media before bringing any influencers into your strategy. Having an established online presence will increase the likelihood of influencers wanting to work with you, and ensure the effectiveness of an influencer campaign.

Industries that benefit from, and utilize influencer marketing the most effectively include beauty, wellness, health, and fashion. These industries reap the benefits of influencers best, in general, due to their target markets; the most easily influenced demographics on social media by the account personalities they follow. For example, makeup enthusiasts are likely to trust the makeup brands that their favourite bloggers use in their instructional videos.

How do you start working with influencers for your brand?

First, identify your target market, and which influencers best influence their impulse buying.

Next, test out the effectiveness of influencer marketing for your brand.

The first phase of influencer marketing comprises of simply sending cold, hard samples of your products, or services. This is also the cheapest form of influencer marketing. The catch? Your influencers may not even review or acknowledge your brand upon receiving your products. However, this is a good way to test your influencer market and assess who your brand could work with.

Next, there are paid takeovers, sponsorships, or trade agreements. This allows you more control over the messaging of your brand, but is also more costly. At this stage, some creativity helps, and a two-way dialogue between you and your influencer.

Finally, you may end up wanting to stick with just one influencer, or a set few. These are the people who truly represent your brand values and know what you’re all about. At this stage, you’re stepping into brand ambassador territory. This means longer-term relationships that look more like partnerships–with stiffer contracts.

The results of influencer marketing

You can expect to start seeing results 3-6 months after consistently working with influencers in your social media marketing campaigns. Ask your customers and clients–how did they hear about you? Track your results, and if they’re working…keep it up!

Remember: Influencers’ rates are dependent on followers. The bigger the following, the more expensive the influencer. Often times, the negotiation is the toughest part of influencer marketing. You can either hire an agency, delve into it yourself, or get the help of an app–like the Influencer Marketing Hub app.