Influencer Marketing Is Getting ALL The Hype!
Over the years, the success of certain social media platforms has created unprecedented new ways to reach audiences. The rise of the Influencer – Youtube personalities, bloggers, and Instagram fashionistas whose audiences can be comprised of thousands, if not millions, of viewers – signals a new era where social media marketing and content marketing meet.
Influencers are people who have spent time building a platform by producing quality social media content and cultivating a relationship with their audience. While many may have started their accounts out of personal interest or for fun, today “Influencer” is a job description that can reap benefits for those with engaged viewership.
Is it worth the hype?
Influencer marketing is unique because it hinges on the special relationship between a company, an influencer, and the influencer’s audience. Businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. Even large scale department stores and chains utilize fashion bloggers, both on Instagram and Youtube, to promote new apparel lines. Influencer marketing has been the fastest growing channel for the last 4 years, out performing organic search by 5% and paid search by over 12%.
Over the last ten years, many companies have begun to capitalize on the potential within influencer marketing to promote and sell their products. By using various incentives such as; ambassador programs, sponsored posts, or offering partnerships that share a portion of sales promoted through an Influencer’s channel.
According to Influencer MarketingHub, “The aim of Influencer Marketing is to identify the influencers in your niche and make them work for you by promoting your brand. A firm’s emphasis needs to be on reaching to the people from whom they can get maximum conversions rather than targeting the market as a whole.”
Do the Research
Companies have developed ways to utilize influencer marketing to expand awareness about their brand. However, before any partnership or campaign, it is crucial to hone the skills of effective influencer marketing: diligent research.
It’s necessary to uncover the best platform and the right influencer for your product. There are two reasons for this:
First, research for influencer marketing is about learning who the players are in your market, where they are connecting and how to catch their attention. This begins on the platform. Research the most popular platform for your industry. For example, visual sectors (fashion, beauty, entertainment) thrive on visual platforms such as Instagram or Youtube.
It’s all about Relationships
Think about the size of your campaign – is it your goal to partner with someone who has a massive following? Alternatively, a micro-influencer with less than 2000 followers? What are the objectives you hope to achieve from the campaign? Whatever you decide to focus on will determine your reach as well as your budget.
Second, recognize that influencer marketing is relationship-based. Companies must form (and maintain) relationships with influencers who then act as the gateway to their audience.
A recent Nielsen study found that 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations above all other forms of advertising. Influencers have that following, trust and influence to guide their audience towards or away from brands.
Just remember: popular influencers may have an inbox full of cleverly worded emails from a variety of companies. Therefore a generalized approach doesn’t work. It is necessary to create a plan to identify, research, and engage with the network you want to target and the influencers you wish to work with.
This initial grunt work of research for influencer marketing may be slow and steady, but it will ultimately reap success for your company not only from an ongoing relationship with the influencer but also with their audience(s).
There are valuable insights to be gleaned from research, so don’t miss out by rushing to send out generic emails and DMs.
The top 20% of brands that utilize influencer marketing receive $20 for every $1 spent on an influencer. This will continue to grow as social media user-bases grow.