Everything You Need to Know About Influencers
Is influencer marketing right for your company?
Influencer marketing has been on the rise over the past few years as another form of paid advertising. But what exactly are influencers? What can they do for your brand? Can they actually bring results? In this article we will dive into everything that you need to know about influencers to help you learn how to use influencer marketing and decide if it is a good marketing technique for your company.
What is an influencer?
In the broadest sense of the word, an influencer is an individual that has enough recognition to influence others in some way shape or form. Companies pay influencers to promote their products and services on their social media to their followers. Generally, influencers have a lot of followers (think anywhere from a few thousand to a few million) who might hop on the bandwagon and buy a product if the influencer recommends it. There are a variety of levels of influencers, from celebrities that qualify as mega or macro-influencers, to micro influencers who have fewer followers and operate on a more local or niche level.
But influencers are just for makeup and supplements, right?
Not entirely! While influencers started out strong in the world of fashion and beauty, they have by no means stayed there. The majority of influencers promote products and services related to a particular lifestyle. The term ‘lifestyle’ covers more traditional influencer areas such as (yes) makeup brands and clothing companies, but can also include outdoor enthusiasts, home décor specialists, healthy living experts and food bloggers. This means that many more companies can take advantage of influencer marketing!
So why should my company work with an influencer?
Influencers have tons of followers, which means that a ton of eyes will see your product. This will help with brand awareness and help mor people learn about your company and product.
Many companies struggle with being authentic when promoting their products. People no longer trust everything that the company says about their own product, and they don’t always trust famous people that a company hires to promote their product. Influencers (especially micro-influencers) provide an authentic review of a product because they are relatable. It makes a lot more sense that you would buy a new type of coffee after someone who is more like you tells you to compared to if a celebrity told you to go buy the brand. Users know that the influencer is getting paid for promoting the product, but it still feels more like your friend’s cool big sister is recommending a product to you instead of the company itself.
3. Your Paid Advertising is Slow
If your paid advertising isn’t delivering, it might be time to shake things up. You never know what results you might get from working with an influencer, but it wouldn’t hurt to set aside part of your marketing budget to see what happens! If you aren’t seeing results with one form of paid advertising, why not try something new!
4. Traditional Paid Advertising isn’t Available for Your Industry
Depending on what your company sells, you may not be able to take advantage of traditional paid social media marketing. For example, Facebook has rules as to what products can and can’t be advertised such as alcohol and tobacco. However, a liquor company may pay a mixology influencer to promote their brand in order to reach more people who would be interested in purchasing their product.
So how do I get started?
First things first, pick the platform your target audience is most actively engaging on. You don’t want to be paying someone to promote your product on Pinterest if the majority of your audience doesn’t use it! Next, find an influencer that you want to work with. Make sure that their image reflects the type of customer you are trying to reach and that you are comfortable associating your brand with them. You can reach out to famous influencers, find micro influencers in your field, or reach out to current customers to become brand ambassadors. Regardless of who you pick, research them to make sure that they are a good fit. Once you’ve connected with your influencer, lay out what both parties are expecting to get out of the partnership. Some influencers might be fine being paid with free products from your company, while others will require a specific dollar amount per post. It all depends!
We hope that this has been a helpful overview of what influencers are and how to use influencer marketing. We recommend putting in a lot of research before hiring an influencer to make sure that their follower base makes sense for your product and that you know the influencer can promote your brand well. While it can sometimes be hard to measure the impact of influencers (there isn’t as much hard data as you would get from an ad on Facebook), if you connect with the right influencer there can be a huge impact for your company.