Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to reach out and interact with your target demographic. The difficult part can be finding the ones that will work best for you – especially if you’re not that active in digital marketing yet.
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The Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing
It’s not that influencer marketing is hard, but it’s hard to do it right. The good news is that most of the time the influencer themselves will be offering advice for the best way go about achieving your goals within their plat form. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Embrace it and the results will follow. You’re creating a partnership, so you should use it to your advantage. Ask them what they think will work well. Tap into their expertise.
In world where advertising is almost ubiquitous within every type of media we use, influencer marketing can be welcome way to stand out and actually get the attention you’re looking for. Content creation really allows people to spend time with your brand without being annoyed by commercials.
If you’re ready to take the jump and give it a try, here’s what you need to know.
What is an Influencer ?
This term is really just a synonym for “popular”. Anyone that’s popular or has a following on the internet is considered an influencer. This could be a blogger, photographer, YouTuber, or just someone active on Twitter.
Don’t get too hung up in the definition. Popular can mean Brad Pitt, or the coolest jock in your high school. It’s really relative and subjective at the same time. Influencer marketing is just leveraging these individuals to grow your engagement or brand awareness.
They also don’t need to have a massive following to be effective. An influencer can have just a few thousand followers to be of value. This is especially true if it’s in a really specialized niche. For example, a few thousand followers in the world of Radio Controlled Sailboat fans can be huge to an RC dealer. Only you can determine what type of influencer will work best for you.
Does it Really Work?
If you’re new to influencer marketing, you may not see the benefit. Luckily for you, there have been plenty of people before you that took the leap and measured the results. The ROI on influencer marketing is actually quite shocking.
After 12 months, most influencer marketing has an ROI that is 11 times greater than banner advertising. Of course this isn’t a hard and fast rule, it really depends on the influencer you’re using. Obviously if you sell RC sailboats and you use a foodie influencer, the results will be poor.
So why does Influencer marketing work so well?
The audience generally follows the influencer because they like them and what they offer for content. When you’re working with an influencer, and they like what you’re selling, the audience will have immediate trust in your brand if recommended by the influencer. After all, their beloved influencer wouldn’t steer them wrong.
Word of Mouth Advertising
You know how powerful this form of advertising is. Imagine the word of mouth advertising is coming from someone with a WHOLE LOT of friends. That’s what makes it powerful.
Content isn’t a Commercial
There’s a big difference between what the influencer’s audience perceives as a commercial and what they perceive as content. You could just run a commercial or banner ad on the channel, but by working with them, you’re creating content. This is much more digestible to the audience.
Finding the Right Influencer
As mentioned above, you need to find the right influencer to get maximum ROI. Finding the right individual isn’t always the easiest. There are many tools you can use, but we’re going to outline a simpler approach here.
First you need to identify whether your influencer needs to be in a niche or not. This depends on your product or service. For example, Coke could use any popular influencer, except maybe those in the health food field. The Coke product can beconsumed by almost any person.
Now Gatorade on the other hand is targeted more towards athletes and those interested in physical performance. Doing influencer marketing with those in the niche of sport or physical activity would likely lead to a higher ROI.
One of the best ways to find the influencer you need is to be active in the community. Join Facebook groups, add people on Twitter, and do web searches to find those writing about the topics in your niche. You’ll be able to find those with the largest followings and the ones most people look to for advice.
You’ll also want to stay abreast of the trends that are happening. It will allow you to take advantage of influencers that are on their way up. It’ll keep you from paying a premium price. This is important because content usually lives forever. By the time your influencer quadruples in fame, your content is already there and doing its work at a fraction of the cost.
When working with influencers, it’s best to create a partnership instead of treating it as an employee-employer relationship. You may be paying them, but this process works the best when influencers are just as invested in the brand. This only happens when the brand is invested in the influencer.
The influencer has goals too. It can be to grow the channel or get more followers, and if you can help with that, it’ll be a much stronger partnership. Usually when an arrangement benefits both parties, you’ll get the best results.
The content is usually much better too. If it’s just a paid endorsement, they’ll do their best, but when they’re just as invested, it’ll be something else entirely. Ultimately, it’s about creating content for your website and social media pages that will engage your readers.
Let Them Be Creative
There’s a tendency to try and take over creative control when you’re footing the bill. However, the reason you’re using this person is because they’re successful at what they do. You should let them do it.
The best type of content is when the creator is allowed to use your sponsorship to create around your product. Placing many restrictions, or requesting that your product is too much at the forefront, can really take away from the end result.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a commercial. It’s meant to be consumable by the influencers audience. If you want to take advantage of the opportunity of working with an influencer, you’ll want to let them do what they do best. It will be worth it in the end. 🙂