A Guide to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a strategy that identifies people who have a strong influence on a brand's industry or target audience, but where can a business start with Influencers?
A decade ago, the influencer marketing arena was limited only to celebrities and a few dedicated bloggers. Now, it seems like we’ve seen influencers rise, saturate the market and even get caught up in fraud.
If you’ve started research on influencer marketing before, you may have found conflicting information, with recommendations that range from you should absolutely be using influencers or that they’re not necessary for growth.
Consumers will continue to follow influencers as sources of information and inspiration as long as they feel trust is part of the value proposition. We believe that trusted influence—the thing that inspires taking action—is built on real relationships, and it’s these trusted relationships that influencers of all sizes and specialities should be judged by. Influencers are only as effective and compelling as the trust they receive from the consumers who support them.
How to Get Started with Influencer Marketing
Before your business can consider a strategy for influencer marketing, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have you Considered your Brand Reputation?
Before you seek out influencers, you should first consider your brand. Many industries have influencers that are easier to identify than others.
2. Who are the Relevant Influencers in your Industry?
Investigate an influencer’s previous posts to determine that they’ll be a good reflection of your brand’s mission and vision. While you can afford to work with influencers that don’t have large followings, you may never recover from a social media faux pas.
3. Have you Looked Beyond the Celebrity market?
While a social media celebrity might be the ideal influencer on paper, look beyond the A-list. If your influencers are reaching the target market for your brand, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
4. Are you Comfortable in Letting an Influencer have Full Control of your Product or Service?
Your chosen influencers resonate with their audience for a reason. Once you’ve determined that your chosen advocate matches your brand standards and speaks to your brand’s mission, let that influencer fly free.
5. Are you Able to Track and Measure the Success of any Influencer Campaigns?
The only way to know if your campaign is working is to track its success. Google Analytics and other automated software show you exactly where your traffic is coming from.
The Different Types of Influencers
Influencers are people (and sometimes animals) who can have a positive effect on the promotion and endorsement of your product or service. Now you have decided that the Influencer route is right for your brand of business, it is time to identify the right one for you.
"My Influence is huge, but my costs and management are tough to keep under control"
"My opinion, in my own opinion, is worth more than gold in my sector space"
"I connect the dots and create the creative links between product and people"
"My name is my equity and my game is my branded product"
"I form and communicate credible insights and analysis"
"My beliefs make me stand head and shoulders above the rest and move mountains"
"I have got the t-shirt and wrote the perfect textbook on my subject matter"
"I am respected authority with a higher hidden agenda"
"I stir the pot and, most of the time, create healthy debate to get a subject topic moving"
"I am the new media news industry and have a huge voice in social channels"
The Next Steps
Now you have decided to go ahead with an influencer marketing strategy, it is time to make your move. Start by visiting leading channels like The Influencer Marketing Hub and outline your end goals of what you hope to achieve. Then it is all about research.
By using tools like Google Trends, you can find the biggest influencers in your industry. Once you have one or two in mind, you simply need to contact them. One of the most effective ways to get in touch with influencers is to either ring their agent, publicist or manager or to email them directly - information that most influencers publically publish as they self promote their own services.
Remember, any influencer strategy may take time to really work. However, hit jackpot and your brand will grow.