Scroll through any social media channel, go online, or simply look around you at the enormous amount of hidden but prevalent influencers that effect our everyday lives. It’s no secret that influencer marketing has emerged as a channel for creating brand awareness and driving sales. With influencer marketing, brands are able to effectively advertise content in a much more subtle manner. Sounds great, right? Let’s learn about what all of this really entails.
First thing you’ll need take note of is that developing relationships will become the centerpiece of your outreach. Although influencers can come from anywhere, it is imperative to remember that an influencer relations is an approach, not a channel. An influencer can be a member of the media, an analyst, or a social media star that has built a following in an area that you are focused. Analysts and social media stars are pay-for-play. They are interested in developing long term relationships where you buy their ongoing services or buy a traditional sponsorship.
It’s Not Always About the Number of Followers
As much as we might think, it is not just all about how many followers one has but rather about diving deep into who actually makes up the audience. Believe it or not, about 15% of all Twitter accounts are actually robots and not real people. In addition, all followers are not equal in regards to influence. Determining who your influencers are takes time and effort. It requires knowledge of the marketspace, knowledge of the social media channel, as well as listening, and analysis.
Track Engagement Instead of Reach
People follow people and firms for a variety of reasons. It may be part of a strategy to increase their followers, they may have liked a joke someone posted, or something may have caught their attention. Having a huge number of followers does not mean that someone has influence - the capacity to have an effect behavior of someone or something. A better metric is engagement. Engagement rates indicate interest and action. Engagement such as likes, shares, views and comments is a much more effective way to measure influencer reach, as it is more authentic than just focusing on number of followers.
Influencers who actually have less followers, may end up having a more engaged follower base resulting in a higher reach for your brand. Analyzing an influencer’s engagement rate can also help you decide whether the influencer will deliver you a strong return on investment, as it indicates how responsive their audience is to the influencer's content.
Content That Engages
Create useful and interesting content, not ads. Often people believe that influencer marketing has to “look a certain way.” As the environment becomes more and more creative, it’s time to think about how your brand can stand out even on a small budget. Great content entertains, educates or invokes some level of emotion from your audience. Your goal should be to get your influencers to experience the product first hand and in return create user-generated content on social media that is authentic and honest.
If You Wanna Play, You Gotta Pay
Last but not least, get ready to pay if you want to play. Influencers base their pricing on their following, engagement and demand. If they’re getting a ton of offers to promote brands, it will likely drive up their price because of the perceived value. This being said, influencer marketing can be expensive. If you have a larger pool of influencers to work with, that means a lower barrier to entry for brands. Thus, you might not be able to afford the top 1% of influencers, but you’ll be able to work with micro-influencers who might have less than 10,000 followers. Remember, the value of influencers is not their follower count but rather their ability to capture the attention of their audience, no matter what size.
Influencer marketing has been been proven to work. However, like anything in life there are no guarantees. Simply paying someone with 50,000 followers to share your post won’t automatically bring in waves of sales or an abundance of brand awareness. That being said however, stay on top of all the above trends and tips to get the most from how you can make influencer outreach truly effective in 2018.