When you see a tweet or post of a brand or a product, you regard it as random. See another post about this brand or product on your favourite celebrity or social media person’s page and you give it a second look. However, when you keep seeing your favourites promoting the brand or product, you become intrigued and consider purchasing from them. This basically explains what influencer marketing is all about.
Everywhere you look, either using social media or traditional marketing, it’s about an influencer promoting shoes, bags, makeup, food, movies and other brands.
Who Is an Influencer?
An influencer is considered an expert in an industry and potentially has an effect or sway over a large number of individuals or followers in this industry. They have control or influence over your target audience. They are known as authorities in an industry, country or subject.
Influencers can be categorised into celebrities, thought leaders and experts, bloggers, content creators, and micro-influencers or social media influencers. They are considered to be assets that brands collaborate with to achieve marketing goals and reach their target audience.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is an alliance between a brand and the influencers. In influencer marketing, brands employ the influential capabilities of the influencer to promote their products and services. When looking at the term influencer marketing, celebrity endorsement can be seen as the first form of influencer marketing. In 1983, Pepsi approached Michael Jackson with an endorsement deal of $5million, one of the biggest deals. This endorsement deal led to an increase in sales of $7.7billion for Pepsi and a drop in Cocacola’s market shares, and till date is still one of the most successful celebrity endorsement deals.
Why Do You Need Influencer Marketing?
The majority of the target audience are tired of seeing ads everywhere they go; they have ad blockers on their devices, change the channel when a commercial comes on, skip an ad on streaming platforms and pay premium subscriptions so that they do not get interrupted by adverts. However, these target audiences would prefer to get advice from someone they like on what to shop, where to eat, and brands to associate with. Now, this is where influencer marketing comes in; due to the rise in technology and digital platforms, influencers utilise social media platforms to grow fans and followers’ base. Influencer marketing gives a brand access to most of its target audience that can not be accessed via traditional marketing channels.
Here are some benefits of influencer marketing;
It builds trust in the brand: When the target audience can get a positive testimonial from someone they regard as a high standard, they are always almost converted to customers.
It grows brand awareness: Influencer marketing would focus on the brand’s story, vision, products and services, thus improving online positioning and outreach.
It expands content strategy: Contents made by the influencers for the brand can be reposted on the brand’s social media pages. This can further lead to user-generated content. For instance, an influencer can encourage a brand’s audience to hop on a brand centred challenge to promote the brand.
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Like any other marketing strategy, influencer marketing would require planning and making specific and strategic decisions.
Define your goal: How do you know you need influencer marketing or any other marketing strategy without knowing your goals and objectives? Understanding your goals and objectives would help the brand reach the target audience. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) Goals also help report, track and measure the results of any campaign.
Know your Target Audience: Do they want to be influenced? Are they easily influenced? What is their personality like? Understanding your audience means you know if you are trying to reach the current audience or a new audience. It is easier to craft a message to reach your target audience when you know them. Knowing your target audience helps with your tone of voice, the influencer to engage, and delivering your message.
Conduct an Influencer Research: Find out the influencers that can represent your brand; Influencers can not be randomly chosen based on popularity and numbers of followers but based on trustworthiness, engagement, personality. The influencer’s personality has to be in tune with the personality of the brand. A fast-food brand should not be associated with a fitness influencer, except there is a fitness product to be marketed. If there are no connections between the influencer and the brand, the message would be lost in transmission. They should also be engaging and create content that represents the brand.
Set a budget: Do you know how much the influencer wants to be paid for services rendered? An influencer with a large follower base would most likely be higher than an influencer with a lesser follower base. Also factor in planning, execution, reviews and reverts when planning a budget.
Influencers are going to be a part of the digital world, but the way the world of influencer marketing looks and operates has changed dramatically in a short time, and it may look and run very differently in years to come than it does today. While working with influencers has certain special attributes and qualities, the steps of creating an influencer marketing campaign are similar to that of other marketing campaigns: research, create a budget, determine goals, find your influencers, then review and revise.
You can also seek the services of marketing agencies like Anakle Limited, to create an influencer marketing strategy that would yield results for your business.