At first thought, influencer marketing may remind you of celebrities compensated for an online ad campaign. But gone are the days of scripts and strict creative briefs — people can feel the inauthenticity. The goal of influencer marketing is not only to sell your products or services, but it can also be about increasing your exposure, growing brand awareness, and adding credibility. While these are all things that may not have immediate monetary value, they are beneficial in a long-term social media strategy.
Let’s start with the basics. According to Sprout Social, “At a fundamental level, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.”
When you think of employing influencers in your marketing strategy, you’ll probably ask yourself two questions: “how much will this cost me?” and “how much will this make me?” Influencers are businesses too, and the relationship should be between creator and brand. You should do your research into how to pay them fairly and get your money’s worth. It’s important to note that these creators should, in fact, create content. In your research, consider the influencer’s current work and see if you would be happy using their creative concepts to promote your product. If not, you might end up paying for content you either don’t approve of or that the audience won’t resonate with.
At the heart of it, social media is about connections. What makes influencer marketing so successful is that people can connect with a brand through the influencer. While curating an influencer list for a specific campaign has its perks, there’s also a benefit to having an “always on” influencer program — essentially meaning you’re focused on a lasting partnership where the influencer naturally promotes your products as they use them. People are looking for social media posts to be real and engaging content, not disguised advertisements, and people are getting pretty good at recognizing fake support. Influencers can put the human in your product, turning an advertisement into a referral from a “friend.”
An often overlooked aspect of working with influencers is being part of their community. Macro or celebrity influencers’ large followings can give you a lot of awareness, but their audiences are typically wide-spread. Suppose you have a product that’s far-reaching or maybe in a competitive landscape. In that case, awareness might be incredibly successful for you, as you’d want as many people as possible to see your product. On the other hand, micro and non-celebrity influencers typically have a smaller following, but they usually can cost you less money. In addition, these influencers usually have branded themselves within a specific niche. If your product relates to that niche, you can count on a good portion of their audience to be your prospective customers, meaning their partnership might give you fewer potential customers, but, those customers will more than likely be more qualified leads. With that in mind, you can justify employing an influencer by seeing how their audience lines up with your ideal client. No matter how many followers they have, if their audience doesn’t align with yours, you won’t have a great partnership.
The only constant in influencer marketing is change. Just as each business is unique, every influencer has their own style and can bring their own spin. At Cosmitto, we’ll take a deep dive into your business’ goals and your current strategy to give our best recommendations for your business. It’s not just about creating these partnerships but managing them, which takes time and experience. To hear about our personal recommendations, give us a call.