Using Social Influencers and thought leaders to promote your brand is not new (think about Justin Timberlake singing McDonald’s famous slogan), but with the rise of Social Media and this idea of instant gratification, it has become a valuable addition to a brand strategy.
So, the questions is, is a Social Influencer something you could use in your brand? Well, the obvious benefit of Social Influencer marketing is earning exposure through the influencer’s network. Having an influencer market your product is an enjoyable content marketing experience which your audience will like consuming, sometimes without their knowledge. Also, having an influencer builds credibility for your product/ service. Influencer marketing can show your product in action. This is also a great idea for products which are new to the market and have some level of user knowledge behind them.
If you believe an influencer could be for you. We have put together some key points to consider before you take that next step in your brand marketing.
In the not too distant past, a lot of influencers were not being transparent about their paid partnerships which were a big no-no. To avoid this, make sure your influencer is disclosing any piece of paid content that they are doing for you. Avoiding any legal troubles can be as simple as putting #ad or #sponsored at the end of their post. Instagram has responded to this trend by having an option for influencers to state explicitly above their post that this product/ service they are promoting is in collaboration with your business.
Meet your Audience where they are
I’m sure I say this time and time again with any form of marketing strategy your business chooses to pursue. Meet your audience where they are spending their time, not where you think they are spending their time. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Instagram may be where you see the majority of the Social Influencers using the #ad sponsorship. While Instagram is the top influencer platform of 2018 and is likely to be for 2019, think about your brand persona and where they would most likely be spending their time. Is it YouTube? Pinterest? Take the time to think like your customer and meet them on the social platform where they are spending the most of their time. Because Influencers are getting a lot of sponsorships to put their posts on Instagram, it is likely to drive up the price. You may save yourself some money by researching what platform your brand persona is likely to use.
Find the Right Influencer
Use Influencer Marketing Tools to find your right fit. Finding an appropriate influencer is perhaps the biggest challenge in determining whether your strategy will spread its wings and fly, or flop. Heres a simplified example of what the process could look like if you do it the traditional way:
- Browse through Social Media platform looking for a person who might be a good fit
- Flick through a direct message or find their email and hope they see it
- Go back and forth negotiating the terms of their partnership
- After you have come to a happy medium you can send through the payment and products/ service that they can use.
- Wait for execution
- Come up with some way to track the partnership
While this process can still work, there are far more marketing tools out there designed to facilitate this relationship and find the perfect fit for your brand. Take some time to look through these Influencers tools. This will not only save you time, ensure you find a better fit for your brand but it can also help you measure the return on investment from this sponsorship.
Measure the Brand Strategies Performance
Any Marketing activity that you are doing, paid or not, should be measured! I cannot stress this enough. So many businesses just blindly put their feelers out and throw cash into the darkness but never know if it was worth their resources. That needs to end here. Everything that your business does in terms of Marketing needs to be measured in some way. Many tools offer analytics, so take advantage of those and treat them as your best friend.
A good way to see if you’re influencer is increasing your sales is to give your influencer a unique promo code. That way, each time a customer uses the promo code you can directly attribute that revenue to the influencer.
Use the rules of Content Marketing
When designing your post with your influencer in mind, try to create useful content, not ads. Let’s move away from your influenced just holding your product and saying they loooooove it so much and use it every day. Instead, let’s be more creative and try to catch the attention of who you are really out there marketing towards. In 2018, your posts should look less like generic ads and more like content marketing which is aimed at adding genuine value to your consumer’s lives. Read our blog on creating content marketing for more ideas. Great marketing doesn’t make your audience feel like you are trying to sell a product. Great marketing is natural, it’s engaging and its thought invoking. Brands can tend to lose sight of this when they are working with influencers, believing that their thought leader can carry the product and make the sales pitch more forgiving. Do not be that brand. So take the time to think about the message you want to convey and make the suggestion to your influencer.
Is your Brand actually the Trend Influencer?
Ok, let’s turn your thinking on its head here and consider that maybe your brand could become an influencer. Now, this is a way to shift the phenomenon in your favor. And while this certainly doesn’t work for every brand, it definitely has seen a lot of brands rocket very quickly to the top. Let’s think back to Marketing 101, where a product is being introduced into the marketplace, not as a new product but a product with a different approach to its marketing strategy. This products/ services take the angle of a price premium, experience brand. To become a brand that is both the trend and that is the social influencer itself needs, your branding needs to be bulletproof. Often the Trend Influencer focuses on one product and one service instead of a range of products as it is easier for the consumer to recognise.
Let’s look at some famous brands that have seen this hype. Think of the Kardashian Waist Trainer craze which happened recently. Corsets are certainly not new, but the product was marketed in such a way that it was coming to market with a different approach. The corset was traditionally used to give the wearer and tiny waist which was the style when they were predominantly worn. But these Waist Trainers were marketed as a product which is used during a workout to achieve an amazing hourglass figure such as the Kardashian women. This is a fantastic example of the Social Influencer being the trend itself. The product was not unique but the approach was. To name a few more, At home Teeth Whitening Kits, Hair Masks which double the length of your locks, Skin Hair and Nail gummy bears.
These are all brands which have influenced a trend and have found stardom by attracting influencers to them. These Influencer Brands have played on basic human psychology and the fear of missing out. Influencers want to be associated with this brand because it will boost their status and following. To start here you will need a new to market product and a few influencers to start with and the most impenetrable branding.