Marketing is all about trends and is in constant change due to the technology advances. In order to capture the consumer’s attention, companies need to be on their consumers’ channels. In the last year or so “Influencer Marketing” has become one the most important marketing strategy for every brand.
But what is the Influencer Marketing?
According to John Hall in a Forbes article, Influencer Marketing is a “non-promotional approach to marketing in which brands focus their efforts on opinion leaders, as opposed to direct target market touch points”. Which means that a person whose opinion is important to your audience is promoting your brand.
It is easy for us to listen or try something, if someone we trust is recommending it to us. So in order to gain customer trust, brands are aligning opinion leaders or artists to promote their brands; one of the advantages is that this kind of content cannot be blocked since it is not direct advertising.
Types of Influencers:
Earned influencer and paid influencer
The earned influencers are the natural advocates of your brand, for example Apple has millions of advocates who buy their products and are happy about that. These people promote apple products indirectly by talking to their friends about them. The paid influencer is someone who is compensated by the company to promote the brand across their social channels. For example, Pepsi and Adidas pays athletes and sport enthusiasts to promote their brands.
How can you build a good Influencer marketing strategy?
First, you have to identify your natural advocates. You can start following people who promote your brand or talk about your brand just because they like it. Once you have identify them you can start working with them; most importantly you can offer them more influence instead of money, because what they like as much as money is gaining followers.
Second, you have to build trust with your influencers and your audience; trust is the most important factor in content marketing and PR nowadays. An influencer who is trusted by your audience will help you to build credibility around your brand. But the influencer has to trust you too, so you have to start building strong and trusting relationships with your advocates.
Focus on the digital influencers – according to blooomberg, “Americans now spend more time on social media apps than TV or radio”; so a good strategy for your brand is to look for digital influencers, which are: Youtubers, Snapchatters, Instagrammers and bloggers.
Another important factor about influencer marketing, is that recent surveys have shown that micro influencers are more effective, because they give 20 times more recommendations than the average consumer – Micro influencer is any Instagrammer, YouTuber, Snapchatter or blogger with less than 100,000 followers – The surveys also shown a correlation between the number of followers and engagement rates; for example, Instagram influencers with less than 1000 followers had an engagement rate of 8% of their followers, in comparison to influencers with 1 million followers with an engagement rate of 1.7% of their audience. Therefore, instead of looking for famous people or massive influencers to promote your brand you can start with micro influencers who are important to your audience.
By working with digital influencers, brands are now targeting millions of engaged and elusive millennial users who like, share, see and follow the content. Big brands are now partnering with Snapchat or Instagram influencers who perform “takeovers” for the brand. For example, Warner Bothers have some of their movie artists to take over their Instagram for a day before a big premiere or a big “Season finale” of one of their shows, in order to create expectation and make their audience want to see the show or movie. “Ellen show” has some of her guests performing Snapchat takeovers one day before they would appear on her show, so people watch it.
Now that you know a little more of the Marketing Influencer idea, you can begin your strategy in order to gain more visibility and trust for your brand. The idea is easy, but to be successful you have to create a good strategy. Don’t spend money from the beginning looking for paid influencers, begin by building your own influence and audience and value your natural advocates, once you have earned media and know your audience preferences and who they follow or trust, you can start thinking on spending money on paid influencers.