The digital world is expanding by the second. With close to 47 million internet users in the UK alone, being able to reach your target audience is becoming increasingly challenging, especially when you are fighting for attention against hundreds of other brands. On Facebook alone, an average 2,000 posts a day are eligible to appear in a users news feed. How do you cut through this noise and reach the right people? An increasingly popular tactic is the use of influencers.
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular with brands looking to create high value conversations with their target audience. Lets take a closer look at this popular marketing trend.
What is an Influencer?
The concept of using influencers is not a new one. Brands have long used celebrities to endorse and advertise their brands, think Kevin Bacon and EE. Whilst celebrities still hold a lot of value to brands, a new type of influencer is emerging across the social media space. No longer do you need to be famous to gain a following.
As the digital world evolves, its users are now looking for more than celebrity advertising, they want knowledge. Influencers can now be anyone who knows their area, be that fashion, film, engineering, food or even pharmaceuticals. People want to know what the experts think. Social media influencers have developed a strong following based on sharing great content based on their expert knowledge.
What types of Influencer are there?
There are broadly two categories of influencer:
- Celebrity Influencers – these influencers will generally have over 1 million followers and will normally be well know outside their areas of expertise.
- Micro Influencers – these influencers will usually have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers and will be well know within their field.
The type of influencer you should target often depends on the type of company you are, including your size and budget. Very large well known brands will generally go for an A list celebrity who is well known to most of the population. SMEs, however, will more likely use a micro influencer who is well thought of in their field. Take a small fashion brand, for example, they will not have the resource nor budget to work with the likes of Kate Moss, however they could work with a fashion blogger who has 50,000 followers to get their brand in front of the right people.
How do I know which Influencer is right for my brand?
Research! You need to make sure you are working with the right influencer, one who’s followers have the same attributes as your target audience. There are 8 keys steps in creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy:
- Set Objectives – before you even think about which influencer is right for you, you need to know what you want to achieve.
- Know your target audience – research your audience, where do they spend their time on line, what content do they consume, who do they respect?
- Identify influencers – look at the popularity and expertise that they are offering, do they match with you brand.
- Engage – if you are approaching a good influencer an email is not going to get you far, they probably receive hundreds of communications and you will get lost in the crowd. Instead, engage with them and their content, show that you can offer them value.
- Understand – use your engagement with your target influencer to build an understanding of them. What are their needs and interests? What are they saying? How are they saying it? How do they feel about your brand? Start a dialogue with them, send them product samples, involve them in what your brand is up to, ask them for ideas. You need to have a two way relationship based on trust and respect.
- Rewards – be careful at this stage, ensure you know your influencer and why they want to work with your brand. Some influencers will be offended by the mention of direct financial rewards, others will expect it. It is important to understand their expectations and ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial.
- Content Co-Creation – don’t expect them to do all the hard work. You need to work alongside your influencer. Develop a content plan and strategy with them, they will be probably be very specific on the type of content they are willing to share and what, if any, calls to action they are will to use.
- Measurement – as with any part of your marketing strategy you need to know if your influencer marketing is a success. Determine what your objectives are and how you will know if you have achieved them and monitor them regularly.
Do I need to work with Influencers?
This is very much up to you. As with many forms of digital marketing it is not a one size fits all. Much will depend on who you are targeting and how. However, it is worth bearing in mind that brands that have invested in influencer marketing have reported great results including double the sales of paid advertising and a 37% higher retention rate.
If you would like to know more about influencer marketing and how we can help get in touch with us now.