Influencer Marketing

The Power of the Influencer

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:

  1. Set Objectives – before you even think about which influencer is right for you, you need to know what you want to achieve.
  2. Know your target audience – research your audience, where do they spend their time on line, what content do they consume, who do they respect?
  3. Identify influencers – look at the popularity and expertise that they are offering, do they match with you brand.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


The Changing Face of Social Media

The Ever Changing Face of Social Media

There are too many social media platforms now to keep track of, we all know the big players but there are a plethora of smaller networks out there too. Each platform works on it’s own algorithm and once you have got to grips with how it works, they change it again. It is fair to say that keeping on top of social media is now a full time job.

So, how can you ensure that you are getting the most out of your social activities? Here are seven steps you can integrate into your social media routine to improve engagement levels with your followers:


The most important thing to do is to plan out your activities. It can often seem tempting to just action social media activities as you go to allow you to be timely. However, this causes a lot of stress around what content to produce and when, especially when you are trying to produce things last minute. Put a content plan in place, even if it only covers the social platforms you will be using and the type of content you will use.

Check out our social channels and you will see a pattern, every Wednesday, for example, we provide a tip for our users. Having a daily theme can really help your stay on top of your social posting and ensure it is regular. You can also have a weekly focus. This week across HIIT’s channels most of the content is focussed on social media, last week was focused around mobile optimisation.

By planning in advance, you can also benefit by tracking and evaluating your activities to influence on your future plans. What posts and topics work and which ones don’t?


How much resource do you have to dedicate to social media? This includes time, personnel and money. It is important that you are able to sustain whatever plan you put in place. Social media requires regular and consistent attention, so start as you mean to carry on. Customers will often check a company out across social media and no page is better than an empty or sporadically populated one.


Whilst in essence posting on social media may seem very simple, there is a requirement for well structured engaging content. A picture of your product may suffice once or twice but social users expect much more than this, they want to get to know you as a brand on a more personal level. Alongside consuming your content, they also want to engage with you and that means dedicating the time to establish 2 way conversations with your  followers. Social media is not just a broadcast platform it is one that requires constant management.

Know Your Buyer

Have you taken the time to establish who your key buyer personas are? What do they want? Where do they go online? If you have you are one step closer to establishing a meaningful relationship with potential customers. By defining your key buyer personas you can target your content, to them, where they are looking and fit to their needs.

Consumers across social media have ever increasing expectations in terms of how brands communicate with them. There is growing expectation of more tailored communications and 1-2-1 focus. Whilst it is impossible to deliver this on a large scale across social, personalising content where possible shows a social awareness that consumers now expect.


This is what social is all about, sharing with your followers. The more you can share with users, the more in-depth becomes their relationship with you. Of course you want to share information about your products and services, but make sure you are also sharing about your company and those who make it. Behind the scenes snippets allow your followers to get to know your employees and give your brand a much more personal feel. The old adage people by people still applies in this modern digital age.


We have already touched on this, it is more important than ever to really engage with social media users. Use a relevant mix of content to engage with your audience and aim to build a community around your brand. Respond to user comments and posts on your social pages in a timely manner and start to build conversations. If appropriate to your brand, groups in social media work well to bring fans of your brand together and to entice potential customers into your brand community.


All communications by your company, both online and offline should be aligned. It sounds obvious but if you have more than one person working on your marketing, do they both have the same vision. Decide on your brand personality and tone of voice and ensure this is consistent across all your communication channels. Build a brand identity that is easy to identify wherever a person comes across you.


All of these steps needs to be considered in unison to put together a successful social media plan. If this all looks like a lot or you are concerned about having the necessary resource to manage your social media profiles then we can help. Get in touch with us today or visit our social media marketing page to find out more.


digital giant

Keeping up with the digital giant

As digital media slowly takes over our lives, both socially and in business, so does marketing evolve to meet the changing world around us. Whilst traditional marketing platforms such as radio, TV and print still have their place they are being quickly dwarfed by the digital giant. And things in the digital world are quite different and forever changing. It has changed the way that marketing works and we have to change with it or be left behind.

Gone are the days when companies could simply push a message out to the world through a TV ad and that would be enough. Customers expect much more now. Not least they expect to have control. They know what they are looking for, when they want to look for it and where they will go to find it. It is for this reason that companies need to be digitally savvy. Customers now have access to an online world bursting with information sources. Companies now face the difficult task of being in the right place at the right time. Content marketing and social media have become core to a companies marketing mix, using these platforms to target prospective customers with a defined need. In fact, it is the customer who is proactively self-selecting this content to provide a solution to their own problem.

Further to this, it is not just about putting the content out there and forgetting about it. Customers expect a dialogue, they want to interact with your company. This provides a great opportunity to develop long term relationships between company and customer. However, you should be aware that this new wonderful digital age has taken it one step further, customers are now interacting with other customers as never before. Social media, forums and reviews all open up a whole new way for people to research and connect with a brand. This can be a daunting thought, a whole other potential marketing platform that is completely out of your control. However, the benefits of this new arena are huge if you can manage it right. Happy customers spread good reviews and positive sentiment about your brand.

The traditional marketing platforms that we are all used to allow communication from one company to many customers. This is easy to achieve, however the same message goes to every customer segment and is poorly targeted. It results in a high level of wasted opportunity. Digital media has brought about the option of more one-to-one communications. Emails, landing pages and even adverts can now be customised and personalised to a specific audience and even a specific customer. Messages can be highly targeted and focussed. Amazon is a prime example of personalisation done well. If you have an amazon account, it appears to knows your preferences, your needs and the way you like to shop. More and more customers are expecting the personal touch from brands. Making your customer feel special is no long a luxury it is a requirement.

One of the biggest differences that can be seen with the move towards more digital presence is the need to always be on. It is not enough to have one TV advert or a page in a magazine. Life has picked up pace and customers now expect a 24/7 presence from brands. Continuous communications are now the norm and it is not uncommon to see the same brand on several touch points throughout your day. In a world where we have all become time poor, being there when someone has the time, whenever that time may be, is now vital to success. Companies need to have online profiles and promotions throughout the web, and these need to deliver key messages on a regular basis in order to keep your customer base engaged and potential customers interested.

The digital market place is constantly evolving and it can seem like a challenge to keep up with the latest trend. What is more confusing is that there is no one right formula for a brand, each and every company has a different offer and a different message to get across. The keys is finding the right balance for you and one that you are able to maintain. If that all seems like too much that’s what companies like us are here for so if you need help or just want to know more get in touch with us now!

Are you asking the right questions?

With so many social media channels, constantly evolving their feeds, how do you put together a social media strategy? Your social media channels are the best place to achieve online engagement, above your website and other online touch points. In order to create this engagement you need to focus on the type of content and how you publish it.  This will vary for each platform but there is some common ground held by all the social networks and it is here that you can build your overall content and engagement strategy.

There are 12 questions that you should consider when forming your social media strategy and we will cover them all inn brief below:

Question 1: Who are your target audience?

Possibly the most important question when defining your strategy is who are you trying to speak to. Who are your customers and personal customers that you want to engage? The key here is to build personas relevant to you business and build your strategy around them.

Question 2 : What are the content preferences of your audience?

Once you have defined your personas you should be able to identify their preferences in terms of content and how they consume it. Do they prefer video, infographics, articles, short statuses. With so many options it is wise to utilise them all but with a bias towards the preferences of your key personas. This may well vary between social platforms.

Question 3 : What are your strategic business goals for your social media presence?

Do you want to sell? To engage? To build brand identity? Having a key strategic goal for your social platforms will define how you use them and the content you choose to publish on them. It is important to bear in mind the purpose of the social network you are using. If you are too sales heavy on twitter or facebook you are likely to lose followers very quickly.

Question 4 : Which content types should have priority?

Use of your key personas, content types and an analysis of what competitors are doing you should be able to define which topics and formats should take priority. Your social channels should have a key focus that followers are able to easily identify.

Question 5 : How do you differentiate your social channels from your other communication channels?

Your social channels main job should be to engage with your followers and convert them into customers and eventually brand advocates. It is therefore import to build up a loyal social following. To do this you need to show what additional value your social platforms offer that is not offered elsewhere. Early access to deals or special offers for social followers are some ways to offer value.

Question 6 : How do you integrate your social channels?

Your social channels can produce some really great content. Encouraging your followers to generate their own content can not only help populate your feed but can create great content to share across your website and e-marketing.

Question 7 : What should be the content frequency and editorial calendar?

This may vary depending on the platform you are using. Twitter for example has a very fast moving feed whilst LinkedIn is much slower, therefore several posts a day on Twitter would be fine whereas this would be seen as excessive on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to be regular. This should be defined by what you can maintain. Some content will be very quick to create others will take some time so establish an editorial calendar and plan in advance to ensure you have the content available when you need it.

Question 8: Where should you source content?

As stated in the last question, you need regular engaging content and this can be time consuming. You will need to decide whether this can be created in house or whether you would be better positioned to out source. There can also be a balance struck between creation and curation, and having suitable sources of content is important.

Question 9 : How do you manage publication and interaction?

Who will be in charge of your social networks and building brand engagement? Regular posting across your social networks is important but you also need to be timely in responding to interactions and engaging with followers. Will this be done by an internal resource or by an out of house team?

Question 10: Do you use software for managing the publishing process?

Depending on the number of social channels that you use, regular updating across them all can be very time consuming. Whilst this has the advantage of being able to tailor the content to the platform it can also prove a challenge. The use of tools such as hootsuite of buffer can save significant amounts of time, allowing the construction of just one post that is then automatically added to each of your social profiles.

Question 11: How do you track the business impact of social network activity?

Each of the platforms have built in analytics which are useful in reviewing their effectiveness. By tagging your posts you can have increased insight into each piece of content and how engaged your audience has been. If you are using a tool such a hootsuite, there are further analytics available to show which platform and content were most popular.

Question 12 : How do you optimise your social presence?

The use of analytics is only useful if it is then reviewed and acted upon. You should use the results from the insights to test, adapt and refine your content strategy.


These 12 questions are a really helpful way to optimise your use of social media. Building an effective strategy is time consuming and requires on going attention. If you would like more information on building an effective social media strategy contact us now.