If you thought influencer marketing was huge in 2018; you thought wrong. This 2019, influencer marketing is about to explode. If you’re a brand or company, you should already be making good use out of influencer marketing, as it is the best marketing strategy to use in this generation.
What is an influencer marketing? It is when companies partner with digital influencers to reach a broader, more relevant audience, mainly on influencer’s social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, as well as on their websites and blogs.
The best example to describe influencer marketing is when for instance, celebrity influencer, Kylie Jenner recently partnered up with an online retailer called Fashion Nova. In this partnership, she posted a photo of herself wearing Fashion Nova jeans. In the caption she states how she is obsessed with them while tagging the brand’s Instagram page and website page. With this post, she received over 2 million likes and over 500,000 comments.
Influencers with bigger audiences, such as Kylie Jenner who has a reach of over 82 million followers, explains why particular companies want to work with these influencers as they have a better chance of gaining traffic and possibly ROI to their site.
Though, it’s not only big A-list celebrities, influencers also include bloggers, vloggers and writers. It just all comes down to the brands’ niche and goals. So what should you know about influencer marketing? Today, we will be looking at seven important facts that you should know about influencer marketing.
1. Always Research and Select the Right Individuals
Authenticity is key. As a company, you want to take the time to research and select the right individuals for your program. By doing this, it increases your chances to bring in new prospects and customers, in your niche, through word of mouth and eventually increase trust in what it is you’re trying to do.
When you start your influencer program, it’s very common to see some individuals won’t be keen to participate if you can’t offer a monetary reward (money, free service, merchandise, etc.), however, once you’ve built your brand’s influence, you’ll finally see high-level influencers who will be much more likely to work with you.
2. Content, Engagement, Presence and Demographics
Because most companies have no idea what to look for in an influencer, it can remain a challenge. The top most important qualities to look for in an influencer are:
Content: High quality content to be exact. You want to focus your efforts on individuals who produce authentic content that resonates with audiences, prompts discussion, and is shared across social platforms.
Engagement: It’s essential to really focus on the influencer’s engagement level. The most common form of interaction is comments, questions, re-posts, and shares to social media.
Presence: Research and seek out influencers who maintain an active presence across multiple social channels. I mean after all, you’d want your influencers to be able to post and reach to a wider audience.
Audience Demographics: Figure out the influencer’s audience demographics reach. For instance, if you’re targeting moms with newborns, choose bloggers who talk about parenting and maybe pregnancy.
3. Influencers are Brands, Treat Them Like Business Partners
It is necessary to remember that influencer marketing is a business relationship between a brand and the influencer. Influencer marketing benefits both you as a brand and the influencer as well. The brand gets the opportunity of getting the campaign message heard by authentic and an engaged audience while also reaching out to a new group of people. The influencer gains opportunities to generate revenue while producing content that reflects their own passions and experience.
In order to be successful, share program goals with influencers and provide them with the tools they need to know to achieve them. Clearly define content requirements, leaving them room for their own creativity and personalization.
4. Reach is Not the Most Important Metric
From a brand’s view it may seem like the influencer’s reach (the number of people that viewed the content) is the most important metric when evaluating influencer marketing campaigns, however, engagement (an influencer’s ability to move their readers to action) is a much stronger indication of success. Like mentioned above, engagement is something you always want to look for when seeking the right individuals to become influencers in your program. When people are engaged, they are more likely to comment, share and pass on their thoughts about the product to their peers. These actions show that readers have actively connected with the content versus just inactively glancing over it.
5. Sponsored Influencer Content has Become More Credible
When you work with influencers whom you pay, it is essential you ensure they follow FTC rules of disclosure. The influencer is entitled to his or her opinion on a product or service. Proper disclosure combined with an authentic, truthful review will be more persuasive to the audience reach. Again, do your research to find the right influencers that match your niche and who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer opposed to going with individuals who only seek to get paid. Consumers who follow influencers can easily see right through any false and dishonest posts.
6. Authentic Content Creates Trust
Consumers follow influencers for their authenticity and because they value the content that they create. When posting, influencers should always remain true to themselves when working on sponsored content.
7. Social Media Over Advertising
Social media has changed the way brands interact with consumers by developing an environment where consumers have immediate access to information. Social media allows consumers to easily make purchase decisions about brands and products just by what they discover. It allows brands and the consumers to simply stay connected by actively participating in online dialogue.
Nowadays, people are more interested in being engaged and conversing about a topic. Advertising isn’t as powerful as what social media can do. Working with influencers, brands are able to utilize social media interactions.
Overall, influencer marketing is the next best thing in 2019. It is a very effective way to build your brand’s credibility while building trust with your potential customers as well as mutually beneficial relationships with influencers.
About the Author
Usman Raza is the co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts and marketing strategist working with various brands online, and the content marketing manager of PSD to WordPress and SeedX. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.