What is Influencer Marketing and Can it Work for My Company?

What is Influencer Marketing and Can it Work for My Company.png

Influencer marketing has gotten quite a bit of publicity lately but not everyone really understands what it is. Some people assume that it's only for large brands that can afford to hire famous celebrities. This, however, isn't the case. Even smaller companies with limited budgets can leverage the power of influencers if they use the right approach. Let's explore just what influencer marketing is and how it can help your business. 

What is Influencer Marketing? 

While influencer marketing is a fairly broad term, the basic idea is to partner with a well-known person or celebrity who can help raise the profile of your business or product. This type of marketing often taps into influencers' large social media followings. You might let the influencer run your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube account for a day. You would have to agree on the type of content they'd be sharing and agree on some guidelines. However, most influencers don't want to be given a precise script to read. The idea is for them to express themselves as they normally would, only on your behalf. It's helpful to study some of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns of recent years for inspiration. 

Influencer Marketing is Growing Fast

Influencer marketing is more than a buzzword. Businesses are taking it very seriously. According to a report from Business Insider Intelligence, spending on influencer marketing will reach between $5 and $10 billion by 2024. This type of marketing is especially effective with millennials and Generation Z customers who are often skeptical of traditional advertising. A study from the McCarthy Group found that 84% of millennials don't like traditional advertising but that 58% don't mind ads from digital personalities they admire. This suggests that you have to take influencer marketing seriously if you want to reach younger customers.  

Don't Overlook Micro Influencers

If you have a limited budget, you should consider working with micro influencers rather than world famous celebrities. These are people who are seen as experts or celebrities within certain industries or subcultures. For example, you can find influencers with Instagram accounts or YouTube channels dedicated to skateboarding, knitting, training horses, or any other topic you can think of. Few people outside these fields will have heard of these people but they have enthusiastic followings nonetheless. This is an affordable and effective way to raise your company's visibility, which is why we recently identified micro influencers as one of the five social media marketing trends for 2019

How to Plan an Influencer Marketing Campaign

Here are the steps if you're ready to try working with influencers yourself. 

  • Set goals. Are you trying to raise awareness for your brand, acquire leads, or drive sales? You may want to increase social media engagement, reach a certain demographic, or increase website traffic. Setting KPIs lets you measure the success of your campaigns. 

  • Choose the right influencers. Read blogs, study social media accounts and identify some people who have the voice and following that's a good match for your audience. Pay attention to the engagement they receive as well as the size of their followings. Social media listening tools can help with this. 

  • Reach out and ask if they'd be open to working with you. It's best to make a list of influencers with whom you'd like to partner so you don't put all of your hopes on one person.

  • Agree on the terms. Make sure both you and the influencer are clear about the kind of content they are going to share. For example, do you expect them to explicitly endorse your products? They may want something from you which could be payment and/or the chance to promote their own products or projects. 

  • Build a list of influencers. Some people may not want to work with you right away. If you devote some time building a relationship, however, there may be future possibilities. You can engage in mutually beneficial activities such as sharing their content and mentioning them in your blog and social media posts.  

Influencer marketing gives you the opportunity to engage with audiences that are tired of conventional advertising. By tapping into influencers' popularity you can build your own credibility and get more engagement with your brand.