If your business isn’t using influencer marketing, then you’re missing out on one of the best ways to reach your target audience. Influencer marketing is becoming more and more popular, to the point where 84% are planning one or more influencer campaigns in 2017. Read on to learn exactly how influencer marketing works and how you can get started.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
With influencer marketing, you’re hiring an influencer to promote your business to their audience. Influencers typically have large followings, and you can find them on any of the major social media networks. Bloggers are also an option.
The influencer mentions your business or one of its products in a post, but in a subtle way, instead of simply telling people to buy your products. If you have a fashion line, an influencer could wear its clothes and mention how much they like them in an Instagram post. If you sell running shoes, a fitness blogger could mention a specific pair in a blog post.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
A huge advantage to influencer marketing is that it’s more likely to resonate with people than more traditional marketing methods. How many people watch commercials on TV anymore? Or view online ads? With ad-blockers, many web users won’t even see your online ads. But they will see posts made by the influencers they follow on social media.
It’s much easier to target a specific audience with influencer marketing. Every influencer will have an audience that skews towards a certain demographic, so you just need to find influencers who have followers in your target market.
Getting the Most Out of Your Campaigns
Launching an influencer marketing campaign is simple enough, as all you need to do is find one or more influencers, negotiate a deal with them and explain what you want them to promote. You should take your time as you set up your campaign, though, to ensure that you get the most return on your investment.
Finding the Right Influencers
Selecting the right influencers is the most important factor in the success of your campaign. You need to find influencers who will represent your brand well, which means you should research any influencers you’re considering to check for any red flags. The last thing you want is to hire an influencer who gives your brand a bad reputation because they make controversial comments.
Look for influencers who have followers matching your target market, and make sure that they also have good engagement numbers. The likes and comments influencers get on their posts are more important than their follower numbers. It doesn’t matter that an influencer has millions of followers if those followers aren’t engaging much. There are plenty of models out there with high follower numbers, but those followers are only there for the pictures. You want people who actually have an influence on their audiences.
Remember that subtlety is key when it comes to influencer marketing. The influencer should work your product into their posts organically, so it looks like they're mentioning the product just because they likes your brand. A blatant 'buy this product' post will look just like a commercial, and people ignore commercials. It’s a good idea to give your influencers plenty of creative freedom. They know how to reach their followers, so see what they come up with on their own.
Influencer marketing can be expensive, and an influencer with millions of followers may charge $10,000 for a single post. This is always negotiable, according to ProvenSEO, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. You may be able to secure a better deal by agreeing to purchase multiple posts or if you include extra products for the influencer.
Always have a specific goal in mind for your influencer marketing campaigns and use your analytics tools to track results. You need to make sure that you’re getting your money's worth, and just because the influencer’s post got quite a few likes doesn’t mean it was successful. If your campaign isn’t getting the results you want, then it’s time to either adjust the setup of the posts or find a new influencer.