Today, digital marketing is dominating the marketing strategies of both startups and big brands alike. And for many consumer brands, influencer marketing is an essential part of their digital marketing efforts. It’s a convenient way to gain easy access to a large audience of potential customers. Besides, social media influencers will also vouch for your brand and influence their fans to purchase your products. This makes them an excellent choice to create brand awareness, launch new products, and drive sales.
Getting ready to work with an influencer?
Now, if you’re interested in using influencer marketing, there is some essential groundwork you first need to cover.
1. Set your goals
Are you attempting to launch a new product? Do you want to expand your customer base by targeting a new audience segment? Are you aiming for brand awareness? Or do you want to drive sales? There could be countless reasons for you to invest in a social media influencer. So, you need to start by specifying your objectives and what you intend to achieve with your influencer marketing strategy.
2. Research the influencer
Some influencers come with questionable pasts. They could have associated with drugs, criminal activities, scandals, financial fraud, or various other unethical acts. Using them in your campaigns might end up damaging your brand reputation and expose your business to potential backlash. This is why you should run background checks. A name search on Nuwber could help you uncover records of arrests, felonies, misdemeanors, bankruptcies, and other warning signs.
Then, some influencers use fake followers to build up their audience and move into the micro- or macro-influencer league. Remember, the bigger the audience, the higher the price they can command. But for a business, putting their product in front of a fake audience will hardly add any value. So, researching the influencer and monitoring their audience engagement is critical to identify any red flags.
3. Understand the influencer’s audience profile
Each social influencer attracts a different type of audience based on their content and expertise. And some command a global fan base, while others could be mainly local.
So, understanding the demographic and geographic profile of an influencer’s audience is essential. It could help you determine whether and how they could help your brand and business. After all, if you’re selling sushi in New York, there’s no point in investing in an influencer that’s teaching Italian cooking to a global audience.
4. Identify brand fit
Brand fit is not just about selecting influencers in your product niche. You also need to ensure that they resonate with your brand values and personality.
For instance, do they use offensive language? Are they regularly commenting on sensitive topics like politics, race, or religion? What other brands do they promote? What causes and communities do they champion or affiliate with? All these are important considerations to ensure a good brand fit.
Now, finding social media influencers could be a hassle-free process if you know where to look. Here are 3 easy methods to select the right influencers for your business.
1. Influencer marketing platforms
Online platforms like Upfluence, Exposely, and AspireIQ act as self-servicing portals for influencers and companies to meet. They mostly attract micro-influencers with 1,000 to 100,000 followers. So, these platforms are best suited for small- to mid-sized businesses with limited budgets and niche products.
But they attract big brands, too. This is because of specific advantages micro-influencers could offer. These small-scale influencers are still building their audience and working hard to engage them. So, chances are, they’ve developed a closer relationship with their relatively smaller base of followers. And your business will mean a lot to them, so they’ll often put extra effort to deliver results for your brand. But remember, these are essentially self-servicing platforms. So, you’ll need to search and vet the influencers yourself.
2. Influencer marketing agencies
Agencies are your best bet if you want access to macro or celebrity influencers. They’re experienced in handling megastars with millions of followers who religiously tune in to their every post, video, and tweet.
These agencies will screen and select the best influencers for your brand, draw up contracts, and manage every aspect of your relationship with the influencer. They will even help you develop your influencer marketing strategy and track progress with data analytics. But all these will come at a cost. So, be prepared to spend top dollar for their service. Having said that, it’s still a hassle-free option that could save a significant amount of time for you.
And remember, celebrity influencers will often come with scandals and other baggage that might damage your brand image. So, research them before signing on the dotted line.
3. Your network
If you’re working with limited budgets and prefer nano- or micro-influencers, reach out to your network and marketing circles to identify potential candidates. This is an excellent way to get a personal recommendation, too.
But it’s important to run a background check, verify their popularity, and assess their content. Once you identify a few suitable influencers, reach out to them to discuss the possibilities of working together. This strategy will work out cheaper and will also give you better control over the process.
For many brands, social media influencers could be a powerful tool to take their products to a large audience with a genuine interest in their industry niche. And it’s not just celebrities who are laying claim to massive followings. Even ordinary people have become influencers on social media, drawing in followers in the millions.
The credibility they’ve built with their audience has given them tremendous influencing power. And the exponential word-of-mouth value they could generate would often take a considerable time, budget, and effort for a brand to achieve on its own. So, leveraging the power of social media influencers could be a convenient and cost-effective strategy for many modern-day brands.