If you’re a marketer, you’ve no doubt noticed the reach and penetration of traditional advertising strategies dwindling over the past decade due to the rising popularity of ad-blocking software and ad-free streaming services, and the decline of print publications and cable subscriptions.
So, what’s a savvy marketing strategist to do to get their company’s name out? Go where the eyeballs are, of course!
Even though consumers are increasingly opting out of seeing, hearing, and reading traditional ads, they are curating their social newsfeeds to supply them with lifestyle content that fits their interests. That’s where influencer marketing comes in. An astounding 60% of consumers have discovered a product they later purchased on Instagram, the social network most adept at aiding brand discovery, and they’ve usually discovered those products through sponsored posts created by influencers, the name for individuals who have built up their personal brands and audiences on social media.
According to a survey by Linqia, 86% of brand marketers had definite plans to make influencer outreach part of their 2017 marketing mix, and as we start 2019, that number is sure to have grown even further. However, if you’re one of the many marketers waking up to the emerging imperative of influencer marketing, you should keep the following points in mind before you kick off your influencer campaign.
Choose your influencers wisely
Once you decide to move forward with an influencer marketing campaign, the most important thing is choosing the right influencers to partner with. Make sure you choose someone who reflects your brand values and creates content with proven appeal to your target demo. Though an influencer’s reach obviously matters, always prioritize fit with your brand over follower count. It’ll lead to significantly higher chances of driving ROI and correctly communicating your brand message.
Don’t overlook micro-influencers
Piggybacking on the prior point, keep in mind that the value of an influencer does not rely solely on the number of followers they have, but can instead focus on the power of influence that they carry. Micro-influencers, typically defined as influencers that have < 20k followers, usually have a niche focus, feel more down to earth and relatable to their followers, and are perceived as being more credible than the mega-influencers of the world. Thus, their recommendations are more likely to hold sway over their audience, especially if those recommendations are on the niche topic they’ve worked to establish authority in. If your KPIs are focused more on driving conversion than increasing brand awareness, micro-influencers may be the way to go.
Find the right degree of creative input
It can be tempting to provide the influencers you contract with a hyper-specific brief that details your instructions for everything from their outfit to their caption, but we implore you – DON’T. You chose this person as your brand partner because they and they alone have managed to build a rapt, opt-in audience based on their charisma, imagination, and expertise. Now, trust them to use those tools to your advantage!
You should absolutely put together a brief to prime your influencers on how you prefer describing your brand and let them know which specific benefits you’d love discussed and how emphatic you’d like product incorporation to be in the content they create for you. You should also discuss execution ideas with them before content creation begins, but remember, this needs to be a dialogue and you need to trust their input. After all, they’re the ones obsessively monitoring all their posts to see which perform best with their audience.
Influencer marketing is ever-changing
The rise of new technologies and new ways to reach and attract an audience has enabled influencer marketing to become the powerhouse that it is today, and its evolution is not stopping anytime soon. With more brands using influencer marketing as part of their marketing mix, consumers are learning to react to branded social content differently than they did even a handful of years ago and social platforms are innovating at top speeds to help brands move fans further down the sales funnel. Don’t expect influencer marketing norms to stay the same over the coming years. Keep your finger on the pulse and innovate accordingly.
Think an influencer campaign might be right for your brand but not sure how to structure a recruitment, briefing, and execution process that’s sure to hit your KPIs out of the park? We can help. Reach out to Path Interactive for guidance on your 2019 influencer marketing efforts.