From John Wayne’s print ads endorsing French’s Worcestershire Sauce in the 40s, to Michael Jackson’s iconic Pepsi commercial in the the 80s, to Lebron James’ Gatorade ads we see today, influencer marketing has been around since the introduction of mainstream media.
Building a campaign around a highly influential person using a product or endorsing a service is not a new concept, but as marketing evolves online, the power of social media provides new ways for brands to leverage influencers.
Here are 6 things to know about social media influencer marketing:
Social media has disrupted the way we consume content.
Brands have to keep up with the evolving digital marketing demands to ensure their brand is visible in the places their audience seeks content. People are interacting with their social channels on a daily basis and have undoubtedly discovered, engaged with, and are able to see their favorite celebrities, models, and other “socialebrities” at the touch of a button. This means they are paying more attention now more than ever to these influencers and are actively seeking out new, popular pages.
Content produced by influencers doesn’t feel advertise-y.
When an influencer produces content that contains a brand’s products or services in their own social feed, it feels more native than paid advertisements. The audience feels like a friend is telling them about a new, cool product rather than a company advertisement looking to make a sale. It’s a way to get your brand in front of a targeted audience without sacrificing intimacy.
What your audience wants, matters.
Map out your niche, audience demographics, and even psychographics. Think about what they really care about and how your product or service fits into their lives. Focus on the elements that they want to see rather than the elements you want to show off.
Finding the right influencer can be a grueling task.
There are two options for finding influencers. You can take research into your own hands by manually searching for relevant influencers across your target platforms and creating a list. Alternatively, you can enlist a third party vendor that specializes in influencer marketing, such as the masterminds of the influencer campaign behind the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton ,Shark Reach.
Provide loose guidelines for the influencer.
As a business, you want to manage and control every part of your brand. As social media has taught us, we must learn to loosen our control. While there should be guidelines defining appropriate content and other general restrictions, it’s important to let the influencer get creative. They have, after all, established a following for a reason.
Be aware of the risks.
Just like any other marketing campaign, there are risks to consider when hiring influencers to promote your brand. Just as quickly as the high profile “socialebrity” can leverage the power of positive influence on a large audience, there can also be a negative affect. Make sure that what you promise to deliver is fulfilled and the experience of your brand for the influencer is mutually beneficial.
However, understand that influencer marketing is not always about return on investment. There are two reasons a brand would engage an influencer: to increase conversions or to increase brand awareness. If you are rolling out an influencer campaign sans a third-party agency, it can be difficult to measure the number of impressions, engagements and interactions. Measuring the impact of a sales-driven campaign should be fairly easy, as you should be able to clearly see a higher demand for the promoted product or service.
Influencer marketing is fairly new in the social media marketing space, and is a complex component of digital marketing that can produce impactful results for brands. When crafting a creative and campaign, consider supplementing your creative agency with a highly specialized third-party influencer marketing agency.