As the world becomes increasingly obsessed with social media, consumers look at fellow shoppers to get information about their purchasing decisions. Instead of looking towards businesses, like they used to, they now turn to each other and their favorite personalities.
Many of these individuals are harvesting massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other platforms. That’s why some branding experts believe influencer marketing to be the next big thing in advertising.
If you consider yourself to be one of the more forward-thinking marketing professionals, the rise of the social media influencer creates an abundance of possibilities. It opens up a new method for brands to connect with consumers more directly, more organically, and en masse. Using social media influencers to create branded content means brands can amplify their message while focusing on their target audience.
With that being said, influencer marketing is still new. Many marketers hesitate and risk being left behind by the growing numbers that are embracing this new channel. The following is a list of influencer marketing techniques that we have compiled frommarketing-schools.org:
Identify the Most Relevant Influencers –Digital tools like SocMetrics and Appinions make it easy for companies to analyze the social media landscape for the most influential profiles based on geography, category, or other demographic data.
Form a Relationship with Influencers –Try to develop a relationship with an influencer before asking them to advocate for a product. A simple message on Facebook or Twitter can help ingratiate a possible new influencer to the brand.
Find Your Influencers Preferences –Deliver content and advertising material to influencers in the format that is more convenient for them whether that be print, video, audio, or some other format.
Abide By Regulations –The FTC requires that any and all material connections be disclosed. Simple online tools make the disclosure process simple and seamless.
Make it Easy to Access Content –Influencers are more likely to share content with their followers if it is easy for them to integrate into their blogs, Facebook pages, and other portals. Online tools like SocialChorus make it easy for brand owners to distribute content.
Don't Neglect Social Networking Sites Beyond the Big 3 –There is the tendency to think only of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter when thinking about social media. But Instagram has 30 million users and growing. Other social networking sites can expect significant influence as well.
So how does an influencer marketing plan work?
The first step in a successful influencer promotions plan will be to set goals for the campaign. Usually, these are less about boosting sales and more about brand awareness. A brand owner must define their goals in measurable terms, spelling out exactly what they hope to accomplish, before any influencer is contacted.
After establishing goals, the marketerwill then need to select the influencers they want to get in touch with by researching demographics and target markets. They will then need to decide how many influencers they want to bring on and then select those that best meet the objectives of the campaign.
When the brand owner is ready to contact their selected influencer they will most often communicate through social media. The goal is to form a natural and organic relationship that is not based entirely on promotion and selling. Influencers who are treated with genuine respect will often become true advocates for the brands they promote.
Marketers should go back and check their goals every few months to measure the success or failure of their influencer program. If a plan is not having the originally intended effect, brands must try to connect with new influencers in different ways. The influencers who are most successful will need to be nurtured so that they continue to support the company on their social feeds, blogs and websites.