What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing takes celebrity endorsement and puts into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign. Unlike celebrities, influencers can be anywhere and anyone. Their large social media following is what makes them influential. They maybe a high profile photographer, a well informed expert blogger or a respected business person. All industries have their influencers, the trick is knowing where to find them. They will have hundreds of thousands - maybe even millions - of followers and they are your target audience.
Influencers will have spent a lot of time building up their own brand and engaging their audience. They have had the patience and focus to succeed in social media and are not interested in a quick payout - but Influencer Marketing isn't just about offering money or exposure in exchange for their endorsement. A quick payout is not what is important here - as with social media and content marketing, it's a slow and steady process. You want to show your credibility, it’s about being synonymous with your brand, like when people say they will Hoover up instead of saying they will vacuum.
Gaining followers in this way means they are more likely to be loyal and engaged - you need to endear yourself and your brand, earning the trust of your followers. How?
Be organised - have a plan, a strategy, do your research and make sure you have the budget for it.
Be patient - and be real - you want to reach individual people, not big organisations, so talk to them one on one, be sociable.
Traditionally, a brand would set up its identity on whichever social media platform felt right and as followers interacted they could, over time identify their champions; those who were liking, sharing, tagging etc. These would be the followers who would be nurtured and targeted to spread the word. The only problem with this is that most users don't have a big enough following to begin with. And the effort required to keep this small following engaged through to conversion is not really an efficient way of working and brings little in the way of results.
Influencer Marketing shows us that we would be better to direct our marketing to the influential people, those we know share our brand message and are interested in what we do. Engaging with them on a meaningful level - commenting and be involved - not just selling to them, means you are more likely to reach the attention of those influencers who can best help get your brand out there.
By doing this, you are becoming a member of their community and this will give you credibility, both by the audience and the influencer themselves. And then, when you are ready to propose collaboration they will know who you are. You need to be able to stand out for them to know what you are about and whether you are compatible with their followers.
Implementing Influencer Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]
The best Social Marketing works because it’s nothing more than a natural social interaction.
The best Content Marketing works because the information is genuinely helpful.
And the best IM works because it relies on both Social and Content marketing tools, where credibility and genuine authority are already established in the minds of the audience.
In this trick of the trade - there is no trick!