With the proliferation of social media giants like Facebook and Instagram over the last decade, new digital marketing trends have emerged. One of the most powerful trends to emerge in recent years is influencer marketing. Ideal for drawing upon grassroots advertising campaign strategies and boosting brand awareness, influencer marketing involves working together with an influencer to help promote your brand. Influencers can help convert followers into customers, and can contribute a huge amount to expanding your network of followers as well.
So how can you harness the power of influencer marketing in 2021? Let’s take a look at 4 tips for working with influencers.
1. Understand Your Influencers
If you are going to approach an influencer for a potential collaboration, it is important to understand who the influencer is, what type of influence they have, and what kind of incentive might cause them to be interested in working with you.
An influencer can be any type of individual who has the power to change or sway the opinions, desires, and purchasing choices of a group of people. Influencers draw their authority from a variety of sources: social status, fame, expertise, niche knowledge, popularity, and a strong relationship with their audience of followers can all be factors that contribute to the power an influencer wields. The average person checks their smartphone nearly 100 times each day; that means that the right influencer has nearly 100 chances to help you reach the majority of your audience.
Influencers can range from “mega-influencers” like celebrities, to “micro-influencers”, like bloggers or content creators. Celebrities are typically the most difficult influencers to bring onboard; it is unlikely that they will use their considerable media reach to promote a particular brand unless they are fairly compensated, with a price tag for a celeb promotion sometimes reaching into the millions. Major corporations who would like to align their brand values with a particular celebrity in the eyes of their audience tend to be the ones who work with major celebrities.
2. Choose The Influencer(s) That Works For You
Companies seeking to promote their brand within a specific field may want to draw upon the influence of a thought leader or key opinion leader. A key opinion leader (or KOL) exhibits expertise in their specific field, which means that their audience will be much more narrowly focused towards the relevant subject. Journalists, academics, and industry experts all fall under this category, and may be considered “macro-influencers”.
Seeking out the influencer that is most relevant to your specific niche and campaign is important. Other types of influencers include bloggers, content creators (on Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, and more), and micro-influencers.
The way you interact with each of these types of influencers will be slightly different. With micro-influencers, for example, you will want to draw upon the strong relationship these influencers have with their followers. They may have a smaller overall network of followers, generally between 1,000 to 10,000 followers, but the personal influence they hold may be greater than that of a famous actor or international sports star with a huge number of followers.
Micro-influencers interact directly with their followers, so it will be a good idea to target those audiences with personal influencer reviews, Instagram posts, or special promo codes for their followers only. You will want to make sure that micro-influencers know a lot about your brand, so they can field any questions their followers may have for them. And it will be worthwhile to reach out to several micro-influencers, so you can draw upon different followers. Blogs meanwhile, can be a great way to align your brand with an already established source of authority or entertainment, allowing you to reach plenty of readers.
3. Know Your Target Audience
Some influencers may hold considerable sway over their audiences, but if their audience doesn’t align with yours, then that influence will largely be wasted. Make sure to do the research before reaching out to influencers to establish precisely which target audience you are trying to reach. That way, you will know which influencers will be most relevant to your cause- and they will be more likely to partner with you as a result, since your brand will likely more naturally align with the values they are already trying to promote.
If, for example, you are trying to promote a new sustainable water filter, then working with an Instagram influencer who is an expert on makeup tutorials and has thousands of followers will not be the most relevant match for you. Instead, look for a KOL who is a leading expert on environmentally sustainable climate action and water sciences. They will be able to back up your product with an expert professional opinion, and their expertise will help your product reach the correct audience directly.
4. Set Specific Goals
According to research studies, 71% of marketers note that influencer marketing results in higher quality leads and better traffic than other methods. But this only works if you have a particular outcome in mind before you approach your influencers. The more targeted your specific campaign goals are, the more likely you will be to achieve them. Whether you are looking to amplify your brand’s followers, expand into a new market, or boost your conversion numbers, the specific target will help shape your influencer marketing tactics.
You will want to seek out influencers whose content and approach fits with your campaign targets. If there are influencers who work in a relevant field, but whose approach doesn’t match your specific campaign, bookmark them in a file for a later campaign.
Stay focused on your goals and remember that influencer marketing works best when it revolves around an interactive, dynamic relationship. For companies seeking to boost brand awareness, for example, you can build up a following by contributing guest posts to blogs with wide audiences.
While there is no magic formula for working with influencers, the best approach to follow is to do your research. Know your target audience and the values of the influencers you are approaching.
Make sure your the influencers you would like to approach are legitimate- don’t fall for fake follower counts, or influencers who have benefitted from bots. Allow your influencers to promote your brand in the way they think is best.
And try working with several influencer partners; your brand’s first influencer collaboration may not be perfect but you can build on the knowledge you gain and hone your influencer marketing skills each time you approach a new influencer to work with.