These days, influencers seem to be everywhere. From online viral videos to national news, there’s no escaping these internet celebrities. Still, where some people may see fads, businessmen see opportunity. Brands often turn to influencers to expand their reach and connect with new audiences. It’s time to delve into what influencers are, and how to use them to your business’s advantage.
Influencers—individuals who have built a substantial following on social media platforms—wield significant power in shaping opinions and influencing consumer behavior. Their appeal lies in their ability to connect with followers on a personal level, offering authenticity that traditional advertising often lacks.
How to pick the right influencer
1) Understand your audience
Choosing the right influencer starts with a deep understanding of your target audience. Identify the social media platforms where your audience is most active and seek influencers who have a strong presence there. The influencer’s audience should mirror your brand’s target demographic.
2) Assess engagement levels
Beyond follower count, engagement rates are crucial. An influencer with a highly engaged audience, evidenced by likes, comments, and shares, is more likely to drive meaningful interactions for your brand. Engagement rates often provide a clearer picture of the influencer’s ability for social media growth.
3) Identify any controversies
Influencers embroiled in controversy can negatively impact your brand’s image. Scrutinizing their past and present social media activities for any potential controversies is a crucial step. This due diligence involves reviewing their posts, comments, and general public perception. The last thing your business needs is an association by proxy with somebody holding views that run counter to your image.
4) Make sure they align with your brand values
Ensure the influencer’s content and values align with your brand’s ethos. For clarity, this is different from controversy. An influencer can be completely controversy-free but simply not hold the same mission as you do. This alignment is vital for creating authentic and effective campaigns. An influencer who resonates with your brand’s values and aesthetics will always be the best fit.
5) Determine whether they fit your budget
Efficiently handling your funds especially if you are using small business loans and other financing options is crucial for the profitability of your business. Engaging with mega or macro-influencers might offer extensive reach, but new businesses might have to borrow some funding as a safety net. On the other hand, micro-influencers provide better engagement rates and are more budget-friendly, albeit at a smaller scale.
6) Compare their platforms to your platforms
Each social media platform caters to a different demographic and fosters different types of content. For example, Instagram is known for its visual appeal, making it ideal for lifestyle and beauty brands, while LinkedIn is better suited for B2B marketing. Assessing the platforms where the influencer has the strongest presence and comparing them to your brand is critical for success.
The best ways to use influencers
Influencers excel at storytelling. Collaborate with them to create narratives around your products or services. This approach helps in creating a more organic and engaging promotion, as opposed to overt advertisements.
Foster long-term relationships
Building long-term relationships with influencers can be more beneficial than one-off campaigns. These ongoing partnerships allow for the development of more in-depth and authentic content, as the influencer becomes more familiar and aligned with the brand.
Utilize diverse content
Diversifying the types of content can help in reaching different segments of your audience. From blog posts and Instagram stories to YouTube videos, each format offers unique ways to engage audiences. Work with influencers to determine the best content mix that resonates with their followers and aligns with your brand’s goals.
Brainstorm ideas together
Influencers, with their deep understanding of their audience’s preferences and content consumption patterns, can offer valuable insights that brands might overlook. When brands involve influencers in the creative process, it leads to the generation of ideas that resonate more effectively with the target audience.
Use them to reach out to other influencers
Influencers can act as bridges to connect your brand with other influencers in their network. This strategy can be particularly effective because influencers often have relationships with peers whose audiences might also align with your brand’s target demographic. Utilizing influencers to facilitate introductions or collaborations can open doors to a wider network, amplifying your brand’s reach.
Enlist them as official brand ambassadors
Elevating influencers to the role of official brand ambassadors is a step beyond typical influencer partnerships. As brand ambassadors, influencers embody the brand’s values and consistently promote them over an extended period. This long-term relationship allows for the development of in-depth and integrated marketing campaigns.
Influencers have always played a big role in marketing, ever since entertainment became a great platform for advertising. More than just getting a popular face on your brand, influencer marketing is a fantastic strategy to reach more audiences and form partnerships that would otherwise be impossible. Just make sure to pick the right ones and use their strengths appropriately.