How Social Media Took Over the Internet: A Guide to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is arguably the hottest online marketing trend right now. It’s so “in” that you have probably encountered ads without even knowing! If you’re wondering how to start including influencer marketing in your strategy, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a influencer marketing guide with all the basic must-knows!
What is an influencer?
According to MediaKix, influencer marketing is a $1 billion industry. At its current growth rate, taking into account users, influencers, and the market size, it could be a $2 billion industry by 2019. If that’s not reason enough to jump on the trend, remember that influencer marketing also works wonders for your SEO value!
An influencer is an opinion leader. They can shape a consumer’s’ purchasing decision through word-of-mouth, and therefore have a lot of influence over your potential buyers! The original influencer is the celebrity endorsements, but today’s market has expanded to include celebrity (social media) influencers, influencers, and micro-influencers. These categories are typically separated by their reach, or audience size.
To find the right influencer for your company, think about the three R’s of influence: relevance, reach, and resonance:
Brands use influencers primarily to extend or target their reach. To many, this means a focus on follower count and using an influencer for their audience size. But, keep in mind what your influencer will get from working with you! Would it be a mutually beneficial relationship? What can your brand bring to the influencer— specific demographics? Cross-promotion? Freebies?
Who is your target audience? Your ideal influencer has access to the community you’re trying to reach, as well as ties to your existing audience. Since influencers have the most impact on people who are similar to them, you should find the opinion leaders of your sphere and the spheres related to yours! Not only should their content be similar to yours, but their personality, feel, tone, and attitude should also be in line with your brand identity. It’s about association just as much as it is about numbers!
Resonance is very closely related to relevance: how much will your influencer’s audience actually pay attention to your brand? This is more about engagement than views: resonance is a great reason to work with up-and-coming influencers. Although these micro-influencers have a smaller audience, they are more interactive and engaged with their followers.
Finding influencers is easy! You can reach out to well-known influencers through social CRM (consume relationship management) softwares like Hootsuite, Demographics Pro for Twitter, or TrendSpottr for Instagram. Or, you could even reach out to your friends who have lots of followers! Pro-tip for when you start your search: look at their past content. The best influencers work to integrate their branded campaigns into their unique stories without skipping a beat (Forbes).