Getting Real With Influencer Marketing & Why Your Brand Should Embrace It

Influencer Marketing, learn what it is, how to use it and what it can do for your brand.

Unless you’re living under a rock, or are one of those people who “doesn’t do social media” (bless your heart), you’re constantly seeing photos of 20 somethings traveling the world, doing photoshoots, pretty much living the dream. These people are known as digital Influences, and they hold a very important role in your Influencer Marketing campaigns. They are pretty much-cutting deals with brands for product placement ads, influencer post, paid post, or whatever you want to call it.

Basically, these digital celebs are renting out space on their valuable social media feeds to hype up brands just like yours for a paycheck. Influencer marketing isn’t exactly a new concept, but it’s become a lot more accessible to new/small business owners and has proven to be a cash-cow for everyone involved. Interested? Read on…

Influencer marketing whaaa?

You probably know that word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to drum up new business. Case in point, you’re more likely to try a new sushi restaurant if your friend Melissa recommended it to you, rather then stumble upon their happy hour ad in your junk mail..right? Today in the world of digital relationships, we don’t just look to our friends and family for good recs, studies show that 20-40 percent of purchases are now driven by the recommendation of online influence.

In a single day, we are exposed to over 5,000 ads, and as a result, we pay less attention to them and more time-consuming lifestyle images of booshie blondes in bikinis IE my Instagram feed 80% of the time.

With the evolution of self-publishing platforms such as Instagram, WordPress, Twitter, etc, the power of influence has transferred from brand to those that have embraced the power of “share”.

Why it works

This is a time where consumers are really enjoying making their own decisions, at the same time the success of influencer marketing lies in the fact that it helps people feel more confident about their decisions.

According to some data the nerds over at Tomoson collected, influencer marketing draws in about $6.50 for every dollar spent said efforts. They go on to show how marketing with Influencers has been the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel when compared to email marketing or organic search. This basically means that this form of marketing was quickly adopted by consumers and is pretty much here to stay.

Similar data also shows that a business is more likely to make a sale via an Instagram shout-out versus spending money on paid search with Google.

Of course, this depends on industry…

Industries that do best with influencer marketing are B2C companies. They are product based and could reach consumers either national or internationally. Not to say service and local businesses wouldn’t do well, there would just be a few small tweaks to make on the strategy.

So where do you find social media influencers?

I have an in-depth strategy coming out for you this month where I’ll be discussing ways to identify the right influencers for your brand, how to organize them, and how to reach out, but for now, I like to share some info that you might want to consider to get your gears going.

When asked about the most effective platform for influencer marketing, 37% chose blogs (Tomoson). Falling close behind are all our faves, Facebook, YouTube and our beloved Instagram.

While its obvious some social media platforms are better for some than others, do explore the blogosphere if you haven’t already. Not only do over 346 million people read blogs, but you’ll be setting yourself up for SEO (search engine optimization) success when by racking in those backlinks from your new digital celeb pals.

Related: SEO Help and Tips for Small Business Owners

How to use influencer marketing for your brand and its benefits

Think of influencer marketing as an addition weapon in your arsenal of digital reach. Your aim is to increase your brand messaging by piggybacking on some else’s fanbase.

Your objective may be to extend your reach in a segmented niche or to gain exposure in a broader sense. Either way, influencer marketing should be used in addition to your current online strategy.

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Let’s take a client of mine, for example, Jackie’s Closet (*name changed for privacy), a clothing boutique out of Orange County has partnered with several style Instagram Influencers to share photos of themselves on their own feed. They tag my clients IG account and give them a shout out. With more than a handful of 100k Influencers doing this, they help my client create buzz more quickly than any other form of marketing.

The details of any partnership range from Influencer to Influencer. This is when a business or brand owner gets to be creative. You may entertain the ideas like; gifted items, monetary exchanges, ambassador program, on-going sponsorship, etc.

As mentioned before, blogging is definitely something to be considered when choosing the right Influencers for your brand. An IG Influencer with a thriving blog is a major bonus and should be a part of any agreement!

Another way to utilize Influencer partnerships is social media takeovers. This is an effective way to leverage an influencer’s following and cross-promote your own channels to build up your own follower base.

One of the best things about collaborative work is that no one audience is the same of any other. That means no matter how big or small someone’s fanbase is, it’s always beneficial to cross promote with like minded people.

When crafting your plan of attack, realize that you’re not only getting increased reach, followers, and engagement,  you are also getting in with the in the crowd, you are boosting your credibility with the masses. And remember, finding targeted influencers is key.

If you’ve found this helpful, leave a comment below. Or likewise, if you’re interested in learning more about something I didn’t cover feel free to drop me a line!

XOXO,

Kerissa here, dishing out digital marketing advice to creative entrepreneurs and online biz builders.

 

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