– By Niamh O’Donohoe for bbmm.ie
Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services to those who have a sway over the things other people buy. This market influence typically stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. Marketing to an audience of influencers is similar to word of mouth marketing. This valuable strategy is quickly becoming (and, in some cases, already is) the focus of many brands looking to optimize the social space. Influencer marketing is all about connecting with the right folks in order to get your message out there, authentically.
If executed correctly, influencer marketing has the ability to reach niche audiences and create a greater impact than traditional advertising methods. Advertising reports have shown that 84% of worldwide consumers will take action based on the reviews and recommendations of trusted sources above all other forms of advertising.
Bloggers have become important influencers because they are seen as authentic and have loyal followings. When a blogger recommends a product it seems more trustworthy than traditional advertising. By using influencers, companies can avoid much of the cynicism and skepticism that is directed at straight forward marketing messages.
This form of marketing is unique because it appeals to the needs of the influencer rather than the customer. Companies must give influencers respect and form open and organic relationships for the influencer to endorse a product. This might include giving the influencer access to a soon-to-be released product, or inviting the influencer to visit the company in person.
How to Choose the Right Influencers
This can be a very manual process. First, you have to define the boundaries of who you want to identify as an influencer. Identifying the “who” is the first step, and once you do that, the next step is finding those that have the most influence. What they talk about, community, followers, engagement, and endless other identifiers come into play here.
Being authentic as a brand is crucial to starting conversations on social—and keeping them going. Now that you’ve found the “who,” it’s all about keeping them online long enough to engage with, follow, and care about your brand.
Measuring results and tracking insights is the last key step. Following up with these results at the influencer level is important, as it allows you to optimise your approach and evaluate your relationships accordingly.
In the end, no brand is perfect, but knowing the common pitfalls of influencer marketing and how to counteract them can save time and money. From engaging with the right influencers to tracking your results, your brand can reap the benefits of this buzzed-about strategy.