Strange to think that ten years ago social media influencers didn’t exist – a completely unknown entity. With social media platforms expanding so rapidly in the last few years, social media marketing and influencers have become an invaluable asset for any businesses marketing campaign. However, there are still so many people puzzled and perplexed about navigating the influencer world. We’ve decided to give you the lowdown on influencer marketing and using social media influencers to your advantage.
Let’s start at the beginning and get right back to basics.
What is an influencer?
An influencer can be anyone, anywhere. They don’t have to be a celebrity or a socialite, they simply have a large following online. They operate on a basis of trust with their following and they’ve most likely spent a long time building their brand and audience.
What is influencer marketing?
At base, influencer marketing is when a brand or company team up with someone with a social media following to market their products to a specific audience. They can be present on a multitude of platforms from Instagram to LinkedIn but have exposure to a large audience – this is what you want to target in your business! It gives you the opportunity to market your product or service to an audience you wouldn’t originally have access to.
In September 2018, the Advertising Standards Agency launched a brand new guide to influencer marketing, which basically acts as the bible for influencers. This guide is just as important for brands as it is for influencers.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- What the relevant rules are
- What the ASA considers to be an ad
- How to make clear ads are ads
- What the CMA’s requirements are
- What happens if someone makes a complaint to the ASA about a social post.
Access the guide here.
Top tips for working with social media influencers:
Followers aren’t everything
Instagram can be a tricky business, often all is not as it seems. The key thing to look out for when working with influencers isn’t actually followers, but their reach and engagement. We’re in an age where people can buy followers but can’t really buy engagement or translate this into sales – which is detrimental for your business. Always look at how the followers translate into likes, comments and shares on posts as this is usually a good teller.
A current trend for businesses is working with micro influencers (followers anything from 5k-25k) or nano influencers (1-5k), who have a smaller following but lots of loyal, dedicated followers meaning this translates into real sales.
Look for someone who has an audience that would be specifically interested and invested in your brand. For example, if you’re selling vegan cupcakes, you’re going to want to make sure the influencer you’re working with is vegan. The audience must trust what the influencer is saying, ensure their content aligns with your ethics.
Reach out privately
Approach each influencer personally and make sure they match your brand voice and vice versa. Don’t generalise your approach to finding & making use of different influencers – one size doesn’t fit all!
Ensure the influencer you’re looking to work with isn’t flooding their audience with sponsored posts. You want your product or service to feel fresh and unique, rather than just another marketing exercise for an influencer to flog on social media.
Do your research on each blogger you’d like to work with, use analytics software to keep an eye on engagement to ensure you’re not making an influencer marketing investment in vain.
Influencers with a large audience are paid accordingly based on their audience and engagement. For smaller bloggers and influencers, a free product or experience might be sufficient, but in other cases you’ll need to work within a marketing budget. Work with the influencer to discuss their needs, whilst ensuring the investment will meet your goals.
For more information on influencer marketing, make sure to give us a buzz. This breaks down the basics, but we know the nitty gritty influencer marketing info and we’d love to share it with you.
Rapid Agency – Digital Marketing in Belfast