With influencer marketing being as powerful as word-of-mouth it is important to consider if this could work for your brand. Taryn Williams CEO and founder of theright.fit and Wink Models provides a step-by-step guide to evaluate whether this style of promotion will work for your business.
If you’ve ever bought a new product after seeing your favourite beauty blogger use it, then you have been influenced by the power of a referral.. Influencers are social media celebrities with a strong personal brand linked to their area of interest who have a lot of fans or followers, usually within a niche. Influencer marketing is not direct advertising but more like sponsoring an influencer to create native content on their platform/s as a way to put your product (or service) in front of a particular audience.
Brands often pay influencers to use or review their product in order to reach the influencer’s followers. Rather than being about ‘endorsement’, the payment from the brand is usually to compensate the influencer for investing time in using the product and exposing it to their fandom. As a brand, it’s best if you don’t have a say in influencer reviews so the result is more authentic.
Businesses view influencer marketing favourably: 95% of brands see it as an effective tactic and 87% of brands see it as an effective way to create authentic brand content. Think of it as a kind of word-of-mouth referral with a celebrity touch. Does it work? Hell yes. On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.
So, when should you consider influencer marketing? Here are some questions to ask.
What brands are suitable for influencer marketing?
There are 3.4 billion internet users worldwide, half of the world’s population, so it’s a misconception that only beauty and food brands can use influencers. As social media marketing grows, so does the role of influencers as more people realise the effectiveness of this form of online advertisement.
Professional influencers categorise themselves in order to define their brand and develop highly engaged audiences. All types of brands can use influencers to engage with their targeted consumers. Some brands are fuelled by influencer marketing and use it to show real people using their products. Bras N Things used this form of marketing to promote their lingerie by having them post a photo in the garment’s to reach potential consumers.
You shouldn’t limit your brand’s potential because of a lack of competing brands using influencer marketing. It may actually be in your favour that few brands in your sector have tapped into this way of engaging with your consumers on a deeper level.
What can an influencer do?
The emergence of influencers means you can choose how much of a reach you want your sponsored content to have with audiences ranging from 15-500K. These influencers are reaching their followers in an honest and engaging way. The power of using influencers is similar to a personal recommendation from a friend but it’s sincerity done in a professional way. The results? Using real voices is incredibly powerful: 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
How can my brand use an influencer?
Start with a very clear idea of both your ideal market and a goal – a specific outcome you are trying to achieve. Before you even start throwing influencer names onto a shortlist you need to have your target audience defined first. By having a clear indication of who you’re targeting, you can then start to follow their gaze to see whether an influencer holds sway with them, and who that might be. If your target market isn’t the kind of people who follow an influencer, then this style of marketing is not the best method to reach these consumers.
The benefit of choosing an influencer marketing strategy is that you can be specific with regard to your targeted consumer and therefore specific with your goal and purpose in choosing to work with an influencer.
We worked with Tiger Beer on their recent campaign. Their brief asked for “social media influencers who have at least 35,000 visitors/followers, are based in Sydney, aged 18-35, with audiences engaged in either food, travel, lifestyle or fashion”. Successful applicants were invited to a dinner highlighting Asian cuisine complemented by Tiger Beer, of course. Each received a dinner for two and $250 payment.
Some of the benefits businesses see from working with an influencer include running a branding exercise to get more people to know about your company, promoting a specific call to action to drive sales, highlighting a particular product, and creating visual content.
Ready to work with an influencer? Here are some guidelines.
- Ensure your target influencer is your target demographic and aligns with the brand (age, location, interest)
- Do they have an engaged audience?
- Have they worked with a competing brand in the past 3 months?
- Are there any specific words that don’t align with your brand that you want them to avoid?
- How much should I pay them?