A strong marketing strategy in 2022 has to look at social media influencers. It just does.
But knowing when to jump into the influencer market isn’t always so clear. Many questions need to be answered first, like where are we at with our brand recognition and how do we set expectations within that relationship?
- What makes influencer marketing so successful
- When to know if you’re ready for an influencer strategy
- What you can expect to pay during an influencer marketing campaign
The Science Behind Success in Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing works. For many, it is more effective than celebrity marketing, traditional ads, and hired content creation. But, to establish whether it is right for your product and which influencer would best benefit your brand awareness, you first need to know your consumer.
Influencer marketing works because followers are genuinely interested in their day-to-day lifestyles and activities. People follow influencers to see what they’re eating, doing, wearing, and more. Followers genuinely enjoy the content that’s shared.
“I think influencers these days are sort of like word of mouth on steroids,” —Chelsea Johns
When a content creator shows authentic enjoyment with a product, followers are more likely to follow and purchase the product. But, this authenticity is vital.
People recognize inauthenticity quickly. Analyzing your customers and finding out where they spend their time, what they care about, and who they follow will help you select influencers more likely to genuinely enjoy your product and grow your audience by leveraging their own.
Are You Ready to Jump into an Influencer Marketing Strategy?
The brand awareness power behind influencer marketing is exponential. But how do you know if you’re business or product is ready to enter into a partnership with the equivalent of a modern-day celebrity?
The first step to being fit for an influencer marketing strategy is understanding your consumer base.
Likely, if your consumers are in an older generation or don’t spend much time on social media, this partnership will never be fruitful in marketing initiatives. Customer insights are essential.
“Any company can find influencers to work with, but I think the more important part is nurturing those relationships and keeping them ongoing.’” —Chelsea Johns
Next, you need to conduct research and business analysis. Find influencers that connect with your consumers. Big brands often have the upper hand because their large consumer base is easier to analyze. However, start-ups and small businesses can delve into their loyal customer's habits with surveys, polls, and interviews.
Finding the perfect fit for your business and product may not be easy, but it is essential for building an effective influencer partnership. Ideally, these influencers should align with company values and mission and be excited and willing to participate in a long-term relationship.
Unfortunately, making the wrong partnership decision can ultimately damage brand image and reputation, so ensuring your business has conducted proper research and conversations is vital.
Luckily, some tools can help determine ideal partnerships.
Software can help determine Earned Media Value, or EMV, which factors how often an influencer posts about your product, how engaged their audience is with those posts, and whether any conversions are generated. Unlike assessing purely based on follower count, EMV allows a quantifiable analysis of partnerships and engagement.
Influencers Aren’t a Bargain Solution– Here’s What to Expect to Pay
Regardless of your marketing strategy, effective marketing isn’t free.
Influencer partnerships can get pricey. But, if your customer analysis and partnership selections are well-founded, they are worth the investment. Instead of hiring actors to perform in an ad and teams to design and produce content, investing in influencer campaigns allows practiced, popular creators to promote your product to a preexisting audience.
So, when working with influencers, you get the advertisement and content they create and release and exposure to an audience already dedicated to that individual. Sometimes, this exposure comes with a premium.
“There's no reason not to be constantly looking at the data and constantly adjusting your strategy as needed.” —Chelsea Johns
Though influencer campaigns are more expensive than traditional advertising routes, they can offer a great deal of authentic brand awareness and loyal customers. But a business must be in for the long haul to see a genuine effect of influencer marketing.
Building an influencer network that continuously supports and promotes your brand will result in long-term growth. While most businesses may not see immense effects within the first month, an ongoing relationship with an influencer team will have a snowball effect, building awareness and loyalty.
Influencer campaigns aren’t for everybody. But, if they align with your consumer and brand, they can be the most effective marketing tool.