Influencer marketing seems to be all the rage among brands today, and for good reason. Influencers are aptly named because they have exactly that: influence over consumer decisions. In an environment in which consumers have low levels of trust, following influencers often helps them make decisions on purchases similarly to how they would base a purchase off the recommendation of a friend.
An influencer builds his or her career by promoting products or services online, usually on social media. By integrating these products into daily life and taking appealing photos or videos, an influencer accomplishes more than what straight, traditional advertising may otherwise be able to do.
Often, an influencer will sign a contract with a brand to promote products in exchange for product or monetary compensation. By promoting through appropriate influencers, a brand can reach new potential customers and harness the power of social media to bring their brand to a new level of exposure.
But is influencer marketing the right solution for every business? Perhaps not, so the decision to work with an influencer or an influencer agency should come after some dedicated research and qualifying questions.
Brand exposure is perhaps one of the most effective metrics to measure when it comes to using influencers in a marketing strategy. By establishing metrics that can be tracked, such as reach on posts, follower counts, or visits to a UTM link, a brand can measure the effectiveness of an influencer campaign. But it’s important to decide ahead of time what’s important and what will be quantified.
If a brand is newer to a space or has a newer product to promote, perhaps doing a round of influencer marketing is a viable solution. Influencers have different niches and numbers of followers, so selecting the right influencer for the right target demographic is also important.
For example, a brand selling health supplements would likely not find much success with an influencer dedicated to promoting travel, and vice versa. It can be tempting to only look at the hundreds of thousands of followers an influencer has and base a decision off of that alone, but this brings a risk of a message falling on deaf ears.
Another factor to keep in mind here is that of authenticity. Not all influencers are created equal, and sometimes the content does not reflect the level of genuine buy-in that brands desire. Of course, this isn’t what’s important to every brand, so again the question must be asked of what matters most to this specific brand. Many customers crave authentic connections online, which is an area in which influencers are particularly strong. Content published by influencers can often be viewed as more genuine, less advertorial — but make sure to do a pre-check of the content an influencer publishes before making a decision.
Working with influencers can pay off in a big way for a brand seeking exposure or brand visibility. It’s important to remember that every influencer is a bit different, and going in with a clear strategy with measurable KPIs will help answer the question of whether or not influencer marketing is the right answer for your brand.