Influencer Marketing For Brands: How To Get Started
Think influencer marketing is a passing fad? Think again.
With people across the globe working, learning and connecting from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Influencer Marketing presents a bigger opportunity for brands than ever before. But what exactly can it do for you, and how do you get started? Read on.
Influencer Marketing In A Nutshell
Influencer Marketing is a form of marketing where you connect your brand, product or service with someone with an online following through organic, meaningful sponsorships. Through this collaboration, you give yourself the possibility to open your business to a pool of new and potential customers. An influencer’s presence can exist on one or multiple social platforms, with the most popular platforms ranging from Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and most recently Tiktok.
With the whole world being more active and present online, now is the time to take advantage of the power of influencers to reach a variety of different age demographics. We are spoilt for choice in today’s social media market, so take your pick – Tiktok (16-24 years), Instagram (16-29 years), Facebook (30-49 years), Twitter (18-29 years), and Youtube (16+), to name a few!
This form of marketing has capabilities like no other ad form. It is more authentic, more effective, key when building brand trust, gives access to huge audiences, and allows for real-time engagement. In terms of numbers, it has shown that;
“70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities”
“4 in 10 millennials think influencers understands them more than their friends do”
“49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations”
“40% of these consumers had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram”
These are fantastic and promising figures, giving marketers endless opportunities.
Influencer is no longer a buzzword, influencers are no longer a distribution channel, and you are no longer a marketer. Influencers are an extension of your company, and you are now a relationship manager.
So, how do you ensure Influencer Marketing is as effective as it can possibly be for your brand?
1. Identify the right Influencers for you – aim to build trust and expand reach
The definition of an “influencer” is always evolving, however it is a common mistake to assume that to be an “influencer” you must have thousands, if not millions of followers. The term is much more diverse nowadays, with influencers across all platforms varying from mega to micro/nano.
It is important not to allow follower count shadow the effectiveness or potential of any one influencer. Nano influencers are smaller in size, however, their following is often a much more niche audience with higher levels of engagement and loyalty.
Follower count does not translate to increased sales. If you have correctly identified an influencer with an audience who resonates with your brand, the content produced and shared by your influencer will be authentic and enthusiastic – the key ingredients to increasing, not only sales in the long run, but brand awareness, loyalty and trust. When brand content is shared through an influencer that is relevant to your industry, conversions can increase 3-10x.
To promote Golden Bake’s National Jambon Day, we took the above approach and connected with influencers who we felt truly embodied a love for Jambons – one being Irish comedian Owen Colgan.
Owen has built a loyal fanbase on Instagram, and regularly shares his love of ham and cheese pastries (without the backing of a brand sponsor!). This partnership was a no brainer for Golden Bake. Owen produced his own Instagram stories and feed posts to promote National Jambon Day, instantly we saw a huge increase in Golden Bake Instagram page visits and entries to our competition to Win A Year’s Supply of Jambons.
2. Choosing your Influencer(s) – aim to strengthen brand message through authentic sponsorships
Once you’ve found potential matches, choose the Influencers who fit your brand and have the platform to communicate about your message sincerely.
Podcasts, for example, are fantastic audio based platforms where it is natural to discuss various brands, business success stories, a new product, as well as existing products. Listeners are considered to be quite loyal and are easily influenced by the host’s opinion when it comes to buying decisions. As mentioned above, listeners form a connection with influencers they view/listen to most – almost categorizing them as friends – and so, the influencers recommendations are taken quite seriously.
Instagram is no doubt the leader when it comes to Influencer Marketing, with newer social platforms such as Tiktok coming into play. Younger viewers have become quite the advocates for the platforms and place huge trust in up and coming influencers. Everyone is in the same playing field, and so those who gain a substantial following on the various apps, are again categorized as friends whose followers feel they can depend on and trust.
We saw the positive effects up-and-coming Influencers can have on their following, first hand. While working on a pro bono campaign with Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, our main goal was to communicate with people between the ages of 16-24 years to spread and important message about consent. To get the message out as effectively as possible, we connected with 22 Irish Tiktokker’s whose audience ranged between these ages. This worked wonderfully for the campaign, reaching over 1 million of our target demographic across Tiktok, Instagram and Twitter.
3. Work with your Influencer – build a lasting relationship
If you have seen the positives from working with a particular influencer, don’t let them go! Stay in touch and show your gratitude. Build your network of influencers, and create campaigns together to achieve outstanding and meaningful results.
In today’s market, there are hundreds of influencers to choose from and not any two are the same. Every influencer has their own style and niche audience – any Marketer’s paradise!