Developing an impactful influencer marketing approach
With consumers scrolling, sharing, and watching more than ever before, the rise of social media marketing has forced brands to evolve the way they present their products. All consumers want to be in the know for the latest and greatest products. This desire has translated into social media platforms becoming a place of discovery as 28% of consumers discover new products and brands through influencers.
This trend has both contributed to and been fueled by the rise of influencer marketing. Consumers trust influencers and seek out their recommendations. This allows brands to partner with influencers to put their product at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Consumers are flocking to their niche market experts to hear what products they are using and loving. In fact, 84% of shoppers have made a purchase recommended by an influencer.
Brands are recognizing the power these key opinions have on their own sales and success and are launching their own influencer efforts — both paid and organic. But what’s needed to build an impactful influencer approach? Here are our experts’ advice for how marketers can develop a strong influencer marketing approach to fuel connections with their target audiences.
What is influencer marketing?
To stay top of mind with consumers and push them toward conversion, many brands have leveraged influencers to promote their products. This marketing strategy connects brands with the opinions that truly matter to consumers. By promoting a brand’s products and services, influencers are able to showcase the brand in an authentic way unlike any other marketing tactic.
Likewise, consumers often feel they are able to trust the influencers more than the brands they have seen online. With 37% of consumers trusting social media Influencers over brands, savvy marketers are able to connect with consumers through influencers in more authentic and trustworthy ways.
How brands can partner with influencers
Influencer marketing has many different applications to fit the various needs of brands and their audiences. By applying the proper type of influencer marketing, marketers are able to elevate their brand’s success. Here are three ways brands can partner with influencers:
- Organic: Traditional, organic influencer marketing leverages a consumer’s enthusiasm and passion for a brand. Typically, this partnership begins from unsolicited mentions or engagement from the influencer and evolves into a more formal partnership as a brand begins to recognize the value of this influencer’s opinion and platform. These are longer partnerships and heavily rely on the audience of the creator.
- Network: This approach to influencer marketing is clean and simple for brands to utilize. Brands are able to review a variety of network proposals and select the one that most aligns with their target audience and business goals. Then, for a flat fee, networks will work with influencers to create content that features the product and post that content on their accounts with a sponsored partnership tag. This is an optimal approach for brands that want to leverage the power of networks to source the best influencer for their campaign and brand.
- Paid promotion: Brands can amplify influencer relationships by putting paid dollars behind their posts to expand reach. These promotions are typically managed within the brand’s owned ad account with influencer approval to promote the paid content. The content features the influencer showcasing the product, but in a more authentic way than other types of performance-focused ads. This ad can be targeted to key audiences and optimized for key objectives like traffic or website conversion.
What marketers need to know
Influencer marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. This tactic should be looked at holistically, considered as part of the awareness, consideration, and conversion levels of the marketing funnel, not stuffed into a media plan because it is the latest shiny object.
Before getting started, it’s important for marketers to review their business goals to identify if influencer marketing fits within their marketing plans and with the audiences they’re trying to reach. For example, where is your audience most active online? Who would they consider to be an authority related to your product or service? How can an influencer help you tell your brand story? With an understanding of where your brand, audience, and influencer’s priorities overlap, marketers can develop an effective influencer marketing approach.