The power and glamour of Social Media Influencers seems to be a subject layered in exclusivity and misinformation. The wonderful, yet elusive, world of Influencer Marketing can be confusing. Well, hold onto your hats folks, Ouma are here to layout the facts and share our tips...
What is an Influencer?
Simply put, an Influencer is someone who can influence the purchasing nature of a given audience due to their relationship with said audience, passion, knowledge or notability. This can give them agency over a select demographic. They are experts within their social niche, think of them as influential people within that niche. Let’s break it down into the types of influencers...
Considered a more authentic alternative to the more, seemingly, commercial Influencers, Nano-influencers usually originated from a personal account with a focus. They are defined by their passion-led approach and less then 2k followers.
Considered one of the most effective categories of Influencer, when researched and collaborated with properly. This category is a little more un-defined by exactly how many follows they have and more by the level of trust and strength of relationship they have with those follows (we’re talking between 2k and 100k). They are highly respected by their following due to their knowledge and leadership within their given niche. They still provide authentic content and are approachable, 'everyday people'.
With over 100k followers, Macro-influencers are still regarded as trusted 'everyday people' and their opinions and endorsements highly regarded. They are the early adopters of social media, in the days when building a following was far easier. They will have focused niches and their passion and dedication to their given niche or personal brand is the driving force behind their success.
Also known as viral celebrities, these influencers are the big time. With over a million followers they are generally regarded as famous rather than influential but their rise may have originated in, or been heavily aided by, social media. They don't necessarily have a specific niche that they are considered leaders of, more a 'pay per post' and Brand Partnership approach.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is the love-child of traditional celebrity endorsement and content-focused social media strategy. It's the action of collaborating with an individual to create content that will give their personal endorsement and approval of your product to their audience. If done correctly, their audience becomes part of your audience and can increase sales, elevate brand recognition and escalate your follower count and engagement.
Remember, good Influencers are not like celebrities that are solely interested in monetary exchange for posts. These are real people that built their following one organic follower at a time. They care about what they are putting out to their following and maintaining their trust. Influencers are open to various forms of creative collaboration and don't be afraid to innovate new ways you, them and their following can benefit e.g. offers, competitions, giveaways, pay-per-post, demonstrations etc.
Be aware that Influencer Marketing can sometimes feel more like a marathon than a sprint. To achieve an increase in a loyal, engaged following takes time and genuine interaction. Selling products requires trust to be built between you and the demographic, which an Influencer will assist with, but it still takes work from you.
Why Consider Influencer Marketing?
Elevate or create brand awareness, improve your brand's following and customer base and increase sales of your product. Each Influencer will have a very specific following and allows you to effectively target a given demographic and escalate their awareness and opinion of your brand. As social media users we are influenced by what we see and the aesthetics of an image or piece of artwork. When researched well, the right Influencers endorsement of your brand offers a kind of social testimonial and proof that your product or service is of value to a given niche market.
How do I Choose the Right Influencer for my Business?
Research, research, research and then research some more! To see a decent return on your investment you need to carefully consider three main things...
· Size isn't Everything!
It's more important to see a healthy engagement and interaction between the Influencer and their following rather than a huge number of followers.
· House Lights Up; Let's see the Audience!
You need to be sure that their audience is the right target audience for you. Their following will be a niche demographic related to their focus.
· First Impressions Count!
Is the overall aesthetic and message of the Influencer right for you and your brand? Is their niche the type of subject matter you want to be affiliated with and does it truly attract the right audience to achieve your goals.
So What Next?
Influencer Marketing has had a swift rise to stardom and is here to stay. Take these top tips from the professionals at Ouma, with a collective experience steeped in social media and marketing strategy...
Take a good, hard look at exactly what you want to achieve within your business and the different marketing options to get you there. Stick closely to your strategy and get the facts straight!
Reach out to some Influencers that you're considering and ask to see their Media Package, also known as a Press Kit. This will give you analytical information of their engagement and following and a portfolio of their work.
Review and keep on reviewing! There is no harm in comparing how your Influencer content is performing against, say, your paid ads. You will need to stay on top of how efficient your investment has been and if it is reaching your pre-determined goals. If not, re-think and re-adjust.
Aesthetic and social trends change quickly and move fast. Therefore, the only constant in Influencer marketing is change. Our main advice, if you decide to trundle down the road of Influencer marketing; keep your finger on the pulse! Keep researching and reviewing to make sure your seeing a return on your investment. You may find your budget better spent elsewhere on something like paid Facebook Advertising or SEO optimisation. Ouma are always here for you if you need advice and guidance on how to apportion your marketing budget to best achieve your goals.