What is an influencer?
Social media has become a stable form of entertainment, connection, and lifestyle from reading quick snippets on Twitter, networking with professionals on LinkedIn, or scrolling through photos on Instagram. Social media is no longer the ‘next big thing,’ it is the thing. And like all great things, it’s evolving.
One of the next big social media trends that has emerged over the past few years is the popularity of influencers. An influencer is someone who typically focuses on a particular niche or topic and has a large social media following. For example, a makeup vlogger on YouTube, a business owner on LinkedIn, or a workout guru on Instagram. A social media influencer is someone who has worked hard to establish a certain voice, brand, and community among their followers. They are recognized for their expertise, lifestyle, or opinion which attracts followers that relate to their subject matter.
What is social media influencer marketing? And how does it work?
With such a large and unique following, influencers have become a popular marketing partner for many companies across various industries. Influencer marketing refers to companies that work with influencers to promote their product via social media. Influencer marketing examples include filming a review of a product, posting a photo of a product, or writing about an experience on an influencer’s marketing blog. Therefore, just like any other marketing strategy, the process of using influencers for marketing requires a well thought out and implemented plan.
First, as described, influencers ‘specialize’ in a certain feel or topic which establishes an audience of like-minded individuals. An influencer has a particular voice, style, and feel, just like any other brand. Deciding to work with an influencer is more than just partnering with someone who has a large following, it is recognizing which influencer correlates to your targeted audience.
Furthermore, social influencers have spent a significant amount of time, energy, and resources in creating their unique brand. They have a certain feel that makes them genuine which maintains the trust of their followers. This authenticity is how the influencer connects with their audience and it should be respected when developing a social influencer marketing agreement. For your product to reach their audience and remain trustworthy, the influencer should be granted creative freedom with the product or service. This does not mean certain objectives should not be put into place, but it should not be highly regulated. As a business, when using influencers for marketing you are not just creating another content marketing plan, you are dealing with an actual person and their personal brand.
While the approach to influencer marketing differs from traditional marketing, the process of establishing measurable ROIs and reexamining your methods is necessary in order to analyze and improve your influencer marketing strategy.
Developing a successful influencer based marketing strategy takes research, planning, and time, like other social media and marketing strategies. Yet, as the world of marketing shifts, learning how influencer marketing works prepares your business to stay on top of effective and rewarding marketing trends