If your company is looking to expand its presence on social media, it’s likely you’ll consider the use of influencers, or people with substantial online followings who can help extend the reach of your message. Influencer marketing is a tactic that’s growing in popularity, especially for brands targeting millennials and Gen Xers who are spending an increasing amount of time online and with traditional ad-blockers on. While this digital-driven strategy may be relatively new to the marketing scene, it offers obvious benefits in practice. Instead of using an unfamiliar person to market a product or service, influencers bridge the gap between faceless companies and their target audiences by capitalizing on their household name. If done correctly, influencer marketing can add a personal touch to brands that otherwise seem foreign—with the added bonus of a third-party endorsement.
The world of influencers can be tricky to navigate–one wrong move and your customers could question your strategy. Don’t fret; we’ve got the tips to help you conquer the complicated world of influencers while remaining authentic.
1. Make sure they’re a good fit with your company
Don’t employ an influencer strictly for their name recognition–utilize them because they’re a logical fit. If you can’t picture them using your products or services in real life, then neither can your customers, and you risk losing their trust. Different influencers may be willing to work with you, be deliberate about who you choose to partner with.
2. Plan long term, not just a blip
Just like any campaign you and your team work on, influencer marketing deserves long-term, well-thought out planning. Using an influencer once or twice will seem like a cheap shot at best and lazy at worst. While the influencer partnership won’t last forever, strategize future plans to integrate any influencer content into your already-existing work.
3. Ensure audience alignment
Just like finding a good fit for your company, make sure the influencer is a good fit for your audience, potential customers, and any products/services. Will your audience relate to the influencer? Are they someone the audience can picture using your products in everyday life? Are they recognizable and well-received among your target demographic? All good questions to consider before onboarding an influencer.
4. Give them room to provide an honest answer
Some influencers on social media post heavily scripted captions or videos and make absurd claims about the products they’re promoting, like miraculous weight loss, sudden energy, or another guaranteed outcome of some sort. Don’t go down that road–allow your influencers to try out your products/services and see what they honestly think, and work together to create a post about their experience that sounds like something they would say to a friend. It should feel causal, never forced.
5. Don’t worry if the partnership doesn’t work out
Influencer marketing is just one strategy to take when considering digital content. While it can be very effective, it won’t work for every business, goal or audience. Make adjustments if needed, but don’t force it if it’s not a good fit. And remember, just because it didn’t work for your company now doesn’t mean it never will; keep an open mind for what may work in the future as trends continue to evolve and new influencers pop onto your radar.
One last thought for those considering influencer marketing; keep in mind you don’t always have to pay a lot to get the biggest names with the largest following. Working organically with influencers should always be the main goal in such partnerships—stay true to your brand and your marketing plans will follow suit.
What are your thoughts on this marketing trend? Let us know in the comments—and be sure to check back in the upcoming weeks for “5 Reasons Influencer Marketing Works Better in B2B”!