Influencer marketing is a hybrid of two positioning strategies. The first being celebrity endorsements. The second being social media. The influencer – who generally isn’t a celebrity but has a large following on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – promotes a company’s product or services.
So why does this work?
The influencer provides the brand with instant, 24/7 access to an already captive audience… their loyal fans. It’s an unspoken rule that influencers only promote the brands they believe in. This goes a long way in compelling their followers to buy in. Some reports show as high as 49% of Twitter users rely on influencer recommendations when making a buying decision.
There are two different ways that a brand can curate a relationship with a digital marketing influencer. The first is to formally contact them and send “free” products in exchange for a quick plug on their social media feeds. Keep in mind, there’s no certainty this approach will work in your brand’s favor. If a product is blindly sent as part of a PR push, the influencer could opt to focus on the negatives. Since they’ve worked hard to earn the trust of their audience, most aren’t scared to call out flaws in their effort to present authentic information.
The second, and more sure-fire, way to build a relationship is for the brand to actually employ the influencer. The brand pays them for so many endorsements. In these cases, terms can be more defined because the influencer is under contract.
In either case, it’s important to seek an influencer that aligns with your brand’s personality and offerings. You wouldn’t want someone with an older following advertising products designed for younger consumers. To that same point, you would not want someone with questionable character representing your brand.
If you decide to engage with an influencer, the great ones will be able to tell you:
- Number of followers
- Their conversion rate (how many purchases associated with their posts)
- Post frequency
- Other products they represent
Influencer marketing is hardly a fleeting trend. In fact, some celebrities have cashed in big time, using it as a side stream of revenue. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Kim Kardashian makes roughly $270,000 per post. While that might not be the route for your brand, remembering these few simple points can help you in getting the most out of your influencer experience.