Influencer spending on Instagram has risen above $1 billion for the first time. That’s a significant milestone but why has this happened? What is it about influencer marketing that is so appealing to so many brands?
What is an influencer?
Before we get into that, though, let’s define what an influencer is. An influencer is an individual that is respected within a particular industry or field. This could take the form of a popular sporting icon, a famous singer, or even a prolific e-sports figure. Through their success and popularity, they’ve gathered a following of people that value their opinion above others. This means that if they say they like a product or service, their followers are more likely to purchase it.
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of social media platforms, social media influencers are becoming the most effective influencers. In a study conducted by Variety, YouTube and Instagram influencers such as KSI, Smosh, and PewDiePie ranked above traditional influencers from the music and film industries. This is indicative of the increasing amount of content being consumed by people on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram due to the everyday nature of it.
What makes social media influencers so important?
Well, to put it simply, many of these social media influencers have spent every day for the past several years developing a relationship with their viewers. They all produce their own unique content (for the most part) and they all have their own personality. This personality and content attracts similarly minded viewers and develops their viewership over time.
When they endorse or compliment a product/service, their viewers are more likely to believe them than a random reviewer or person they don’t know or trust. The influencer’s viewers have developed this trust in them over time and know that, in general, the influencer wouldn’t endorse something that they didn’t truly enjoy or find useful.
How can you use influencer marketing?
If used properly, influencer marketing can be a great addition to a complete marketing strategy. It’s important to realise that it should only be a part of your strategy and not the linchpin that holds it together!
Influencer marketing should ultimately align with your brand guidelines and messaging. When selecting an influencer, your brand’s values and beliefs should be mirrored as much as possible in the influencer. By doing this, you ensure that you can work well together and that your brand resonates with their viewers.
One of the main reasons to utilise influencer marketing is to increase the reach of your brand. Many social media influencers have an incredible reach due to the number of people that follow them. Whether you’re just trying to raise awareness of your brand, or you’re interested in exposing people to a new flagship product/service, influencer marketing can help you get your message out to a vast number of people.
It can also help increase your brand’s credibility and solidify its personality. By selecting the right influencer, your brand can benefit from the influencer’s reputation and position within their community. Eventually, you could become synonymous with an influencer and retain a great relationship with their viewers in turn.
How do you choose the right influencer for your brand?
Finally, we’re going to talk about selecting the right influencer. Firstly, you should consider precisely who you want to influence. By doing this, you can ensure that you are reaching the correct audience (namely, people who will gain value from your brand).
You should also consider how many people you want to reach. Higher reach numbers will cost you more money and it may be unnecessary depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
Finally, try to gauge the desired level of engagement you want to see from your efforts. If you would like to reach 15% of someone’s subscribers but their videos are only regularly viewed by 10% of their subscribers, you may want to look elsewhere for an influencer with higher engagement numbers.
What are some bad practices for Influencer Marketing?
Despite all of the great prospective advantages to Influencer Marketing, there are some things you have to be careful with. Engaging with an influencer due to their popularity is important but it shouldn’t be the only reason you’re engaging with them. Your values and personality have to align and the influencer should already be a fan or user of your brand.
Blindly engaging with an influencer is bad practice and should not be done under any circumstances. The relationship should be open, honest, and collaborative and the influencer’s audience should know that you are sponsoring the influencer.
We hope this has answered any questions you may have around influencer marketing! We weren’t able to cover everything, but if you have any questions feel free to contact us on social media or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).