If we’ve learned anything from social media, it’s the power sharing information can have on influencing others. From politics and business to world culture, education, careers and more, social media’s impact on society is undeniable. For brands, social influence plays a particularly important role in a shopper’s purchase journey and can lead to increased awareness, trust, and familiarity, which are important variables in the purchase-decision-making process. Monetize those interactions by creating an influencer marketing program to spark explosive growth.
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential customers and orients marketing activities around those influencers, including endorsing you brand, supporting your content, or co-creating content with you and your brand.
Despite recent changes by the FTC in 2017 to crack down on undisclosed partnerships and sponsorship agreements, marketers are finding that smart partnerships with the right influential brand advocates can generate powerful results. In fact, according to a recent study on The State of Influencer Marketing from Linqia, of the 86 percent of marketers that used influencer marketing last year, 92 percent found it effective and 39 percent plan to increase budgets for influencer marketing this year, with just five percent planning a decrease. Nineteen percent plan to spend more than $100,000 per program, up from 13 percent last year. Whether a brand wants to ramp up its efforts to out-compete rivals or break into a new field, influencer marketing can help pave the way.
Unlike celebrities, influencers can be anyone. What makes them influential is their large group of social followers and fans. An influencer can be a popular photographer on Instagram, a gamer on Twitch, or a respected business executive on LinkedIn. Within any industry, there are influential people—you just have to find them. Let’s take a look at three influencer categories.
Typically, brands pay close attention to macro and mega influencers. They make up the celebrity and social media royalty that shares content with their millions of followers. Brands partner with an agency or influencer network to partner directly with these individuals. Look at Kylie Jenner, a mega influencer who over the years became selective about the products she endorsed; thus, making her content shares more authentic and relatable to consumers. Brands are desperately seeking to find the next Jenner-Kardashian.
Supporting an influencer strategy in your organization comes with challenges. An influencer can reach millions of views per post or create massive losses if consumers don’t view the campaign as authentic and relevant to them. So how do you identify the right influencers? First, set clear expectations of what you wish to gain from the campaign. Do you want higher conversion or increased followers? Understanding your goals is the foundation for selecting the right individuals.
Next, think about your target audience and the product attributes they value. Research which bloggers and celebrities are already shaping your target market. Check out their content and consumer reactions. And make sure their audience demographic is similar to your target group. If you’ve started to panic about the amount of research – don’t. There are multiple platforms like HYPR that help brands identify influencers efficiently. This will allow you to gain a better understanding of the impacts from the influencer. When you do find that perfect influencer, be authentic and personal with your outreach. They are busy individuals who receive numerous proposals daily from brands so give them a reason to want to care about yours.
Today, Startek partners with multiple brands to activate and engage with social media influencers across different platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Most of our brands’ customers want to understand why a product makes sense for them and what problem they can solve before they buy it. Using influencers is a great way to do that by educating consumers on a product’s unique features and benefits. With the increasing popularity of influencers, it’s important to adopt this activity as part of your social media strategy. If you’re ready to take your strategy to the next level by integrating influencers, visit our contact us page to learn more.
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