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What is influencer marketing and why is it so important to marketers?
Marketers have been using celebrity endorsements in campaigns for years. These endorsements tend to increase sales in the short-term and brand awareness in the long-term. But they’re costly, difficult to put together, and don’t always see high engagement.
A less expensive, and often more engaging option for companies is to utilize influencer marketing. In the marketing world, an influencer is an individual who has sway over others that collaborates with brands to promote products or services to their followers.
In today’s marketing landscape, reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations are paramount, with 84% of customers noting that reviews are important in their purchasing decisions. It’s no wonder, then, that more and more brands are diving into the world of influencers.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy that involves partnering with a relevant content creator and leveraging their audience to drive brand awareness and sales. Influencers are paid, or compensated through other means such as merchandise, for this promotion.
With influencer marketing, you can essentially shine a spotlight on your brand from a more trusted voice to capture an audience that you don’t currently have. Influencers can bridge the gap between your brand and your target customers.
Here are a few of the many benefits of utilizing influencer marketing:
- It increases your brand awareness.
- Influencers help build trust and credibility.
- Influencers can reach (and expand) your target audience.
- It’s cost-effective.
- You can learn more about your audience.
Who Are Social Media Influencers?
Social media influencers are people who create content, from blogs to videos to photographs, that is relevant to their audience. This content builds them a following, also known as a “sphere of influence.” These are the people that you, as a brand, will partner with to create content.
Many of these digital content creators have established their own niche. Some are lifestyle influencers or bloggers, some are gamers or streamers, and some are just interested in a specific topic. While most have a principal platform where they are most popular, many create content across social media platforms to expand their audience reach.
Social media influencers have impacted society more than we can currently tell. While brands are still using more traditional advertising methods such as radio ads, TV commercials, and outdoor billboards, more modern tactics are beginning to take hold.
A few popular social media influencers include:
- Charli D’Amelio (148.3M TikTok followers)
- Khabane Lame (151.1M TikTok followers)
- Addison Rae (88.7M TikTok followers)
How Do Brand Marketers Work With Influencers?
Now that you understand more about influencer marketing and social media influencers themselves, you’ll probably want to know how brands and influencer marketing interact.
First, you’ll need to craft a campaign where influencers can be utilized. Consider what your goals are and what audience you are targeting. Creating a customer persona can be a helpful tool to understand the type of person you are marketing to. Then, you should set up a campaign timeline and budget to consider how many influencers you could possibly be working with.
Conduct extensive research to compile a list of potential influencers. Consider their social media metrics, such as engagement and following, as well as their relevance to your brand. Also consider if they’ve done multiple brand partnerships recently. Working with too many brands back to back can decrease an influencer’s perceived authenticity.
When you think you’ve found an influencer who is the perfect fit for your brand, it’s time for outreach. A DM or email will work. Keep your messaging personalized to the influencer you’re talking to, and be sure to give them all of the campaign information they’ll need.
Once you have an agreement nailed down, you may work with the influencer to develop effective content or at least to give final approval. Monitor the campaign as it goes along, tracking metrics such as your following, brand mentions, affiliate link usage, hashtag usage, and purchases.
Read our full guide on How to Implement Influencer Marketing.
Once the agreement is official, brands can work with influencers in various ways. Here are a few campaign ideas for how brand marketers can work with influencers:
- Work with 5–10 nano influencers, utilizing affiliate codes, to grow sales.
- Shoot a commercial with influencers, paired with social media content.
- Work with 1–3 micro- or macro influencers to grow brand awareness.
- Hire influencers for a pop-up activation and have them share on social media during and after.
How Can Lionize Make It Easy For Marketers To Work With Influencers?
It’s more important than ever for marketers to stay adaptable to the newest channels and methods. Influencer marketing has reshaped the advertising world and is here to stay.
Ready to take the heavy lifting out of recruiting, managing, and reporting on influencer talent? Lionize helps brands, agencies, and social media teams manage every aspect of the influencer marketing lifecycle with our streamlined platform..
Book a Discovery Call and let’s get started today.
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