When it comes to growing a business, successfully reaching and influencing your target market can be tricky. Not only do you have to know the people who make up your audience, but you also have to figure out the language your audience responds to, what platform(s) work best, and which targeting strategies are most effective.
When reaching large numbers of people, it’s difficult to personalize your message in away that connect to your whole audience. Ads through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc., use pictures and videos that resemble organic content, which initially proved effective when connecting businesses with social media users. However, as more and more ads and sponsored content showed up on newsfeeds, users started to become desensitized to these types of postings.
So how did businesses deal with ad apathy? By switching gears.
Enter influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
Businesses know organic content is king when it comes to social media marketing. So instead of marketing to the masses, businesses are now paying “influencers” to promote their products/services for them. Rather than B2C marketing (business to consumer), this trend presents an exciting opportunity to encourage C2C (consumer to consumer) marketing.
Why is this important?
Why has influencer marketing created such a big wave in 2018 (especially with millennials)?
One word: Authenticity.
People trust people more than advertisements. When someone posts about how a “diet tea” changed their life, for example, their followers know that this is a real person, not a model or actor in a commercial. They believe their testimony to be true and therefore have greater confidence in the product.
Who can be an influencer?
While celebrities and public figures do an excellent job reaching vast numbers through their endorsements, social promoters don’t necessarily have to be famous.
In fact, influencer marketing is most effective when promoted by an individual who has a community of followers with shared interests and curiosities. The ultimate goal is to give brands a human voice that will connect to audiences in a more sincere way.
How can I make influencer marketing effective for my business?
The best influencers are social media users who have:
· Taken the time to build their own brand and audience
· Patiently grown their popularity by collecting one organic follower at a time
· Cultivated a community that looks to their tastes and preferences as benchmarks to make personal choices about products and brands
While you want to find a social promoter with a respectable audience size, a loyal and engaged following is much more likely to have a real impact on marketing efforts. Someone with a bunch of paid-for followers will not yield the same outcomes! In other words, quality is greater than quantity when it comes to an influencer’s followers. The results are much more favorable if you take the time to find the right person with the right fans to vouch for your brand.
What about video?
Another way to make influencer marketing more effective is through the use of video marketing. Video, by nature, is an engaging and dynamic way to influence audiences and drive sales. “Vloggers” (video bloggers) are likely to have a faithful following made up of people who are looking for advice on what products they should invest in. Utilizing Snapchat, Facebook Live, YouTube, Instagram Stories and IGTV creates opportunities to advocate for a brand with a genuine voice.
Make sure everyone wins!
Influencers and businesses should have a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Considering they have very different motivations for their social media use, making incentives for each party to reach the same goals is imperative.
Research is an important element in making this affiliation work. Be organized, form a strategy, and develop a schedule. Working together to generate the best results helps everyone gain from this arrangement.
So go ahead and experiment with influencer marketing, build your credibility, and track your ROI. Embrace this trend and connect with audiences in a new and different way!