92 percent of people have faith in recommendations from individuals as opposed to brands. This is according to research from Nielsen. This holds true even when they don't know those individuals. Research also reveals that 81 percent of those that use influencer marketing have found it to be effective with 59 percent of marketers increasing their 2016 influencer marketing budgets.
Savvy businesses have for a long time realized an important principle of effective marketing particularly on social media, which is focusing on people as opposed to businesses.
If you don't already use influencer marketing, you need think about using it. If you don't yet have an influencer marketing strategy, it is important to ensure that you do it right.
For many businesses, the assumption is that influencer marketing exclusively focuses on the influencer. This is far from true. The audience is always the focus of influencer marketing. It is always about the audience that you would like to attract.
Most businesses already have influencers they respect. Those influencers have hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers and their content receives hundreds of likes or shares. Wouldn't it be cool to get them to endorse your brand? However, the question is whether they are in the same niche that you are.
The first step that you need to take to get influencer marketing right is targeting the right audience. If your business is in the marketing niche, it is pointless to recruit an influencer in the food niche.
Understanding The Motivation Behind Influencers
If you would like to recruit influencers effectively to help you promote your brand, it is important to understand their motivation. The tendency especially for small businesses is to wrongly assume that financial compensation or any other kind of compensation is what motivates influencers the most. Launch Metrics conducted a study in an attempt to find out why influencers work with particular brands. It revealed that the greatest motivation for influencers to work with brands is for support with the content creation process. A stunning 31 percent of influencers only work with brands if this is guaranteed. In contrast, only 16 percent of influencers are motivated by financial compensation while only about 9 percent of influencers value the product samples.
Money might make a significant difference, but it will take more than money to get influencers to start supporting your brand.
Active Recruitment of Influencers
Every brand has top social media juggernauts and bloggers that it would like to champion its cause. However, it is important to note that those top influencers are also on the top of everyone else's list. Those influencers are regularly bombarded with requests and pitches to work with different brands every single day and they need to select carefully who they will work with. Your chances of convincing them to work with you are quite low.
However, if you are able to significantly extend your list of influencers, by scouring social media or using resources such as Influence.co or even the advanced search feature of websites such as Buzzsumo you will be able to increase the number of influencers you can target to champion your cause and the chances of success of your influencer marketing efforts.
This is sort of a spin off from the previous point, but you need to understand that micro-influencers are a core part of an effective influencer marketing strategy.
Obviously, it can be cool to have the big names with millions of followers actively championing your cause. However, it is unrealistic for most small brands for several reasons. For starters, they receive many offers and can decide that they do not really like your offer. Second, they are likely to ask for more than your entire month's marketing budget just for doing a mini production. However, all hope is not lost since you can always turn to micro-influencers.
Research reveals that mid-grade influencers that have a smaller network of followers tend to have more loyal followers, which makes it more effective to use several mid-grade influencers promoting your work as opposed to having a single major influencer doing it.
Giving Your Influencers Free Rein
Trying to micro-manage everything is the quickest way to burn through your influencer marketing campaign. If you try to dictate the influencer's every step things will go south seriously and quickly.
You obviously know your brand better so you need to highlight the important points and key factors you want the influencer to focus on. However, you also need to realize that influencers have built their profile, their reach, and their audience. They understand their audiences better and it is those audiences that you are attempting to attract. After communicating the core points of your service or product to the influencer, you need to give them free rein to influence the messaging since they know their audiences better.
Cormac Reynolds writes for alternativenetworks.com and has written for a variety of tech, business and marketing blogs in his time. He has worked full time in the marketing industry since 2011 and in that time has worked with a variety of great companies of all sizes.
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