The world of influencers has undergone its fair share of controversy recently, but don’t let that deter you from the many benefits of tapping into influencer marketing. Although it is still a relatively new field, influencer marketing has meteorically risen to become a highly effective and unique form of marketing.
So what technically constitutes an ‘influencer’? An influencer is someone with a dedicated social media following who is viewed as an expert in their niche. Contrary to popular belief, a follower count in the hundreds of thousands isn’t a prerequisite to being considered an influencer. Micro-influencers are influencers who have anywhere between 1000 to 100,000 followers; they can be a great avenue for smaller businesses, since they can still deliver excellent results due to their high engagement rates.
Influencers exist in many industries (not just fashion and beauty) and across all social media platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok and Snapchat. For the purpose of this article, we will focus mainly on Instagram.
Influencer marketing refers to the business partnership between an influencer and a business or brand. Without appropriate planning, influencer marketing can backfire and make your business seem disingenuous. However, when performed correctly, it can open you up to a world of benefits.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is more targeted and cost-effective than traditional advertising. It reimagines the concept of celebrity endorsement for today’s social media-driven age. Nowadays, it’s natural for consumers to be sceptical when they are inundated with new products and services every day. Consumers are more likely to trust a product recommendation when it comes from a friend, family member, or public figure that they admire.
Influencer marketing is akin to receiving a recommendation from a friend or family member, since influencers build their brand and reputation upon a foundation of trust and transparency. Many influencers give their followers regular insights into their lives, which makes their followers feel as if they know the influencer personally. This means that a trustworthy influencer vouching for your product or service is more convincing and personalised than traditional marketing, such as ads.
In addition to building trust among potential consumers, influencer marketing is beneficial as it allows you to reach a larger audience.
How do you find influencers to collaborate with?
To answer our initial question, influencer marketing is definitely worth it if you choose the right influencers to partner with. It goes without saying that it is essential that you collaborate with influencers whose values and interests align with those of your business. This requires you to thoroughly research their demographics, interests, and strengths.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when selecting influencers is looking purely at their popularity – popularity does not necessarily equal influence. Instead, you should be looking at influencers’ niche and reach. An influencer’s niche is the specific market segment that they appeal to and communicate with. Their reach refers to their ability to engage your target audience, which can be determined through an influencer’s follower count, engagement rate, and general authenticity.
An influencer’s engagement rate is their ratio of followers to comments and likes. Be wary of Instagram accounts that look like influencers, but lack any genuine engagement from their followers. This is typically due to the presence of bots that automate likes and comments or users who buy ‘fake’ followers.
Do influencers have to disclose when a post is an ad?
Influencer marketing is a rapidly changing field. Over the past few years, it has garnered criticism due to audiences being unaware when influencers were being paid to recommend certain products. This has resulted in a push for more transparency, resulting in Instagram introducing their branded content tools. Influencers must now use Instagram’s ‘paid partnership’ tag and hashtags such as #ad and #spon in paid posts.
Let Word of Mouth Agency do the matchmaking for you
At Word of Mouth Agency, we understand the power that influencer marketing holds. We will take the time to discern your needs and requirements, allowing us to pair your business with the perfect influencer. The content we create with influencers will drive engagement while ensuring your business maintains its authenticity. Our list of contacts is extensive, so let us find the right spokesperson for your story.