Gone are the days where humans trust companies – the trust has been ruined.
Companies have far too long lied to the consumer, plastering fake advertisements and fake testimonials everywhere, for the consumer to see. Consumers don’t trust us anymore, and do you blame them? Companies lie to [and deceive] consumers in order to increase the bottom line, with no regard for the consumer. However, what do humans have to gain by lying about a product to another consumer? A 10% off coupon, perhaps, but nothing more.
So, if I didn’t answer your question as to why you need to implement an influencer strategy, it’s because prospective consumers think you lie. That’s why your Yelp rating is more important than hand-chosen or company-written testimonials on your website. That’s why consumers [now] read the comments section on advertisements they see on social media, to see if anyone “has actually purchased this product.”
Don’t get me wrong – influencer marketing will die. Consumers will start to realize that some influencers endorse a product simply for the paycheck, and this will come once the influencer industry has boomed. For now, influencer marketing is on the rise.
Why Influencer Marketing
People tell stories that brands can’t, whether it’s that the Ray Bans they just bought were complimented by a celebrity, or the HydroFlask they bought saved them on their hiking trip. Consumers can relate to other people and their experiences – they can’t do that with brands.
Additionally, influencers create “audience-centered content.” Their reputation is important, and they want to give their followers what they want to see. Because these social marketers are engagement-driven, it’s important to find influencers that often promote services or products within your industry. It wouldn’t make sense to partner with a food blogger if you’re in the tax industry.
How to Find an Influencer
Anyone can be an influencer. Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to choose someone who already knows your brand. When you’re starting out, don’t be afraid to use people who have a small presence online and are already unsolicited “brand ambassadors.” Why? These people are often much easier to find, and they already fit your brand and are authentic. Additionally, they’ll be more affordable, flexible, and they’ll really value the relationship you build with them.
Lastly, they won’t buy fake followers, which is always something you have to watch out for if you’re looking for anything more than a mid-tier influencer. If this is something you’re unsure about, check out HypeAuditor, a tool you can use to find fake followers, influencers, likes, comments, and engagement.
- Nano: 1-10k followers
- Micro: 10k-50k
- Mid-tier: 50k-500k
- Macro 500k-1m
- Mega 1m+
How to Measure Influencer Marketing KPIs
There are several measurable metrics you can use to ensure your influencer marketing is working, depending on your objectives. Some companies want to generate leads – others want engagement and followers. Here are a few examples:
|Increase Brand Awareness||Impressions|
|Increase Brand Engagement||Engagements (mentions, likes, etc)|
|Increase Followers||Community Growth|
|Increase Website Traffic||Referred Traffic from Platform|
|Generate Sales||Leads/sales (via code or UTM)|
Making the Most Out of Your Influencer
The most important thing is to find someone who is going to be genuine. You want to build a relationship with them, rather than look at them as if you’re paying them for content. Influencer marketing is a two-way street, and you want to make your influencer feel like his/her opinions matter. That way, they’ll want to produce high-quality content, and their post will appear more authentic.
Approaching Your Influencer:
Don’t: “We’re Company X, and we want to send you a sweatshirt, and we want you to wear it on a snowy day while you’re petting your dog and wearing UGG boots.”
Do: “Hi! We’re Company X, and we love the way you represent yourself and your personal brand on Instagram. We truly feel like you embody our mission statement, and we’d love to partner with you to increase our brand awareness. Would you be interested in learning more about us and how we can work together to create something, while also staying authentic to you? We look forward to hearing from you!”
In the first example, you’re approaching your influencer with a job, and you want him/her to post a particular picture that may or may not be on-brand to them, and may or may not be something he/she believes in. It’s not an authentic message, and it won’t get you an ongoing relationship.
The second example tells your potential influencer that you respect him/her, and you care about his/her opinions. You’re approaching the task as an open partnership, and your influencer will appreciate that.