Influencer Marketing is a branch of relationship marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from prominent figures as a ‘social proof’ that a product or service is useful. This technique has enormous potential because of the trust audiences are increasingly placing in their Influencer of choice. In many cases, these audiences desire to emulate the particular lifestyle or experience being shared and are already bought in on an emotional level. The perceived authenticity of the endorsement dramatically increases the likelihood that these connections will become a customer.
When done correctly, finding the right Influencer to partner with can supercharge your marketing efforts and reinforce your brand message right in your customers’ newsfeed. The right partner propels your message to thousands upon thousands of users that would have been otherwise impossible to reach.
An influencer is simply an individual with a dedicated following who can affect an audience’s purchasing decisions. They can provide entertaining content, be experts in their field, or simply have a loyal following in a particular niche. An effective influencer stands out because they will almost always distribute content that adds value to their followers, actively engaging with them regularly building feelings of trust, community and belonging.
Like any other business strategy, it’s essential to recognise both the benefits and the risks of Influencer Marketing. Influencers are just people at the end of the day – They’re infallible and can receive as much bad press as good. But, when a harmful incident occurs, whether it’s political, racial, or merely a controversial statement, the reputational damage that follows can have long-term commercial implications. It’s a good idea to screen and coach your influencers carefully on the values you expect them to show.
You should also be aware that not all influencers are created equal. As surprising as it sounds, people can and do buy likes, followers and retweets. Fake Influencer accounts are becoming more frequent. They can come complete with fake followers, likes from ‘click farms’ and ‘flipped accounts’ which have been purchased and repurposed from a non-related account. The danger is that you could end up paying for thousands for endorsements from an account with absolutely zero value.
The key takeaway here is to make sure you always do your due diligence. An agency (Just like ours!) can help you identify some key targets and make sure you’re investing in the right individual.
Research is critical, but once you know what channel you’re going to use, you can start to investigate the type of Influencer you will need. Whether it’s a celebrity with massive following or a group of micro-influencers (those with less than 2,000 followers), you’ll need to decide on a budget that works for you. Our research shows Influencers with between 5–10k followers seem to offer the sweet spot for balancing costs/benefits. Of course, that’s hugely variable based on your business – Influence.co have a great resource to help you estimate the costs for potential influencers here:
Should you want the big names, there’s a high price to pay. Buzz Bingo suggests that footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has earned more than $47m from 49 sponsored Instagram posts alone. With other big names such as Holly Willoughby charging up to £14,000 per sponsored post. These high prices can reap huge rewards but are by no means a guarantee of success. You’ll need a well-defined strategy and perfectly executed tactical campaign.
Burns Creative have got stacks of experience managing social media marketing campaigns. We can help you develop and implement your first influencer marketing campaign. Contact our team today for your free consultation.