Influencer Marketing…Is it right for you?
Using social media influencers is a relatively new form of marketing and is being capitalized on almost all social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube etc). However, “influencers” is not a new concept by any means. Brands have been benefiting from celebrity endorsements since the 1760’s when potter Josiah Wedgwood created a tea set for Queen Charlotte and promoted his pottery as the “Royal Standard”. The past few decades have been saturated with large companies like Nike and L’Oréal Paris, who spend hundreds of millions of dollars yearly to have a familiar face representing their products. Positive “word of mouth” is one of the most powerful tools a brand can harness, so it’s not surprising that marketers are concentrating their efforts on the people who are already respected and commonly admired in specific niche markets. Present day social media has allowed every size business to take part in this usually expensive trend. Now that this option is available to you, where do you start?
Which Level of Influencer: Micro vs. Macro?
There are two main forms of influencers, Micro and Macro, and both have very different attributes. Micro-influencers can be anyone with as little as 5,000 followers up to about 90,000. Businesses can engage this level of influencer as an effective way to build brand awareness in niche markets or in specific locations. Clothing boutiques, for example, will often partner with local influencers at this level to advertise to people in the area. While Micro-influencers have a more limited reach, their engagement rate is usually staggeringly higher than that of a Macro-influencer because followers tend to feel like they have a more personal connection with the influencer.
Macro-influencers have a much larger following and can have hundreds of thousands of followers up to over a million. The engagement rate falls dramatically in this group, but with the benefit of reaching a much larger audience. If your campaign goal is to expand brand awareness in a larger market or across multiple markets, this may be the way to go. Fitness products like pre-workout, protein powder, and meal supplements, for example, are often advertised at this level as it’s a specific yet particularly large market. Since you’re sacrificing engagement for reach or vice versa, it’s important to consider what your campaign objectives are when determining what level of influencer is best for your brand.
Picking the Right Personality
The number of followers isn’t the only thing you should be taking into consideration when selecting an influencer. Who are they reaching? How much are their followers interacting with their posts? Do their posts seem authentic? What other brands do they represent?
While it’s important to choose someone who attracts the same group you are trying to target, there are many other things you should consider when selecting which influencer to ultimately partner with. One of which, is pursuing influencers that form a two-way relationship with their followers and stay consistent with the brand that they’ve created on their profiles. Some of the most prosperous influencers have made authenticity a priority by balancing the ratio between normal posts and advertisements. Therefore, you should partner with someone who is just as selective with who they partner with, as it makes the #ad posts seem more trustworthy and authentic than a traditional advertisement.
How Will I Know if My Campaign is Successful?
Reporting is one of the most crucial aspects of marketing and can make or break your next campaign. By studying the successes and pitfalls of past campaigns we can avoid mistakes and continually improve our results. There are a lot of metrics to consider, so it’s important to understand how things are measured in the social space. An influencers potential reach is a measurement based on how many followers that person has across all of their social media platforms. Essentially, this is the number of people that could scroll through their own feeds and see your advertisement. Then, you want to account for how many people ACTUALLY see your post. Lastly (but definitely not least), you want to measure the engagement on your campaign post, which is the number of interactions on your advertisement (Liking, Sharing, Commenting etc.). Before beginning a campaign, your team should agree on the metrics by which your campaign will be measured, and that should be based on your objective.
But Before You Start…
While this may be the newest marketing trend, it’s always important to use the traditional way of deciding what’s best for your campaign. A creative brief is absolutely vital to a successful campaign, and here at Texas Creative we always have a physical brief so that all of our clients, designers and whomever else will be involved in the campaign not only agree on the objectives but completely understand the brief before beginning any work. During the exploration process, you and your agency should decide what your campaign objective is, the timeframe and duration that will work hardest for that objective, your target audience, and how you can most successfully reach your target audience with the budget in mind. All of this will help you construct your campaign’s creative brief.
All of this to say, influencer marketing is not for everyone, and not all businesses will be able to profit from this form of advertising. So while you may want to jump on this trend, it’s imperative that you make sure you are choosing the right avenues to make your campaign as effective and cost-efficient as possible. If you think influencer marketing might be right for your brand and need help putting together a creative brief, please contact us—we are happy to help!