The concept of the influencer has been around for decades. For example, let’s take The Beatles, the most influential people throughout the 60s and 70s. Not only did they influence the music industry, but they influenced fashion and culture. This was way before the digital age, they were speaking to audiences on another level, they were entering into small cultural spheres and infiltrating it on a mass scale.
Take the idea of influential individuals, now combine it with social media. Social media influencers now offers marketers a chance to break through the gridlock of the mass amounts trying to get their product noticed. We as marketers have to be able to break into small sub-spheres without alienating any other potential audiences. How do we do this? Social media influencers. Social media influencers have been a questionable approach with many arguing that it’s dead and gone. Whilst we don’t entirely disagree with those who aren’t in favour, we feel that it’s how you play the influencer field that is important.
Work with those who are equally passionate
Remember in 2016 when TV person Scott Disick posted the instructions from the marketers in his captions “Here you go, at 4pm est, write the below. Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk”. Firstly, he couldn’t care less, making sure you’re working with influencers who actually want to work with you is important. Lack of enthusiasm can be seen miles away. No connection will be made with with the audience and you’re at risk of losing ROI as well as your brand’s integrity.
This blunder could indicate everything that is wrong with influencer marketing. Not only does is it suggest that brands are becoming disconnected with key audience...but audiences are more likely to purchase a product from a viable, trusted source, the logic is “if person A likes it, then I must like it because I trust them”. Advertising standards agency have squashed the “is this an advert?” confusion with influencers now being required to state it in their posts. So when #ad, #sponsor or even an insight into how celebrity endorsements work (see above) appear then we’re immediately put-off. This is just an example of influencer marketing gone wrong on a celebrity scale.
Your brand could be at risk of losing it’s authenticity as well as it’s principle. But what happens when you go a little more niche and a little more micro? Is there method in the madness?
Currently, we’re executing an influencer strategy for a country attire brand. Throwing a product at someone because we think it could attract the right audience isn’t how we like to do things around here. It’s important to first of all gain a relationship with the individuals and do it on a small scale. Those that have followers between 1k-10k are ideal. Growing too big too fast is not an option, there’s a risk of losing the brand tone of voice as well as targeting completely the wrong people. Keep it niche. After all a micro influencer isn’t just a brand advocate, the likelihood is if they like your product they will return and buy from you.
Micro scale influencer marketing is the key, these influencers are without representation, they’ve paved their online presence with a laptop, good camera and an eye of aesthetics. Their curated content hasn’t been infiltrated and they are still seen as a one-person show with their content being consumed by trusting audiences. Influential trendsetters and tastemakers have a small following, they interact directly with their audiences, loyalty is imperative, you’re more likely to be influenced by a source you trust. We made sure we were contacting potential influencers who were passionate about the products we had to offer and the lifestyle which comes with it. As consumers we’re smart, and we can sometimes feel like we’re being taken for granted and ‘tricked’ when a product placement appears in the bedroom of our favourite celebrity, the authenticity goes and you’re left with a celebrity laying seductively next a mound of protein powder they swear by.
“How do I measure the ROI?” a question we hear often. ROI: Return On Investment is a metric which should be tracked excessively. You want to be making sure that the influencers you’re investing your time, efforts and resources in are encouraging audiences to buy your product. One key way to keep track of this is by providing an individual discount code which influencers can give to their own audiences. Keep track and make note of what is working, what isn’t and ask important “why” questions. See if it can be rectified by those that aren’t performing well. Your ROI will reflect the goal you’ve set in place, defining those goals before walking blindly into the realm of social media influencers is a risky game that you have to be ready to play.
If the question you’re asking is “will my ROI be huge if I invest in an influencer?” then we can’t answer it. This is entirely down to your brand voice and the marketing strategy you have around it. (We have a little guidance for that here.)
If that isn’t good enough then Influencer marketing can have higher engagement rates, it’ll cost you less and audiences will be more influenced if they feel that what they’re seeing and reading is an authentic source.
You have to really ask yourself if this something you want to go forward with, there’s more potential than there is loss, you can build relationships with influencers and your niche target audiences without losing that important brand relationship between you and your customers! Micro scale influencer keeps your brand integrity intact.
Whilst social media influencer marketing is still in its infancy we should still acknowledge its vast potential within marketing. Remember generation z? They’re taking over in a big way and should be the ones you want to approach if you really want to get some attention (as long as it’s right for your brand of course).
There’s so much noise about the good and bad of influencer marketing. Just see if it works for you, marketing is trial and error...keep your eyes open to how we did with our country attire brand.
Published by: Vast Digital in Uncategorised