In today’s technologically driven business landscape, numerous different promotional channels are available for businesses to market their products and services. However, with the extensive available options for promotional options, it is almost impossible for marketers to decide which channel is optimal for both their organization’s industry and budget.
Using too many promotional channels can result in inefficient use of your business’s sales and marketing budget, mixed messages towards your target demographic, loss of focus on your marketing campaign’s focus, and increased expenses. Therefore, businesses can look to influencer marketing for a laser-focused social media marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing is defined as a collaboration between a business and an online social media influencer to market specific products and services. Influencers upload content to their social media pages promoting one of your business’s products and services so that you can target their built-in audience and followers.
As customers begin to spend more time on social media, your business needs to take advantage of the potential marketing opportunities by reaching them there. 17% of companies spend over half of their marketing budget on influencer marketing.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
1) Credibility and Trust
Influencers have built-in audiences that your business can take advantage of. Therefore, your businesses can take advantage of the trust and credibility that influencers have with their followers and fanbase. When an influencer promotes a product or service, their audience will be more likely to trust your business when compared to if you reached them through traditional marketing strategies.
2) Brand Awareness
Influencers tend to have substantial amounts of online social media reach. When utilizing influencer marketing, your business can significantly grow its online presence and build its own social media following. By showing online viewers that your business provides relevant and valuable content, you can help improve your business’s brand awareness and credibility.
3) Target Audience
Most influencers tend to have audiences that fit within one specific demographic in terms of age, gender, or niche interest. Therefore, if your business can identify influencers with a following that matches your business’s demographic, you will be able to reach your target audience immediately, without having to spend large amounts of time and effort on testing and finding prospective customers.
4) Potential Partnerships
Businesses can take advantage of influencer marketing for much more than just promoting products and services. Connecting with influencers that are relevant to your business and industry can lead to potential joint ventures, large-scale events, and further opportunities to identify and maintain a bigger online audience.
Influencer Marketing- How To Do It Right
The first step of the influence marketing process is researching which social media platform you want to focus on. The platforms your business chooses should be ones that you either already have an established online presence on or ones that have significant advantages to expanding into. Your business should also research where your business and industry conversations are happening the most through social listening.
2) Budgeting and Management Strategies
Unlike other types of marketing, influencer marketing for the most part cannot be automated. Influencers must be communicated with on a personal basis, and your business must cultivate relationships with them using a clearly defined management process. The timings and specific details of sponsored posts must also be closely monitored.
Your business may even require an influencer marketing agency to monitor logistical issues. Therefore your business must also create a holistic budget that includes the cost of each sponsored post, human resources responsible for cultivating relationships with influencers, and managers that monitor influencer partnerships.
3) Decide Goals, Objectives, and Tone
Before approaching influencers, your business must decide what your brand’s basic needs and future objectives are. By first deciding which specific demographic and user group your business would like to target, you can decide which influencers to approach.
The influencers your brand partners with should match your business’s tone, have an audience that matches your target demographic, and align with your future organizational goals and objectives.
4) Contacting Influencers
During this step, your business can begin contacting influencers. Your business must analyze each influencer’s social media platform to determine if they have worked with similar brands in your industry before and if they have large amounts of organic user engagement. You can reach out to influencers by using direct messages on their social media pages or contacting their management.
Your business can then monitor the performance of sponsored posts using analytical tools. These metrics can then be used to draw valuable insights which can help develop and refine your business’s future influencer marketing campaigns.
Influencer Marketing- The Future of Social Media Marketing
Although more traditional types of digital marketing such as email marketing and social media marketing are still extremely viable ways to increase your brand’s visibility; influencer marketing can help take your brand’s marketing campaigns to the next level. Influencers have built-in audiences that are more likely to trust your business’s products and services if they hear about them through a known influencer.