Influencer marketing has been around for a while and has become wildly popular in the past few years. Influencer marketing has made its way to the forefront of marketing as the world around us becomes increasingly technologically advanced.

But what is influencer marketing, and how it can help your business? Read on to find out:

  • What  influencer marketing is
  • What makes influencer marketing powerful
  • How to build your influencer marketing strategy

What  influencer marketing is

An influencer is someone who has a positive influence over a brand. Influencers promote a brand’s products or services through various media outlets such as Instagram and YouTube. Influencer marketing is different from celebrity endorsements. It goes beyond simply teaming a brand with well-known personalities. 

Influencers need to be trusted figures within a niche community and retain loyal followers. They usually have some experience and knowledge of the products or services they advertise.

For example, a popular fitness vlogger on YouTube with extensive knowledge of weight training and proper nutrition may be asked to advertise sportswear or a supplement company. 

In some cases, an influencer may not have relevant experience to endorse a product. In this scenario, they depend on the loyalty and trust they have built within their community to influence their followers. The most common influencers are adventurers, photographers, food lovers, how-to experts, beauticians, artists, models, comedians, and models.

Influencer marketing can include: 

  • Product reviews on social media
  • Unboxing videos
  • Product placements in creative content (with or without a direct mention from the influencer)
  • Sharing the brand’s campaigns and new product launches
  • Sharing a unique coupon code so that the influencer’s audience can get a great deal
  • Partnering with the influencer to create a co-branded product or campaign
  • Giveaways on the influencer’s platforms
  • Promoting events that the influencer or your brand will attend
  • Supporting influencers’ causes by donating products to their fundraisers and events
  • Using influencers to create content like videos, blog posts, and social media ads for your brand.

The possibilities for what an influencer and a brand can do together are endless. And the best collaborations use tailored approaches to provide fresh content to audiences.

What makes influencer marketing powerful

It targets audiences more effectively

For a long time, scheduled television was the only mass media consumers had access to. It was also one of the primary platforms for marketers to advertise to the masses. 

Thanks to the internet and social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, consumers today have unlimited freedom and choice over the content they wish to view. 

This creates a problem for brands. Their target audience is now spread across multiple media channels, making it harder to reach them. Learn more about how to successfully market your business on social media here.

Followers view the influencer as a trustworthy source

Consumers are becoming increasingly sceptical of brands and their marketing tactics, and building trust is crucial. 90% of people are much more likely to trust a recommended brand (even from strangers), which makes influencers a handy word-of-mouth marketing tool.

By partnering with influencers, brands can reach niche communities that watch, engage, and trust their content. Consumers trust that if their chosen influencer loves the product, so will they, instead of being sceptical of a commercial or social media advertisement.

How to build your influencer marketing strategy

The following list is a simplified guide to influencer marketing. You might want to add it to your marketing strategy to help boost your brand.

Gathering a list of influencers for your industry

You might want to do some research and find some experts and personalities in your field. This could be a prominent individual or an organisation that has a considerable number of fans or followers.

It doesn’t matter how many you list, as long as you believe they have an “influence” on your target audience.

Finding influencers who align with your brand

After compiling your list from the previous step, the next step is to shortlist the influencers closest to your business.

Choose those closely related to and catering to the same audience you would like to sell to based on your goals.

Choosing the right influencer for your brand will increase your chances of making a sale since you have already cornered your market.

Connecting with potential influencer 

The next step is building a relationship with the influencers you think are relevant to your business.

Reach out to them, follow their pages/accounts, add them up on whatever platform they’re on, and message them your intent.

Introduce your brand and let them know why you want to work with them as a brand influencer. The success (or failure) of landing them as your influencer would depend on how well you pitch a future partnership with them.

Creating the content along with your influencers

After choosing and connecting with your influencers, you can now create the content they will share and promote—for example, blog posts (read more about why blogging is good for your business here).

See also: How to Allocate a Budget for Digital Marketing

Depending on your agreement, you may be the one doing the content, and they will just promote it for you. 

You could pay them on a direct/paid basis to create the content they show on their pages if they are very particular about the style of content they deliver.

You may agree on specific content, such as videos, infographics, and regular posts and reviews about your products.