What Is Influencer Marketing and Why Is It Important?

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Influencer marketing is more than a buzzword — it’s actually an extremely effective content marketing strategy. But don’t just take our word for it — here’s everything you need to know about influencer marketing and why it’s important:  

What Is Influencer Marketing and How Does It Work?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where a brand partners with an influencer for endorsements and promotions. An influencer has a large online audience and a reputation for knowledge and expertise within a specific area. 

For example, some of the most popular influencer marketing categories include beauty, fashion, travel, lifestyle, health and fitness, and parenting. Some of the most popular types of influencers include icons, entertainers, gurus, and instructors, and they tend to be influential people within their respective fields. It’s essentially like getting a celebrity endorsement but on a smaller scale. 

Influencer marketing works by pairing a brand with an appropriate influencer who is known and trusted by the target audience. For example, a water bottle company would want to partner with a health and fitness influencer or a travel influencer. You might provide them with free products to help spur their content creation. From there, they would collaborate on creating the right type of content that best appeals to your target audience and gets out your brand message. 

Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?

Influencer marketing is a relatively new form of marketing. As a result, it makes sense that you would be skeptical of its effectiveness and importance. In 2022, however, influencer marketing should be a key component of every brand’s marketing strategy. Here’s why:

  • Reach: Influencer marketing can help you boost your brand’s reach and effortlessly get in front of your target audience, making it ideal for increasing brand awareness. 
  • Millennials and Generation Z: Specifically, social media influencer marketing can help you reach potential customers within Millennials and Generation Z. These groups can be challenging to reach and win over, which is why the right influencer marketing via social media posts is so valuable. 
  • Leads: Influencer marketing is also great for lead generation. When someone sees their favorite influencer promoting a product, they are more likely to want to learn more about the product and brand. From there, you can work on converting them using other marketing methods, including but not limited to social media marketing, email marketing, and SMS marketing. Eventually, you might be able to influence their purchase decisions. 
  • Conversions: Most importantly, influencer marketing can help you drive conversions. Some people are so “influenced” by trusted influencers that they will decide to purchase the promoted product right away with little to no additional research on their end. 
  • Reputation: Last but not least, influencer marketing can help establish and improve your brand’s reputation. The content creators you’re partnering with have a good reputation, which will be extended to your brand when they promote your products. 

How To Get Started With Influencer Marketing?

Based on these benefits, you should get started with influencer marketing right away. Here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1: Determine Your Marketing Goals

Start by determining your marketing goals. What are you hoping to accomplish by partnering with an influencer? Are you trying to boost brand awareness? Get more leads? Drive conversions? Your marketing strategy will differ depending on what your goals are. 

Step 2: Consider Your Target Audience

Next, you need to consider your target audience to make sure that you choose an effective influencer. However, you may need to go beyond essential demographic factors by creating a more comprehensive audience persona. 

An audience persona reads like a real person with details about their wants, fears, hobbies, motivations, etc. Developing a target market audience persona can help you create an influencer persona that’s likely to appeal to your target audience. It will also help you decide whether you want to target influencers on TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or any other social media platforms. 

Step 3: Research Potential Influencer Partners

Based on your influencer persona, you can start researching potential influencer partners. Before you begin your research, it’s important to keep in mind that follower counts shouldn’t be your most important factor. 

In fact, influencers with smaller followings, known as “micro-influencers” or “nano-influencers,” may even be more effective than influencers with large followings (or macro-influencers) since these individuals tend to have more personal relationships with their followers. They can also help you target more specific niches. 

Step 4: Reach Out to Potential Influencer Partners

Now that you have a shortlist of potential influencer partners, it’s time to reach out to them with your pitch. Make sure always to personalize your pitch to include what you like about the influencer and why you want to work with them specifically. 

Step 5: Establish Partnerships and Create Content

After the pitch, you can negotiate the terms of your partnership and start working on creating influencer content. Just remember to give the influencer a degree of creative freedom with their content rather than giving them a script to read so that the content feels authentic. 

Influencer Marketing Best Practices for Success

Now that you know the basics of influencer marketing, here are some influencer marketing best practices to help you achieve success in this lucrative field: 

  • Work with more than one influencer at a time: Each influencer has their own unique audience, so when you work with multiple influencers, you’re expanding your reach to the greatest possible extent. 
  • Work with the same influencer more than once: If your campaign with an influencer or blogger is successful, you should work with them again to build a long-term partnership that’s beneficial to both parties. At this point, you might consider them brand ambassadors. 
  • Consider engagement rates more than follower count: Ideal influencer partners don’t just have high follower counts, and they definitely don’t have fake followers. They have high levels of engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares in addition to a large number of followers. 
  • Be clear about your goals and expectations for the campaign: Communicate your expectations and set clear goals and metrics for your campaign ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page. 
  • Follow influencer marketing rules and regulations: Influencer marketing campaigns must be clearly marked as “ads,” “sponsored,” and “paid promotion” according to FTC regulations. This is true whether you’re using Instagram posts or some other form of social media. 

Conclusion

With the right strategy, influencer marketing can help you achieve your marketing goals — whether it’s to boost brand awareness or drive conversions. This marketing tactic is a good addition to traditional advertising techniques and can help you reach new audiences. 

If you need any assistance developing an effective influencer marketing strategy or establishing partnerships with influencers, feel free to contact Greg Gillman for personalized advice and guidance on digital marketing. 

Sources:

The Importance of Influencer Marketing in the ‘New Normal’ Digital Sphere | Forbes

How Can You Grow Your Small Business With Micro-Influencers? | Business2Community

5 Tips for Building a Strong Influencer Program | Entrepreneur

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