Authentic Influencer Marketing Strategies
Social media started life as a platform for contacting and keeping in touch with friends and family, but it quickly evolved into a much more versatile network. Today, social media apps and sites provide an incredible opportunity for businesses and individual influencers to build their brand, engage with customers, and drive sales. Almost 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company or venture they follow on social media. Just a few years ago, you had to be famous to become an influencer, but times have changed. Today, a growing number of brands work with influencers, and more and more people are choosing to establish a career based on their social media presence. If you’re interested in social media and influencer marketing, here’s an informative guide to get you started.
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A brief introduction to influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is an increasingly effective ploy for businesses looking to use social media to interact with customers, build a following, enhance their brand reputation, and most importantly, increase sales.
To a degree, social media influencers have replaced celebrity endorsements in the modern world, and they tend to achieve results based on the fact that they’re authentic, and their posts are believable.
Many social media users view influencers as peers, and this helps to form relationships and establish a connection between brands and their target customers.
If you looked at an account run by an influencer a few years ago, it would probably be very different to one that receives millions of likes today. While original images that broke the mould made a splash in the early days of influencing, there has been a shift towards a more natural and genuine approach to capturing and sharing photographs.
The vast majority of people now post photos directly from their phone, rather than staging a shoot with a tripod and a DSLR camera, and buyers are looking for products they could actually wear or use themselves.
Fashion is a focal point for influencers, and more relaxed images tend to be more popular than overly staged, professional, catwalk-style shots.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Adweek predicts that the value of social media influencing is set to increase to $10 billion by the year 2020. Although Instagram is the leading name in this industry, there are several other platforms to consider if you are thinking about becoming an authentic social media influencer. Snapchat, YouTube, and Tiktok are all popular alternatives.
Almost 90% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is as valuable as other types of techniques, and it achieves an 11% higher ROI than digital media.
For a detailed step-by-step guide on becoming a professional social media influencer in 2019, check out this guide by Chelsea Clarke here:
Successful Instagram influencer marketing examples
Instagram provided a platform for the earliest influencers to establish a following and forge a career, and often, it’s useful to see how bloggers and aspiring entrepreneurs used the app to put their name up in lights.
Here are some of the most successful examples of Instagram influencers:
Candice Kumai: a well-known author, Candice Kumai increased her following by sharing posts on a number of subjects that appealed to both her and her virtual friends.
Rather than focusing solely on the subject of her book, wellness, Kumai shared posts on topics ranging from plant-based cooking and healthy eating to entrepreneurialism, family, and travel.
The key message here is to be diverse and use your own stories, background, and experiences to give your feed a unique identity.
From an entrepreneurial perspective, Kumai has succeeded due to her engagement with fans, her promotion of other content she has created and shared on other platforms and channels, and her professional production and presentation.
Angi Greene: Angi Greene gained popularity through her storytelling posts, which captured her life as a mom, a daughter, and a trainer. Her photos, which are often raw, are accompanied by tales or inspirational quotes and mantras, and she uses a mixture of text and images to create a compelling feed.
REI: REI is a great example of how a brand can capitalise on the impact of influencer marketing. REI features real-life customers, sharing versions of original user posts, and it also shares useful, informative, purposeful content.
This kind of feed is attractive to buyers and followers because it has value and it provides benefits for the reader.
Social media influencing is like any other form of marketing in that it requires careful planning.
If you run a business, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience a sudden influx of orders by sending out a few free samples and asking friends to share posts about them on Instagram.
To make influencer marketing work for your business, you have to create a strategy, and this involves the following steps:
Research your market:
Consider your target market very carefully before you decide which platform to focus on. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to concentrate on a single app to begin with.
Choose a platform that is most popular with your ideal customer, and think about the type of products you’re talking about and promoting. Instagram, for example, is a brilliant choice for fashion and beauty.
Research influencers, and explore your options. Are you hoping to work with celebrities who have millions of followers, or is a microinfluencer with around 1,000-3,000 followers more realistic?
Make choices based on your budget, and remember that you’ll need to factor in the compensation cost. Different people will charge varied rates. Gather as much information as you can before you make any decisions.
Establish your budget: once you’ve completed your research, and you’ve got data in front of you, figure out how much you want to spend on influencer marketing. This will help you narrow down your options.
Make your objectives clear: you should always plan a strategy based on your goals and targets. Every brand wants to utilise social influencer marketing to promote their business and increase sales, but it’s wise to break these objectives down. Maybe your initial aim is to expand your client base within a specific demographic or create a buzz around a new product, for example.
Making contact with influencers: before you agree to anything, look at the work of influencers on your short-list, make sure they are legitimate, and ensure they will appeal to your ideal buyer. When you’ve made a decision, you can contact influencers through social media, or via their agent if they don’t work independently.
This post contains a link with well known agencies for businesses and influencers to connect:
Adapt and update your strategy: times change, and new trends emerge. This means that it’s crucial to monitor the success of campaigns and be prepared to modify and adjust the strategy to ensure it remains relevant.
Social media influencers play an increasingly visible role in promoting businesses and raising brand awareness. If you’re keen to tap into this growing trend, hopefully, this guide will get you off to a flying start.
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