The hallmark of the last decade has been social media, its rapid growth and development, and the implications of those for brands and marketing. Online personalities and content creators have emerged. And they could be your next best marketing investment. Here’s what you need to know about influencer marketing this decade.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencers are people with significant online presences, typically on YouTube and/or Instagram. They’re usually admired for their lifestyles and perceived success. Influencer marketing is when brands use influencers to advertise their products or services on their online platform, either through gifting them with products or sponsoring them directly to promote the sponsor’s products or services.
Maps Maponyane is a South African TV presenter, actor, fashion designer, speaker, and influencer.
Suzelle DIY is a South African DIY YouTuber, actress, comedian, and influencer.
Nomzamo Mbatha is a South African actress, businesswoman, TV personality, and influencer.
Each of these influencers have a distinct, pre-existing audience that marketers use to promote their brand. But before you decide to commit to influencer marketing, you need to mull over a few things.
Is influencer marketing worth it?
The effectiveness of influencers varies and is quite hotly debated in the marketing world, but you can read more about that here.
Things to consider if you’re looking into influencer marketing
If you decide influencer marketing is something that could work for your brand, then comes the challenge of choosing an influencer. Influencers can be excellent channels for connecting brands with their target market, but the mistake of choosing an inauthentic influencer, or one that doesn’t connect with your brand’s purpose could prove ineffective at best, and harmful at worst. So you want to be sure you pick the right influencer if you’re looking for an effective influencer marketing campaign.
You need to do your research. Find an influencer that’s connected to your target market, and that has a relatively extensive reach. That way you’ll have better chances of connecting with a market that will resonate with your brand.
You also need to do some research on the influencer’s engagement. How many likes do they get? Are they proportional to the number of followers they have? If not, you might be looking at an ‘influencer’ who bought followers. Those followers are either bots, or they don’t really care about what the influencer is all about. That means they have poor engagement, and if you advertise through them, chances are you won’t get the response you want.
On the topic of research, you need to find an influencer with a reputation you wouldn’t mind sharing. When you affiliate your brand with a person, you’re affiliating it with their reputation. Is that something your brand can handle?
You need to find an influencer whose interests and values are aligned with your brand purpose and personality. Using influencers in line with your brand will ensure a more honest and genuine campaign. Authenticity matters. In fact, 37% of consumers consider authenticity to be the most important factor in sponsored posts. A sense of honest love of a product or service coming from an influencer gives consumers a greater sense of trust in both the influencer, and the brand they’re promoting.
What a genuine influencer wants you to know
A good influencer will give you some return on investment, especially if you choose to work with one in line with your own values. The point of using influencers for marketing is that they give the target market information that’s easy to understand and relatable. You need to give them the freedom to direct the narrative of the campaign, with your brand’s approval and guidance, of course.
All things considered, influencer marketing could be the key to your brand’s success. You just need to get it right.