What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing came onto the marketing scene around 2014 and has continued to grow as a credible marketing channel since then. Some brands choose influencer marketing before social advertising these days. So, what is it exactly?
When a popular individual (the influencer), who has gained significant traction on social networks, shares content about a product or service they’ve been compensated in some way to promote – that’s influencer marketing.
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, from those with a few thousand followers, to those with millions of subscribers. Some focus on discussing specific niches, like cooking, technology, or toys. Others tend to stay broad in their content, discussing their lifestyle.
In short, implanting an influencer marketing campaign results in something of a mix between a celebrity endorsement and word of mouth marketing on steroids.
No matter what your company sells and markets, there’s likely an influencer out there who would be ideal to promote your products, services, and brand.
How Influencer Marketing Helps a Brand
People trust people, not a company logo or tagline. For years, the pinnacle in marketing and advertising has been celebrity endorsements, because people trust certain celebrities. Even though we know this about ourselves as consumers, we still trust those commercials and advertisements that include a celebrity endorsement.
Influencers are the celebrities of the online world – simply put they have street cred. By promoting your brand’s product or service, the influencer extending some of their credibility to your brand. Their followers and subscribers trust the influencer to share only valuable and relevant content – including products and services they love.
By working with influencers, a brand can achieve a few goals. First, the influencer helps the client get the word out to thousands of people (often highly targeted) about the brand’s product or service.
Second, the influencer helps her followers see how to best use the product or service – the followers get to see the product or service in action. The influencer’s followers often trust what she says and does, so this gives the brand a good opportunity to show proof that the product or service works.
Third, it provides an opportunity to run a special or discount in conjunction with the influencer, providing even more value to both the influencer and the influencer’s audience. The influencer can say things like, “I worked out a special deal, just for my audience, to get a 20% discount on this product. Just use code abc123 when checking out!” It helps the influencer provide more value to her audience, thereby making the influencer more valuable in general.
Finally, it provides the brand with content they can promote on their various online channels. An influencer campaign combined with social advertising can stretch the value of the original campaign out well beyond the final influencer post. It is also evergreen content – it can be reused in the future.
What Companies Benefit from Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a good fit for many brands and companies, depending on their goals and objectives.
If a brand would benefit from a third-party endorsement and/or needs to get in front of a targeted, engaged audience, influencer marketing is a perfect fit. While we do tend to recommend this type of marketing more to those brands selling consumer products (especially e-commerce), we are seeing a rise in influencers available to both consumer services, as well as business-to-business products and services.
If you’re wondering whether influencer marketing would be a good fit for your company, reach out and let’s discuss.
Our Approach to Influencer Marketing
When BeeSmart works with our clients on an influencer marketing campaign, we handle the process from start to finish. This includes:
- Strategy – what are the goals? What does the influencer need to have to be considered? Budget? How will the content be used afterwards? These are just a few items we nail down before beginning our search.
- Influencer options – we look to our existing network of influencers first. If we don’t have ideal influencers in our network, we’ll search to find the right ones for our clients.
- Influencer selection – we guide our clients to help them select a few from the options provided.
- Influencer negotiation – we work with our client and the influencer to negotiate what the influencer will deliver for the compensation provided by our client. We often get more for our clients than what was originally proposed by the influencer. We also know the reasonable compensation for the influencer’s proposed services – you won’t overpay.
- Campaign logistics – we work with the influencer to create content for the campaign and nail down what will be said/posted on behalf of our client. We also work out timing, delivery, content ownership rights, and many other elements of the campaign.
- Campaign implementation and measurement – we ensure the campaign is implemented correctly, based on the terms of agreement, and ask the influencer to correct anything that was missed. We then measure the results of the campaign, based on the goals established in the strategy.
Influencer marketing isn’t easy or simple – it’s one of the most complicated processes we implement for our clients. It can take up to 5 months to go from start to finish with one influencer. Many brands can do this on their own, but the ones who do often don’t get everything they could have gotten by working with a pro.
If you’d like to learn more about how our influencer marketing services might help your brand, please contact us. The BeeSmart Social Media team is ready to help you with this element of your marketing plan!