With so much going on in the social media marketing game, though, one question that naturally arises is how to cut through all of the white noise. How do you break through that wall of competition and reach the endless sea of customers waiting to hear your message on the other side? The answer: influencers.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing typically consists of popular personalities — these are often individuals who have found their fame through their own social media efforts — who promote a brand, product, or service to the followers that they “influence” on social media.
Influencer marketing works because it skips the “cold calling” part of marketing in which a brand must find prospective customers and build initial loyalty. Instead, influencers allow a brand to create instant trust through their own personal endorsements — endorsements that are typically reimbursed by payment or free products and services.
Broadly speaking, there are five different kinds of influencers:
How Effective is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing has been growing apace in recent years. For example, influencer marketing on Instagram grew by more than 39% in 2018 alone — although the social media giant’s recent shift to remove their “like” option on posts may have serious repercussions for Instagram social media influencers down the road.
Regardless of the specifics, though, there’s no doubt that influencer marketing is effective — at least at times. When executed carefully, influencer marketing certainly allows you to create targeted advertising that increases brand awareness, grows your customer base, and drives sales.
However, in order to succeed in the influencer marketing game, you need to make sure you choose your influencers with care.
How to Find Influencers
Influencers, especially micro-influencers, are a dime a dozen. Nearly every industry in existence has numerous social media personalities out beating the drum for the companies they endorse every single day.
In fact, there are so many options that choosing which personalities to ally yourself with can quickly lead to a case of analysis paralysis — especially if you simply look for anyone and everyone who technically lines up with your line of business.
Instead of recklessly diving in, then, take the time to ask yourself a series of questions that can help you narrow down the authenticity and effectiveness of each influencer you consider:
Along with these considerations, make sure to keep your marketing budget expectations and limitations in mind as it’s easy to get carried away if you’re not careful. Taking the time to vet each potential influencer, while also considering how they could fit into your larger social media marketing strategy, can lead to a powerfully effective influencer marketing campaign.
Upping Your Influencer Marketing Game in 2020
While there are many things to keep in mind, there’s no doubt that influencer marketing is still an effective way to reach your audience as the third decade of the 21st-century kicks off. From celebrities to micro-influencers and everyone in between, there are plenty of ways to make influencer marketing work for businesses across the board. If you want to find success, though, make sure to do your homework before you set out influencer hunting.
Frankie Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho.