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Making the most of influencer marketing

By Laurna Woods

Forget experts, everyone wants to be referred to as an influencer these days. The rise of influencer marketing has shaken up our work as an integrated communications agency.

For all the opportunities influencer marketing offers, there are also some dangers to be avoided.

It’s not just about using influencers because they’re trendy – it’s about using the right influencers to get your brand’s message to the right audience.

And that doesn’t – I stress, doesn’t ­– mean finding whoever has the biggest following, as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was pointing out earlier this week (more of that later).

What your brand has to do is precision target its audience. Whether you’re pushing a B2B or B2C message, there are opportunities to do this. Social media and internet influencers range from cult industry bloggers to YouTube stars and local Instagrammers with impressive follower counts.

There are mummy bloggers, beauty bloggers, fitness bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers, tech bloggers, business bloggers – you name it, they blog it, Instagram it, tweet it and Facebook it.

Power of a personal recommendation

The power of peer-to-peer recommendations is certainly on the increase as consumer trust leans towards real people ahead of brands. There’s no endorsement as good as a personal recommendation, and that’s what you get with influencers.

The right influencers help grow your business and help sell your product or service if they are actively engaged with an audience you want to target. But there are a few pitfalls to be aware of.

Choose who you bring on to support your influencer marketing campaign very carefully. Don’t be seduced by influencers simply on account of the fact they have a massive following. Twitter’s Dorsey spoke about this just this week.

He told an audience in New Delhi that Twitter had put too much emphasis on the follower count when setting up the service, putting it in a big bold font at the top of profiles because they wanted people to follow each other.

Dorsey said: “We put all the emphasis, not intending to, on that number of how many people follow me. So if that number is big and bold, what do people want to do with it? They want to make it go up.

“That may have been right 12 years ago, but I don't think it is right today. I don’t think that’s the number you should be focused on. I think what is more important is the number of meaningful conversations you’re having on the platform. How many times do you receive a reply?"

So when you’re working with influencers, it is engagement that’s important – even in the eyes of the guy who came up with the follower count. Ask yourself questions about the people you’re hoping will get your message out to your audience …

Questions you must ask about an influencer

Are their audiences genuinely engaging with them? Are their followers real? Are they a good fit for your brand?

Are they working with too many other brands on too many things meaning your relationship with them could be diluted and lost?

Have you considered working with micro-influencers? They might have a smaller reach but tend to have a big impact and a very engaged following?

While many influencer partnerships are brokered around gifting or sharing an experience, the minute money changes hands any content has to be clearly labelled an advert. These very strict rules must be obeyed.

To ensure you get the best result plan your strategy with precision, find your audience with laser like focus and target only those influencers who can bring you that audience.

To find out how we push the boundaries of PR, marketing, digital and web design to get the best for our clients, call us now on 0800 612 9890.