For as long as people have had language we have been using it to tell stories and share our knowledge with our community. Our histories were passed down orally in the form of fables with morals – these stories literally helped our species survive. Whoever was the keeper of this wisdom tended to be the most revered person in the community and people would flock to them to learn around the fire. Sound familiar? No?
Replace fire with social media and keeper of wisdom with influencer and it will help you understand social media marketing a little bit better. The technology may have changed, but the premise hasn’t. There are people with a high level of trust in the community and others flock to their social media pages to learn all they can, in the form of the influencer’s recommendations.
The holy grail of digital marketing is to get people to share your product or their great brand experience with their online community. A single positive review from a trusted source is going to take your brand marketing further than a radio ad ever could. That being said, people have become increasingly savvy about marketing techniques, so getting those shares, mentions, and recommendations has become a lot more difficult to do these days.
Yes, social media is a viable and some would argue mandatory digital marketing channel, but the days where you could just post an update and get tons of engagement are long gone – now you have to advertise on the marketing platform, but people are even gun shy about ads, which is why influencer marketing is where your best engagement lies. As an ad agency, we have been advising our clients to advertise with local influencers for a few years. Advertising through an influencer is harnessing the power of both word of mouth marketing and social media marketing rolled into one sexy advertising package. So how do you find an influencer that is right for you?
Figure out your budget
– Some influencers are just in it for the free swag, you may be able to get away with asking them to post about your product just by giving them free stuff, but as influencer marketing gains in popularity, so does the asking price. Decide what you are willing to spend on a post before you go into it because the price will vary significantly. Keep in mind, the more followers and the higher the engagement, the higher the cost.
– As much as we are loathed to use the words personal and brand together, influencers have their own personal brand. Look at their use of colours, word choice, and general aesthetic to see if it aligns with your own. You don’t want to confuse your brand development by advertising somewhere that isn’t a fit.
Check out the Following
– Just because someone has 100k plus followers doesn’t mean that they are engaged with their followers or that their followers are engaged with them. Check out their feed, what are people saying in the comments? Is the influencer responding? Do they post often? Ideally, you want to work with an influencer who has a number of positively engaged followers, who posts a few times a day, but not too often.
Check out Geography
– Don’t forget to make sure that they influencer is active in the location you are marketing. If you are married to the idea of getting involved with an influencer in Tacoma but your store is in Calgary, well, it’s time to get divorced from that idea. Make sure your influencer (and the bulk of their audience) is where you are working.
Make a List
– Not every influencer is going to be down with hocking your product. Make a list of at least 5 well-researched people you want to work with so that you can start approaching them to work with you. Depending on how big the star, you may have to go through a representative or manager and for others you can just contact them directly.
If blending the world of social media and word of mouth marketing is stressing you out, consider getting in touch with a friendly marketing company, like us! Give us a call, we can help sort you (and your marketing) out!