Believe it. Influencer marketing is big. In some cases, it can be more powerful than social media advertising or developing online marketing campaigns.
It is also evolving fast. While a few international names dominate the market, the spotlight is on local stars who can influence local consumers and communities. Getting a handle on this fast-growing market and understanding how it can help your messaging effort is no easy feat.
The best way PR Pros can begin is to let go of the misconception that influencer popularity equals success. It does not. You may get influencers who seem to garner a million likes, but you need to understand whether that endorsement helps your messaging and marketing effort.
While successful influencers tend to be pricier, remember that they are reaping dividends by endorsing other brands as well. So be careful. Just see what Walt Disney has done with theirs here.
The best way to begin is to take a step back and start with your consumer or target audience. A quick poll survey or qualitative interviews can reveal surprising details of your potential audience’s likes and desires. Adding which influencer they follow or prefer will give you a good idea on whom you should be looking. [bctt tweet=”Take a step back & start with your consumer or target audience #influencermarketing” username=”@BroadPR”]
It is important when you are reaching across different demographics. One influencer is not going to meet the expectations of all your intended audience. The older generation, especially those not born in the era of online videos and blogs, may not be thrilled to see a younger influencer telling them why they should consider your brand.
Remember that not all your audience may want to hear from an influencer. Influencer marketing is admittedly new and tends to grow among the younger demographic. So do not sacrifice traditional marketing efforts for the sake of influencer marketing and lose the interest of the actual decision makers that matter to you.
Industry matters. With the Internet filled with news and fake news, people are becoming selective of what they want to spend their time on when reading. It means the window of grabbing attention is small. Getting an influencer who is known or popular in the industry you are in is important. Don’t be fooled by the efforts of large consumer brands as they have very different objectives and also have deep pockets with which to spend.
Consider using a range of influencers if your budget permits. Each influencer brings a different value proposition to the table. Having a team of influencers or personalities can offer your brand and messaging different personalities and characters. Although some marketers will frown on this, it can aid in keeping your brand fresh.
Lastly, learn from the influencers. Some of the tactics and strategies used by them to garner success can help your team to message better. Ensure there is a learning process, or you may be missing out on some of the biggest and most valuable lessons.
The above offers advice on how to begin with influencer marketing. In my next blog, I will look at what to do next.