With the emergence of social media influencers corresponding to the growing dominance of social media in the marketing space, influencer marketing has proven to be a forceful tool to drive engagement. Building on the original concept of celebrity endorsement, influencer marketing has adopted a progressive attitude to a traditionally successful marketing method. This “new age” tool utilises the affordances of social media, seeing businesses reach out to influential figures, otherwise known as “influencers”, who share in their values and target market to grow their reach and drive engagement.
As a founder of a brand that was built with the successful use of social media influencers. here are my top three tips for small-business owners when implementing an influencer marketing strategy.
- Establish what you’re trying to achieve with your influencer marketing strategy
Although it can be difficult to differentiate what outputs are most important from an influencer marketing strategy, it must be established before a strategy is launched. Whether it is promoting a product, general brand awareness or content creation, having set marketing goals drives the nature of a campaign and will promote the best results.
Establishing set goals for an influencer marketing strategy will help when selecting influencers, your outreach message to said influencers and the necessary budget for the campaign.
- Create some guidelines for influencers
Ensuring that influencers create content which correlates with your brand culture and aesthetics is essential. As each influencer is different in terms of how they structure their posts with content along with captions, depending on your campaign goals, these can alter your brand image. Use mood boards to help the influencer to create content that best fits within branding.
When contacting influencers, transparency and open communication are integral, ensuring that both the brand and influencer share a vision for the desired content. This can be achieved by including specific words, phrases, hashtags or handles you want in the caption, as well as the style of photo, i.e. a shot featuring the product clearly or a lifestyle shot. The brand must also clarify if they want stills, videos, reels or boomerangs etc. As influencers have varying rates for each form of content, depending on their following and engagement, rates can be negotiated into a package deal.
- Select influencers that are in your niche and have engaged followers within this niche
Know your audience! There’s no point in engaging with an influencer with an audience that won’t resonate with yours. Choosing influencers to work with who share in your target audience allows for the creation of content which is suitable for your branding.
By prioritising engagement over follower count, the careful section of a mix of micro and macro influencers sees the formation of a highly effective strategy. Although macro-influencers may have a higher following, typically over 100,000 followers, I found micro-influencers to have higher engagement rates, resulting in a superior relationship with their followers.
Influencer marketing has proven to be an inherently successful tool for small-business owners to grow their reach and increase engagement in their target audience. Implementing these expert tips when creating your influencer marketing strategy can assist in the development of relationships with influencers who share in the brand’s culture and digital presence.