Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve seen videos or picture posts on social media or strewn about the internet, from young (and usually pretty) people promoting the unreal results of a product. These people are known as influencers and are particularly prolific on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, but they can be found almost anywhere if you’re paying attention.
Let’s answer some of the fundamental questions about influencers and their purpose in marketing.
What is an influencer? First things first, an influencer is a person – typically with a large audience – with the ability to influence said audience to use a certain product or service. In other words, they act as paid spokespeople for brands. These influencers are usually selected by a brand based on their overall content creation, audience size and engagement, and customer segment.
If you’re unsure of your audience segment and why you should have one, read more about segmentation here.
How do I know what influencer is right for my brand? This part can be tricky for some, but there is a simple way to get started. The most obvious way to determine if an influencer is a good marketing tactic for your brand is to consider your product or service. Does your target audience follow influencers? If so, what kind?
Chances are that your target audience is also a reflection of the kind of influencer you would want to contract with. So, if you sell makeup then you’d look for a popular makeup artist – particularly one that is already using your brand or has a style similar to the one your brand projects.
Keep in mind, not all audiences are a good fit for influencer marketing, so take the time to understand your customer.
What can I expect to receive from an influencer? The most valuable asset an influencer provides your brand is a captive audience. This is a great way to build awareness and expand your reach. But you should also expect this influencer to bring in sales as well – as their followers tend to trust their judgment and, in some instances, want to emulate their actions. So, if the influencers' followers see the content of her using your product or service, it should draw in additional sales.
What kind of content does an influencer create? The true answer is all types. Influencers tend to already be tech-forward, knowing all the latest trends to maximize their exposure. The most common, and most effective, form of content they generate are short-form videos like reels on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. However, they can also include sound bites for cross-promotion on podcasts, social media advertising, and even quotes for testimonials and case studies.
In the end, it’s important to consider the type of person the influencer is and if that is a true reflection of your brand’s mission and standards. There is no shortage of influencers, so it is safe to be picky with your selections to ensure you are remaining true to your messaging and audience.