Influencer culture is the most rapidly growing marketing tool today. Yet, influencers can make or break a company. Find out how an influencer partnership could be the best marketing investment you ever make, but only if you know how to choose the right one.
Influencers are the heavy hitters in the marketing world. In recent years, influencers have become the go-to way to market your business. But why are influencers so influential? Because our culture is very much “monkey see, monkey do.” Influencers connect with their audience in an authentic way that garners thousands of loyal followers. Typically attractive or witty, these influencers know how to market themselves and therefore your product.
What Exactly Is An Influencer?
An influencer is an individual with a massive following on social media, typically Instagram. Influencers don’t just have followers though. They have immense power over their followers in that their followers typically admire them and want to be more like them. People choose to follow influencers they identify with and wish to emulate. For example, parents who follow Montessori methods follow Montesorri influencers, and they often buy the products these influencers promote just because their role model endorsed them.
Don’t believe the hype? Below are some real-life examples of powerful influencers.
PewDiePie aka Felix Kjellberg is the king of influencers. This young influencer is one of the most popular YouTubers worldwide. He endorses things like video games and gaming equipment. He recently partnered with Loot Crate, a subscription box service. They sponsored some of his videos, and he offered his followers a special promo code for 10% off. For Loot Crate, this was a sound investment.
Yuya aka Mariand Castrejon Castañeda is a beauty influencer both on Insta and YouTube. She has millions of fans around the globe. She partnered with Cyzone and created a perfume, #True by Yuya. To say that it sold well is an understatement.
The Good & The Bad on Hiring An Influencer
At this point, you’re probably ready to go right out and hire an influencer. But, there are pluses and minuses to hiring an influencer to promote your brand. Let’s delve into them.
- They’re Role Models
As previously stated, influencers hold enormous sway over their audience. When they give a product or service their recommendation, people believe them because they’ve already put in the time and effort to build their followers’ trust. For example, if a fashion influencer known for cutting edge style endorses your clothes, then her followers are sure to buy your clothes merely because they want to be stylish. Their thinking is “if she looks good in the clothes, then surely I will, too.”
- They Increase Your Visibility
Even if the influencer’s followers don’t immediately go out and buy our product, you still gain a massive uptick in visibility. Influencer’s fans are faithful and true. If their influencer of choice is promoting your brand, they’ll see it. As we all know, marketing is a long game, so just getting seen is half the battle. With influencers, you can get tons of likes, shares, etc. without having to build the followers yourself. Increasing your social media presence is just common sense in today’s world.
- They Target the Right People
Last, influencers can speak directly to your target audience. You can capture the attention of the right people for your product, but only if you partner with the right influencer. For instance, if you’re in the gourmet food industry, partnering with a food vlogger puts your products in direct contact with thousands of self-professed foodies. So, the key here is to wisely choose your influencer. Stay in your niche to have the biggest impact.
- Not A Real Following
Since influencers became a household word, everyone wants to get in on the action. The number of followers is not the best indication of how well an influencer can promote your brand. To see if an influencer has the clout to move your product, check their engagement statistics. If you aren’t seeing interaction with their posts, then keep looking. Unfortunately, you can buy fake followers and pretend to be an influencer. Do your homework on an influencer before you partner with them or give them any money. You can fake followers, but engagement or lack of it will let you know if an influencer has any real pull.
- Not Truly Committed
Influencers are a great way to promote your business. To do that, they need to fully commit to your brand. Make sure you partner with someone who isn’t already promoting your competitor’s products. Ideally, you’ll take the time to get to know an influencer before partnering with them. To truly commit to promoting your brand, they have to know you and like your stuff. So, take some time to woo them. Make them believe in your product. Try to ferret out if they’re in it just for the perks and money, or if they really believe in your brand.
- Not Good for Your Image
When you partner with an influencer, they become the unofficial face of your brand. So, be careful who you select to represent you. Check the influencer’s history and get to know them. If they are controversial, quick-tempered, or disrespectful, they’ll cause more trouble than they’re worth. One influencer, Logan Paul, disrespected someone’s body while visiting Japan’s suicide forest. Afterwards, his follower left him in droves. The brands he was partnered with took a nosedive, too.
The Bottom Line
Influencers can be a sound investment. They do all the work, and they can be cheaper than other marketing methods if you choose a rising influencer who is just starting to gain popularity. With an influencer, you get the built-in confidence their followers have in them. But, remember to do your research before tying your brand to an influencer. Don’t rush into anything. The wrong influencer can do more harm than good. Take your time and think it over before committing to an influencer partnership.