Influencer marketing used to be reserved for top brands. Back then, the only influencers were big film, music and sports stars. But the times have changed, and we have various categories of influencers – most of them regular people like you and I. But they have a talent for attracting audiences in the way they approach various topics – including product reviews. So, is this new form of influencer marketing right for your business? Read on to find out!
What Are the Various Categories of Influencers?
First of all, what kind of influencers could your brand approach for marketing purposes? We will start with the basics – who they are and what they do. From this point of view, you have a large variety to choose from:
- Social media personalities.
Now, we already explained that there are categories of influencers depending on their level of notoriety. These categories are:
- Mega influencers – over 1 million followers
- Macro influencers – between 40,000 and 1 million followers
- Micro influencers – between 1,000 and 40,000 followers
- Nano influencers – less than 1,000 followers.
Thus, there is one type of influencer for any kind a business – from a start-up to a large international brand. The problem is finding the one that is a right fit for your business.
How Do You Pick a Partner for Influencer Marketing?
This is the big question to ask if you are thinking about this type of promoting your business. In many cases, influencer marketing fails because of a poor match between the influencer’s image and the brand values.
For example, a brand like KFC or McDonald’s would never work with an influencer promoting a vegan lifestyle. This is why you should set your sights on several approachable influencers and follow their social media accounts for a period.
You will be soon able to find who is and who is not a good match for your influencer marketing campaign.
And how do you know if they are approachable? You will soon be able to find out from their interactions with their followers and with you. If you don’t aim too high, the chances are that you will be able to partner with an influencer who is a good match for your brand image.
What Kind of Compensation Are Influencers Looking For?
Now for the tricky part: what do influencers get out of working with brands? There are several perks that they are usually after:
- Being paid in cold hard cash
- Getting free products
- Getting invited at various brand events
- Obtaining various other benefits: free subscriptions, services and other intangible goods.
Thus, you don’t always have to invest a lot of money in influencer marketing. You can use your own products and services, or other benefits to compensate influencers for their promotional work.
Is Influencer Marketing the Right Choice for Your Brand?
Now, let’s focus on the main topic: should you invest in this type of promotion? Here are our thoughts:
1. Are You Disconnected from Your Potential Customers?
If you feel that engagement levels are low and you don’t get the same website traffic and conversion rates, you could have a problem. And, in many cases, the problem is that your brand no longer shares the same values as your target audience.
Influencer marketing can solve this gap between your values and the audience’s intents. Influencers are very good at speaking their audience’s language. They understand them at a very personal level. Thus, they can talk about your products and services in a manner that feels relatable and attractive for your potential clients.
2. Are You Trying to Rebrand Your Business?
Rebranding can work both ways: it can make your brand more attractive to customers or it can backfire. Working with an influencer can make the transition smoother and pick up early signs of your customers’ feelings towards the new brand image.
This is not a guarantee of success. Even top brands had to revert to an old logo or brand image after severe backlash from their audiences – despite the fact that they worked with mega influencers to promote the new brand.
3. Are You Trying to Reach a New Audience Segment?
Speaking to the younger generations is hard for many brands. You may have an idea how to use terms like “fam” or “YOLO”, but you have no idea what “rad” or “yeet” mean. But influencers do. It is their language, too.
So, if you are interesting in attracting Gen Z or Y, then you need to understand them and talk like them. In this case, influencer marketing will definitely be a big help. However, you must also learn how to address this new audience in your marketing materials. You don’t want to sound like an old coot in ads and newsletters, right?
4. Are You Trying to Build Trust?
Consumers trust influencers. The reason for this is that influencers are very honest and up-front. They won’t delete embarrassing mistakes and bloopers. They will openly admit that they learned by trial and error – and will show some of the most amusing errors to their followers.
Thus, if one of these influencers says that your products are great, then their followers will definitely try them, as well. This is how influencer marketing works.
5. Do You Operate in a Highly Competitive Niche?
Are you in the field of fashion, makeup or healthy lifestyle products? Then you probably face a stiff competition. One smart way to get ahead of the others? Partner with an influencer.
In such niches, you usually have to think not in terms of “do I need influencer marketing” but “how do I find a better influencer than my competitors?” Chances are that everyone else in your niche is working with influencers, as well.
6. Is Lifestyle and Status a Part of Your Brand Image?
Some brands sell practical products like laundry detergent, car tyres or washing machines. Others promote a cool lifestyle, through ahtleisure wear and fashionable smart devices.
For the latter category, status and a specific lifestyle image are important elements of the brand image. And this is what influencers know how to sell: the idea of embracing a specific lifestyle, of building an image and of keeping up with the latest trends.
Influencer marketing is no longer about trying to get top celebrities to promote your products. Local vloggers, photographers or social media personalities also count as influencers and are more approachable by smaller brands.
If you find yourself in any of the situations described in this article, your company probably would benefit from influencer marketing. However, you have to be active on the social media and spend some time knowing these people before picking the right influencer to partner with. Good luck!