Influencer marketing is nothing new. In fact, it dates to the 18th century. But it’s evolved greatly, and you may need an influencer marketing agency to navigate the new reality.
Today, influencer marketing is the word on the street throughout the social media world. Influencers — from macro to nano — are people who truly know and understand their brands and audiences. They have spent years building trust with their followers, which can translate to your brand.
It’s never too late to add influencer marketing to your communications strategy. Here are five tips to kick things off.
1. Video is King
Social media videos continue to gain popularity. And engagement has never been higher, even with shorter videos lasting just five seconds. TikTok remains at the top of the list for its ability to offer special features that support product launches and sales. Instagram reels have taken off and pairing them with influencers is pure magic for brands looking to grow and boost awareness. Instagram users primarily use the platform to source new products and services, making it the place to be when looking to grow your brand. YouTube shorts are second to TikTok, with their popularity growing. Partnerships with influencers who have a good following are key to promoting your brand.
2. Let Influencers Tell Your Story
Brand storytelling should always be at the forefront of your marketing strategy. A great way to extend your story is by utilizing influencers who share your story in their own words. Influencer storytelling can include posting video reviews and product recommendations based on their experience with your product or service. This shouldn’t be a short-term tactic, but rather part of your long-term marketing strategy. It should be treated like any other digital strategy — by reviewing metrics and optimizing for continued success and growth.
3. Micro … But Mighty They Are
Micro influencers have gained more influence than any other, and this will continue to grow in 2023. While celebrities, also known as macro influencers, will always have relevance in the space, it’s the micro influencers who hold the most relatable and trustworthy statuses with their audiences. Micro influencers connect with their audiences much like a friend or family member would. As the name implies, they have much smaller audiences than macro influencers, therefore it’s important to leverage more than one micro influencer. This helps contribute to the word of mouth and trustworthy advertising you’re hoping will engage your audience and convert into sales.
One other key benefit of micro influencers is they are more affordable than macro influencers — some even preferring trade with products versus monetary compensation, saving brands money while providing both the influencer and brand with content to grow their audiences. In contrast, macro influencers with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers will charge accordingly and present challenges to marketing budgets. As a final benefit, micro influencers will typically be more flexible and willing to go above and beyond when it comes to creating content and delivering what you want.
4. Social is the New Search
Recent studies have found that Millennials (Gen Y) and Zoomers (Gen Z) are turning to social media channels like TikTok or Instagram in place of Google when it comes to search and maps. This is due, in part, to the personalization they get when searching. Results will come up with places, events, and even people — influencers — that may be of personalized interest to them. Having influencers in place talking about your upcoming event, promotions, guides, and locations changes the meaning of “search.”
5. Long-Term Partnerships = Long-Term Results
When it comes to utilizing influencer marketing, it’s imperative to create a long-term partnership with your influencer. Mutual trust and autonomy are keys to maintaining this long-term relationship. Creating a genuine connection with influencers, so they feel like more than just a number, is extremely important. Competition is fierce and if you don’t treat your influencer as a professional partner, you could find yourself at the other end of their influence … they could end up promoting your competitor and/or speaking ill of your brand.
Influencers need to feel appreciated, involved, and engaged by you. And they need to have a genuinely good opinion of your product or service. They don’t want to promote something they don’t truly believe in. Long-term partnerships can lead to growth in loyalty with your influencers’ audiences and your brand, creating the authenticity factor needed for trust to be maintained and conversions to grow.
These five tips are only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to influencer marketing. But, if you do this right, your “word of mouth” referrals will gain new meaning and create greater value for your organization. Innis Maggiore, a leading influencer marketing agency, would be pleased to work with you on developing your influencer marketing program.
Contact Innis Maggiore if you’d like to start, or enhance, your influencer marketing. Our experts can help you formulate your brand position and marketing strategy.