Influencers are a new breed of marketing potential; a gateway into the social media feeds of potentially millions of followers, many of which hang on every word of those that they follow and idolise in this way.
The question is, therefore, how can a business scale this exposure using an influencer? Here are three top tips to maximise the effectiveness.
1) It doesn’t need to cost the earth… or anything at all!
Many social media influencers sign expensive deals with brands. British diver Tom Daley, for example, has a long history of supporting, posting about and representing the Adidas brand.
Of course, your business may not have the financial might of a huge sportswear chain, so consider using the product as a deal maker in itself and sending this person a free sample of your product. Sending social media stars gifts is nothing new, however the common mistake made in doing so is not thinking about what to send, and who to send it to, well enough.
High profile social media users will receive endless samples and prototypes in the hope that they will post or talk about them on their channels, and so making sure your product or gift stands out is important.
Carefully consider what this person would enjoy, and what they would get excited about enough to post about.
Perhaps sending a brand-new pair of trainers to a vegan cookery guru is not going to drum up the engagement that you may want, but if you were to find a health and fitness blogger who would appreciate, enjoy and genuinely get excited about those trainers, they would be more likely to post about them, and do so to an audience that would be more receptive and interested in that type of product. This brings us onto point 2.
2) Know your market
It is much more effective to truly engage 100 followers out of 1000 than to engage 50 followers out of 3 million. Understanding not only the influencer themselves, but their fan base is crucial to maximising the effectiveness of an influencer campaign.
Looking at the “favourites” section in an influencer’s twitter page, for example, could give you an insight into what sort of content is engaging to both the influencer, and their audience.
For example, if you’re launching a unisex product, but want to target a female demographic in a new territory, you could do worse than identifying celebrities with large female fan-bases (i.e. musicians, boyband members etc.) and approaching them as potential influencers.
3) Look out for rising stars
It seems every day brings a new viral video, a new social media star and a new wave of opportunities to use both for a marketing advantage.
Yes, it may be easy to begin utilising someone who has legions of loyal fans on social media, but understanding their place within the wider view of society is crucial to avoiding a brand-backlash.
Avoid controversial characters, stay away from politics as a rule and always be on the lookout for new and interesting talent when searching for an influencer. If you choose widely, your brand’s impact could scale itself for you as the star gains traction on social media.