To begin with, you must understand what social media influencer marketing is.
A brand promoting its products by allying with a social media influencer is social media influencer marketing. The influencer uses their platform to promote the products or services offered by their partner brands, thus increasing the reach of the brand.
Back in the day, using traditional marketing methods, most brands signed big celebrities to promote their products. With the growth of social media channels, many influencers also grew by creating niche content for their followers. Brands soon realized that though influencers were not as famous as celebrities, they had loyal followers. And these followers were more likely to buy services and products endorsed by their favourite influencers, as these professionals had established their expertise in their respective industries.
Social media influencers, big and small, have managed to garner a loyal following from their audience. The content they create is relatable, which makes it more credible. Having said that, the key point to note is that a brand must identify the ideal social media influencer for the promotion of their products. Read ahead to know everything there is about influencer marketing and how to build a relationship with your prospective audience through it.
Know your social media influencer better by their audience
There are three factors you should always check before finalizing your social media influencer.
Reach: The number of potential customers your brand can reach through the influencers base.
Relevance: The suitability of the influencer’s followers as your brand’s target audience.
Resonance: The influencers’ ability to engage with their audience through their content.
There are two ways to go about social media influencer marketing while keeping in mind these three points. First is deciding on your target audience and accordingly looking for an influencer. The second method is deciding on an influencer and tapping into their audience for a wider reach.
Ideally, the first method is better suited in case you are planning to work with small or micro-influencers. If you are a small upcoming brand, it would be difficult for you to have an established influencer vouch for your products or services. In such a situation, it is better to reach out to smaller influencers with followers who are a good fit for your target audience. Research shows that word-of-mouth promotions work best for smaller brands during the initial stage. An upcoming brand with small or micro-influencers would be an ideal combination.
The second method is better suited for mainstream brands, who are looking to collaborate with recognized influencers. By doing so, you are using these influencers to validate your brands’ offerings in front of their audience. Even with this method, it is advisable to select an influencer who can be a good fit for your brand. Their content, quality, and engagement should align with your brands’ values.
Being clear about expectations
Communication is key to any business alliance. This is why it is important to be clear about your expectations from the marketing activity when you reach out to a social media influencer. You must also be open to their requirements. It is advised to lay down the goals mutually from the very beginning to establish trust.
Renowned social influencers are professionals and work with their teams, while the smaller influencers work on a part-time basis. Regardless of their professional status, being respectful of their time and work is key to ensuring a good working rapport.
Once you have reached out to the influencer, you can discuss some ground rules with them such as bespoke content creation by the influencer for your brand. This allows the audience to see the influencer as an endorser of your brand instead of an advertiser. In addition to exclusive content, timelines for creating the content are equally important. This permits you to coordinate the launch of your marketing activities as per a set schedule.
Discuss how the influencer would like to review the content and the amount of creative freedom both you and they would be comfortable with. Finally, discuss which platforms will be used for <a href=”https://amplifiers.angelbroking.com/blog/influencer-marketing-how-to-improve-organic-reach-and-engagement/”>audience engagement </a> and scheduling the posts.
Trust them with creative freedom
A primary reason why social media influencer marketing works is because the influencer’s audience enjoys and trusts their content. As a brand, you have to allow the influencer to keep the authenticity of their content intact when promoting your product. If you micromanage the creative process at every step, the end result may not appeal to the audience, thus resulting in lower engagement. As per a study conducted for market research involving 59 influencers, 77% said that having creative freedom motivated them the most to work with a brand once again.
As mentioned earlier, it is better to clearly communicate with your chosen influencer and provide them with precise brand guidelines and brief. You should review and approve the finalized content before it is published on social media. The essence of creating a strong and lasting relationship with your influencer is mutual trust. By trusting their skill and giving them creative freedom, you are enabling them to create genuine content.
Make your offer stand out
As an upcoming brand, at times, it can be difficult to have established social influencers pick you for an alliance. This especially happens when they want to keep their social feed authentic for their followers and do not want to overindulge in sponsored posts.
Social media influencers who have created a niche in their industry get many offers daily and hence even reaching them via their inboxes or emails might not fetch you a reply. To ensure that your request for alliances gets noticed, you should try building a relationship with the influencer beforehand. One of the easiest ways to do this is to interact with them on their posts and show your support for their work. This will help break the ice too when you feel you are ready to take the next step and make them an offer.
Keep your influencer in the loop
Even before you reach out to an influencer, setting up your goals and objectives can help you shape your marketing strategy. Having a clear objective and parameters to determine a successful campaign will assist the influencer with content creation. By keeping your influencer in the loop at every step, you also increase the chances of the campaign’s success.
In addition to this, during the campaign period, giving regular feedback on the campaign’s performance will help the influencer in taking appropriate measures. Post a successful campaign, do share the results with them to highlight how their content helped impact your brand positively. A rule of thumb is to keep all lines of communication open.
Many people still question ‘does influencer marketing work’ or wonder about the future of influencer marketing. What needs to be kept in mind is that like everything else, the methods for marketing keep evolving with time. Influencer marketing may be new, but it is here to stay. And while there may be those who have a massive audience of a million people, if your campaign demands it, nano influencers (with less than 1000 followers) can work equally well for your brand. The key takeaway is to treat influencer marketing as a business alliance and work together to build brand value amongst your audiences. As a brand, you need to emphasize on developing relationships; be it with your social influencers or your audiences.