what are they even influencing? 🤔
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy that uses endorsements from influencers to promote a product or service. In short, it creates a relationship between a brand and an influencer, wherein the influencer promotes the brand’s products or services through social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and more.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who has amassed a large, engaged audience for their particular niche. They are not celebrities, at least not in the traditional sense. Influencers are considered credible names in their communities – the loyalty and trust they’ve built with their online following can be harnessed to make sales or grow an online presence when a brand chooses to partner with an influencer.
Literally, they have the ability to influence their followers or subscribers into a purchasing decision.
For example, a privately-run cooking channel that has gained millions of followers on YouTube is considered an expert in the kitchen by its subscribers. If a brand that produces cookware reaches out to them to promote their product, that influencer’s audience will be more likely to trust their endorsement.
Common influencer categories include photographers, models, comedians, makeup artists, the fashion-focused, fitness enthusiasts, lifestyle bloggers, artists, how-to experts, and much more. Influencers are found all over the internet, including Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, their personal websites, podcasts, or eBooks.
How does influencer marketing work?
Influencers usually operate independently, though some larger ones will have an agent or assistant that a brand will have to get through. These individuals aren’t employed full-time – rather, they will usually strike up a one-time partnership. Working with an influencer should be considered similar to partnering with a freelancer.
Usually, a brand representative will get in touch with an influencer through a contact email, or through social media DMs if an email is unavailable.
Upon successful contact, the business and the influencers will discuss what they want the influencer to sell, and what their payment will be. Compensation ensures the quality and delivery of the desired message.
Though there may be a script or specific phrases that are key to the product or service, it’s usually agreed that an influencer will put their own authentic voice and personal branding into the message, while incorporating what the business they’re partnered with wishes to include.
Some platforms, namely YouTube, as it is owned by Google, require that an influencer disclose if they were paid for a sponsorship opportunity.
After an influencer partnership
While these are sometimes one-time partnerships, keeping the relationship open in the event of a successful marketing campaign can start the conversation anew later down the line. Creating an influencer email list, wherein they are given a front-row look at new product launches, sales, and news.
Additionally, this is the time when a brand should take time to track how well pairing with an influencer worked or not. Giving an influencer a coupon code to hand out to their followers, and then measuring how many purchases were made using the code, is an extremely basic, simple way to track this ROI.
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