Posted at Aug 10, 2018 11:46:44 AM by Taylor De Luca | Share
Many brands use social media influencers to help sell their products and services, and we don’t expect this trend to stop. In fact, 70% of U.S. businesses increased their influencer marketing budgets in 2018.
With more than 3 billion people using social media, it’s clear to see how it can be an effective marketing tool to garner brand awareness and increase sales. Here’s an inside look at finding social media influencers and what you need to know to have a successful influencer marketing campaign.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is when a business collaborates with an influential person to promote its product or service. The original form of influencer marketing was the celebrity endorsement used in advertising. Who can forget a young Brooke Shields asking, “Do you want to know what comes between me and my Calvins?”
In today’s digital world, social media influencers work with brands to increase awareness. As reported by eMarketer, 89% of U.S. agencies and brand marketers say influencer marketing can positively impact how people feel about a brand.
Instagram is by far the most popular platform for social media influencers, generating a billion likes on sponsored posts. However, that does not mean you should ignore the other social media platforms.
Finding Social Media Influencers For Your Brand
It is important to work with social media influencers who align with your brand's vision. These influencers must be able to reach your target audience, generate interest, and drive engagement. They should also be able to create original content that is creative, while keeping in line with their brand as well as yours.
If an influencer strays from his/her brand just to fulfill the sponsorship, his/her followers will not connect with the product or service being promoted. For example, an influencer who writes about living and eating clean should not be partnering with a donut company unless those donuts are healthy (gluten-free, sugar-free, etc.) donuts.
Don’t just look at the number of followers an influencer has: be sure to also check his/her engagement figures. Anyone can pay for followers, so you want to find an influencer who has followers who are taking an interest in his/her content by commenting or liking posts. A good engagement rate means an influencer has a loyal following that trusts and respects him/her.
Take note of how much sponsored content an influencer is posting. Sharing excessive paid content may cause the influencer to lose credibility with his/her followers, and therefore cause his/her engagement numbers to drop. A good rule of thumb is to look for an influencer who has only one in eight posts sponsored.
Finding social media influencers and managing relationships can be done by contacting influencers directly on social media, or by using influencer marketing tools such as Tapinfluence or Upfluence. The tools are beneficial, as they help save time by managing your workflow, providing important information upfront (like rates and audience insights), and measuring influencer performance.
Follow FTC Guidelines
While working with social media influencers, it is important to follow the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines, as both the influencer and the brand that sponsors him/her share the liability.
To avoid any legal repercussions, influencers must clearly disclose that they are being compensated for promoting your brand. This can be done by putting #ad or #sponsored in the post. However, they must make sure the #ad or #sponsored hashtag appears in the first three lines of the content prior to the “more” button to ensure that all viewers can see the disclosure. The hashtag cannot be buried at the end of a long string of hashtags.
Influencer marketing has become popular because it works, but like any marketing strategy, there is no guarantee. However, by having a clearly defined plan of action for finding social media influencers and by staying on top of the latest trends, influencer marketing can be very effective for your brand.
Need assistance with finding social media influencers? Contact THAT Agency! We'll help you align your marketing activities around strategically chosen influencers to keep your brand top of mind with your target market.