You may have heard about influencer marketing but are not sure if—or why—you should incorporate an influencer program into your overall digital marketing strategy. In this article you’ll learn what social media influencers are, why they’re so important, how you can find influencers, and how you might incorporate an influencer marketing strategy.
You may find that creating an influencer marketing campaign to supplement your overall marketing efforts is much simpler than you realized!
Let’s start with the basics: What is influencer marketing, exactly?
Influencer marketing is a type of digital marketing that leverages endorsements and product placements from people who are popular on social media. Such endorsements can help you reach potential customers and expand your customer base. These social media influencers are considered experts in their niche and can often hold heavy sway on buying decisions for their dedicated social media followers.
Influencer marketing is likely to play a big role in 2023, so you might want to buckle up for these statistics:
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should reallocate a significant portion of your marketing budget toward influencer campaigns. However, there are several cost-effective ways to leverage this strategy with a little bit of planning, so be realistic about what works for your business and get creative!
Influencer marketing has evolved over the years, and it involves much more than just celebrity endorsements. An influencer is really anyone who has social influence, so that means there are many different types of influencers!
You can categorize influencers in a variety of ways, but for now it may be helpful to think of them in four tiers based roughly on the number of social media followers they have:
Macro influencers, mega influencers, and celebrities often monetize their social media platforms through sponsored posts and brand partnerships (frequently with large companies with a matching marketing budget). It can be quite costly to partner with influencers at this level.
Despite having a more modest following, micro influencers and nano influencers can still have a BIG impact, and these partnerships are well worth exploring.
A micro influencer could be one of your customers who is willing to shout out your brand to their social media following. Or they may be a service provider that has something nice to say about your service—for example, an interior designer could be a great influencer for a loan officer or a mortgage company.
If you don’t have a micro influencer among your current followers, you can do some research and find influencers who would be aligned with your brand and cold contact them. As an aside, the larger the social media influencer’s following, the more likely it is that they will be represented by a third party, such as an influencer marketing agency. That agency may handle all the details of a partnership.
Nano influencers have a smaller social media following and will likely be your loyal customers who are willing to RAVE about your awesome services.
You might find working with a combination of micro influencers and nano influencers to be a great strategy for your business!
Before you reach out to work with an influencer, it’s vital that you vet them. While their follower count is one important factor, it’s not the whole story!
You want to ensure that you’re working with someone who is in alignment with your values and your target audience. Consider these questions:
Social media audiences value authenticity, and influencer programs work best when there is synergy between your business and the influencer. Be sure to have a good sense of your influencer partner before moving forward to ensure that your two brands are aligned.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what an influencer is, let’s take a look at the content nano influencers can create for you and your business.
One of the simplest ways to expand your reach is to work with a nano influencer who is willing to give your company a shout-out. Shout-outs from customers are great because potential new customers value reviews and feedback about a company before they choose to purchase something from them.
You can ask customers to tag your company on their social media via graphics or videos, and if you give them the script, you can even have them throw in a call to action to wrap it all up nicely! Best of all, this type of user-generated content tends to get high engagement and may be able to be repurposed for use across all your social media channels.
Another type of influencer marketing campaign is an influencer takeover. A takeover is a great strategy for known influencers who have larger followings. In this type of campaign, the influencer takes control of your account for a set period (hence the term “takeover”).
For example, on Instagram, the influencer would post from your account and encourage their own Instagram followers to follow your Instagram account to see their takeover content. It could be a series of photos or videos, a Reel, or even an Instagram Live that discusses your business or its services. The possibilities are endless!
One final type of influencer marketing is something called “brand ambassadorships.”
Brand ambassadorships are long-term relationships and paid partnerships with influencers, in which they promote your product or service to their followers in many posts over an extended period of time. They may also run paid advertising campaigns in collaboration with your brand.
Developing a social media influencer program can take some time and some experimentation, so be patient! This is an area where you should aim for quality over quantity and be sure to partner with the right influencers to make it worth your while.
When in doubt, start small—you’ll get the hang of influencer marketing in no time! But if you need help launching an influencer marketing strategy, our team is here to help. Click here to connect with our team for a complimentary consultation today!
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