Influencer marketing is kind of like word-of-mouth recommendations on the world stage — and it’s paying off. For every dollar you shell out on your influencer marketing campaign, you’ll make $6.50 in return.
That means forging partnerships with influencers: active social media users who have built up an audience of enthusiastic and devoted followers. When a brand connects with an influencer, it’s a paid partnership, asking that social media star to post authentic content about their experience with your product or service. That influencer’s fans trust them about as much as they distrust traditional advertisement techniques, which means that influencer marketing has got a pretty nice lock on successful customer acquisition and sales.
It’s one of the most cost-effective, efficient marketing techniques you can tap, offering tremendous ROI, and extends your reach past ad blockers and short attention spans to capture the interest and focus of the specific audience you want to reach, in the most authentic and appealing way possible.
That doesn’t mean hooking up Kim Kardashian with your latest prototype and crossing your fingers. Friend recommendations matter to 70 percent of millennial consumers — and 30 percent of those same consumers are less interested in celebrity bloggers, looking for recommendations instead from the ones they can relate to, whose opinions mean more because they feel like their peers.
That’s part of why influencer-driven marketing is entering something of a Golden Age, as social media usage grows and users are increasingly looking for representation in the media they consume. They’re looking for social media personas who personify their voice and opinions, to see themselves taken seriously on a wider stage.
The trick to harnessing this kind of marketing power is that it can’t be a trick at all. If you want to make your way into the hearts and minds of your potential audience, you need to make sure you’re authentic, top to bottom.
That’s the foundation. And then there are a number of key best practices, and all of them are required to make sure you don’t trip up, and end up damaging your brand instead of promoting it. Nail down the most essential metrics you’re looking to measure. Be strategic about the influencers you approach — you’re not just looking for the largest number of followers, you’re looking for the kinds of followers they have, where they’re reaching those followers, and how they’re reaching out. You need to approach any influencer marketing campaign as strategic partners working together — remembering they’re not your employee, and they’re not going to lie for you. And you need to decide just how much truth you think you can stand, and withstand, before you ever take a single step in an influencer’s direction.
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