INFLUENCER MARKETING: 25th MAY 2018:
How to choose the right influencer for your business
by Hayley Hayes
It’s clear why influencer marketing has rocketed as a way to build brand awareness. As television audiences continue to dwindle and traditional marketing channels and display ads become less effective, brands need a new, powerful way to capture attention. And in a world where recommendations, suggestions and likes translate to tangible lifestyle choices, this way must leverage the power of social media. Step in influencers, with engaged audiences following them across social platforms and the ability to reach unique audiences through Instagram and Twitter.
Choosing the right influencer
Like any successful communications effort, influencer marketing activity calls for a focused approach and execution. One of the first questions marketers need ask is ‘who is the most suitable influencer for my brand?’.
To date, it is the celebrities (instantly recognisable superstars with mass reach) and macro-influencers (those with a large following grown from nurturing their online personal brand) that have garnered the most attention. But rising more slowly and steadily is the micro-influencer – someone with a following of less than 10,000.
Assuming Kendall Jenner is busy (or perhaps demanding slightly more than your social budget allows), micro-influencers are a viable and savvy choice, and proving their value in the influencer sphere.
Macro-influencers or Micro-influencers?
Here’s the science bit: micro-influencers have a hyper-engaged audience in a targeted topic area, creating that sweet spot for both engagement and in many cases, higher conversion rates to boot.
Take the case of Frank Body, a business that worked with $,5000 and a sackful of samples, now in rude health and valued to the tune of $20m. This success story involved selecting micro-influencers across regions, offering exclusive samples of its caffeinated beauty products prior to release, and building a strong rapport with them. Attentive tending to a pool of carefully selected micro-influencers created empowered social advocates, who whipped up a UGC storm around #thefrankeffect. Frank Body managed to amass 350,000 followers on Instagram within its first year of business. A clear case of ‘less is more’, in this brand’s infancy at least.
Influencer marketing – the benefits
With macro influencers and celebrities, the most prominent benefits are reach and exposure.
Selena Gomez will guarantee your sponsored posts reach into the millions across Instagram, Twitter or Facebook users. The Rock’s likeability, enthusiasm and link with fitness make him an ideal candidate for sports brand UnderArmour, which also took him on as an official brand ambassador. Visible influencers can build a brand’s credibility and by association on their Instagram account, raise its profile and status. However, social fame doesn’t guarantee trust. Indeed, many social media users develop a sense of distrust towards macro influencers who endorse products. A piece of research by Collective Bias points to a 30% higher chance of consumers purchasing a product when it isn’t promoted by a celebrity.
In contrast, micro influencers’ services are more affordable and they tend to be more approachable, eager and easier to work with. A well-crafted post from a micro influencer may well come across as more authentic and reliable – boosting your brand’s presence. Micro influencers tend to have a close-knit community of followers who value their opinions: following them is akin to offloading a certain amount of consumer risk.
Influencer campaign objectives
As with most marketing initiatives, determining between macro influencers and micro influencers will lie in the objectives of the campaign, its budgets and key messages.
Relevance is critical when deciding the parameters of selecting an influencer. Define the brand values and campaign purpose first, then find influencers who align with your mission, products or service. Finally, always conduct a thorough vetting of an influencer’s content before taking the next step of outreach, look for a committed and engaged following and take heed of any mentions of competitor brands.
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