Captivating an audience through social media channels is becoming increasingly essential, and even harder to navigate as channels evolve. While creating social media content is a well-established marketing strategy, the popularity of including influencer marketing is rising. Influencer marketing has grown to become a $16.4 billion industry, with 67.9% of US marketers planning to participate in influencer marketing campaigns this year.
Influencer partnerships can bolster brand recognition, establish authority, and generate ROI; however, choosing the correct partnership and strategy can prove to be a challenge. Prioritizing audience segments, setting campaign goals and parameters, and being meticulous about your partnerships can lead to fruitful and engaging campaigns.
Campaigns that align actions with values are paramount when crafting social media marketing strategy for Gen Z, Gen Alpha, and Millennials. These audiences want human-focused, intentional, and authentic marketing. Influencers are individuals who have built their own brand persona and following and will be naturally protective of their reputation, meaning authenticity will be their priority.
A recent trend in the creator and influencer community is “deinfluencing”. Born of a desire for more honest reviews, influencers have shifted to denouncing certain brands and products they find disingenuous or overpriced. As of March 2023, the hashtag #deinfluencing has more than 233 million views on TikTok. This trend reveals that influencers are emphasizing honesty and – more importantly – audience trust. This creates an audience that will remain loyal and open-minded but may be selective.
When approaching potential influencer partners, it is important to focus keenly on their audience – not their follower count. Recently, Meta has announced users can now subscribe and pay for a verified-badge account, a designation that was originally awarded to notable accounts for their following. This shift in achievement badges signifies what has been progressing for a while: follower count and perceived social media fame can be purchased rather than built. For this reason, it’s important to research audience heavily and seek out partnerships that align with your specific goals.
Much like social media content marketing, the strategies implemented for influencer partnerships are slow, buildable, and branded. While it may not produce instantaneous conversions, influencer marketing has great impact on industry authority, credibility, and thought leadership.
When incorporating influencer marketing, consider the following steps:
- Identify your audience and your message.
Whose eyes and ears are you looking to capture? What action are you wanting them to take?
- Create goals for the campaign.
Are you hoping to promote thought leadership, increase your following on social media, or drive traffic to a specific event?
- Consider if you should approach local influencers, or subject-specific creators.
Is your audience local? Or can you expand reach based on interest alone?
- Determine the length of your campaign and how much you can budget over time.
What deadlines need to be met? Consider a more affordable partnership that can last longer, or a shorter partnership with further exposure.
- State your expectations for the partnership up front.
How will success be measured? What should each party expect of the partnership? What happens if either party fails to hold up their end?
- Be open to collaboration and creativity.
The influencer will know their audience and the best ways of communicating your message, trust and collaborate with them for your best path forward.
- Have clear and consistent communication with your influencer partner.
Ask for engagement statistics and, as the campaign closes, discuss how successful your tactics were and what could be improved upon.
It can feel overwhelming finding a partner that reflects your brand values, has significant reach, and is within your price-point. This is where an agency partner can assist to provide adequate market research, strategy, budget, and success measurement.
Interested in adding influencer marketing to your mix? Contact us today.