What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing?

And how can you use social media influencers as part of your brand communications strategy?

According to Google, the search volume for ‘Influencer Marketing’ has grown by 5000% per month since 2015.

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So what is Influencer Marketing?

In a nutshell Influencer Marketing is the art of curating and building relationships with influential people to tell brand stories in a way that is authentic, relevant and that resonates.

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Why is Influencer Marketing so important?

According to Nielsen, 70% of consumers say they do not want brand relationships and 92% of them trust brand advocates.

Consumers are also becoming more internet savvy, spending more time online rather than watching TV and becoming adept at blocking ads they don’t want to see. It is therefore even more important for brands to have a credible presence in the digital space.

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What does Influencer Marketing deliver for brands?

  • It enables brands to build awareness and consideration through increased reach and search visibility.
  • It delivers authentic and credible messaging through creative content creation.
  • It provides a cost effective brand experience with excellent ROI.  According to Adweek, brands that invest in Influencer Marketing see a 6.5x return on investment on earned media value.

Why do social media influencers influence?

  • They speak the truth: social media influencers have amassed a following through personal opinion, creative content generation and education. Their channel content is grounded in personal truth and created from a place of passion.
  • They are real people: many of these influencers started their careers using a webcam in their bedrooms; they are relatable to their viewers and followers. With 86% of consumers putting the most trust in real people’s product recommendations, brands can no longer ignore the importance of social influencers in the path to purchase. We have moved away from the world of push marketing into a world of people-powered marketing.
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  • They are quality storytellers: gone are the days of low res imagery and shaky camera work. Many of the more experienced social influencers are now equipped with the latest film and photography technology and are producing content that can be used across a variety of brand owned platforms.
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Five steps to an effective Influencer Marketing strategy

  • Plan – understand the role you want your influencer to play against your campaign objectives. What type of influencer is right for your brand? What type of audience do you need to reach and what type of content would you need them to produce? Collate all this information into a comprehensive brief so there is no ambiguity later on in the process.
  • Identify – build your influencer list. At MSLGROUP, we use online tools to identify the right influencers based on the categories and search terms identified in the planning phase. Analyse their platforms, their content and their following and ensure that all the variables fit with the task at hand.
  • Connect – devise a personalised approach for each influencer you plan to work with and ensure you treat them as individuals. Get to know your influencers, understand who they are and what inspires them through the content on their social platforms. And remember, many influencers now have agents so building relationships with them is also important.
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MSLGROUP’s process to build an Influencer Marketing campaign
  • Manage – work closely with your influencers and make them feel part of the team. Emerging social talent often appreciate communications expertise to help them craft content that is complimented by their own authentic tone of voice. Remember it is important to give them the freedom to create content that conveys your brand messaging in a way that fits with their personal brand.
  • Optimise – ensure your influencers are honouring the output negotiated and that the content is correctly search optimised with the right messaging. Help your influencers amplify the content in ways that are mutually beneficial to your brand and theirs. Often this will require additional paid promotion.

If you would like to find out more about Influencer Marketing or have any particular challenges in this space, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help!

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