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WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER MARKETING AND HOW TO USE IT

Updated: May 23, 2020

Social Media influencer marketing is a collaboration between your brand and someone your audience follows on social media and respects their opinion. Of course there is much more to it than that but we will explain the basics.


WHAT OR WHO IS A SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER?


This seems to be the question everyone is asking these days. While it can seem as though anyone who habitually snaps and shares a picture of themselves and a product/brand is an influencer, that’s simply not true. It’s also easy to assume that anyone with a large enough social media following is an influencer, but that’s not technically correct either, although it tends to come with the title.


A social media influencer is a person who can effectively sway an individual’s purchasing decisions. Influencers are generally very knowledgeable and credible within a niche market and very actively engage with their members.


What makes these social media stars effective is that they have essentially built themselves into their own independent brand - one that feels genuine and relatable to their followers. So when they promote other brands, their followers are likely to trust their recommendations.


They’ve also put in the effort to learn and become an authority on a particular subject. It's that kind of expertise that launches them beyond just another traditional advertisement. Instead, they have built themselves into independent, identifiable brands of their own. They then use a particular platform to promote other brands that align with their values and outlook.


TYPES OF INFLUENCERS

  • Influencers can be celebrities, journalists and reporters, bloggers and vloggers and other types of content creators. Each type has their own audience and expertise, and the size and nature of each should be considered when finding an influencer to work with on a campaign.


  • If you’re just getting started with influencer marketing or are trying to get into a hyper-specific niche, you can look into micro-influencers. Unlike typical influencers, “micros” tend to be regular people that are knowledgeable about a topic that isn’t incredibly popular, but has its own dedicated following. They can be seen as more relatable than higher-profile influencers.


  • Influencers are categorised into Nano, Micro and Macro influencers. Number of followers change all the time and we suggest doing a little Google research on each type.

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER MARKETING?


Now that you know what an influencer is and some of the types, it’s easier to define what influencer marketing actually is.


Influencer marketing is a collaborative campaign between an influencer and a brand. The influencer uses their reach to boost awareness about a brand or product to their following, which overlaps with the target audience of the sponsoring business. It’s great for audience building, lead generation, growing sales, engagement, and customer loyalty.


Influencer marketing campaigns are designed to reflect the style of both parties. The audience appeal of the campaign should go both ways. Both to followers of the influencer unfamiliar with the brand, and the follower of the brand who possibly isn't familiar with the influencer. That said, it’s the influencer and their audience reach that tends to pull the weight.


Influencer marketing can help get the word out about your brand or product, with the help of a knowledgeable figure that has sway in your market just like any other important tool for your business, influencer marketing is another way to speak to your target audience.


INFLUENCER MARKETING STATISTICS


If you’re still on the fence as to if you should give influencer marketing a chance, try these stats on for size.

  1. LESS IS SOMETIMES MORE: A study from Markedly shows that micro-influencers tend to get more engagement than celebrities.

  2. THE INDUSTRY ISN’T LOSING STEAM: Mediakix estimates the influencer marketing industry to reach $10-$10 billion dollars by end of year 2020.

  3. IT’S MARKETER APPROVED: Mediakix reports that 89% of marketers say that influencer marketing ROI is at least as good or better than other methods.

  4. BUT FINDING THE RIGHT FIT IS HARD: According to Mediakix, 61% of marketers say that their number one challenge with influencer marketing is finding the best influencer for campaigns.


HOW TO FIND INFLUENCERS


With the last stat above in mind, it’s important that you take your time trying to find the right influencer for your campaign. You want to make sure your goals, audience, and expectations are aligned from beginning to end - but that’s for when you find the best influencer. How do you find an excellent partner in the first place? Try these sources:


1. INFLUENCER MARKETING AGENCIES


If you have the budget and don’t have the time, hiring an agency is another route you can take. While you may not learn as much about the process as you would if you did it yourself, agencies like Pin-Pin Media can help you with this process. From identifying genuine influencers to managing your networks and devising a complete social media strategy.


2. BLOGS AND OTHER ONLINE PUBLICATIONS


If you’re looking for an expert on a subject, finding a writer or reporter within your industry is a good place to start. If you have someone in mind, be sure to do more research by reading content they’ve published.


3. SOCIAL MEDIA


This should be a relatively obvious one. Even if you’re not specifically seeking a social media influencer, there’s still a large chance that your candidate has a social media following to some extent. This can allow you to see how they interact with their followers.


A great resource for finding an influencer on social media is your own audience. Keep tabs on accounts that are continually mentioned and tagged in posts or have their posts shared often.


4. SEARCH ENGINES


Speaking of search, did you try Google? It may sound silly, but doing a search for an influencer, especially with your market in the search box (e.g. ‘your business industry’ + ‘influencer’) could yield some favourable results. Even if it leads you to one of the other tools to help find an influencer, it’s hard to go wrong with the world’s most popular search engine. Of course, you’ll also need to do additional research on your influencer if you get a hit to make sure they’re aligned with your values and are a good overall fit.


5. ONLINE INFLUENCER SOFTWARE


With the growth of influencer marketing steadily rising, it’s not surprising to find there are specialised services for finding influencers. One of the most popular sites around for this is BuzzSumo. It allows you to find influencers by topic or location, and then analyze them by reach authority, influence, and engagement.




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