Ah, the rise of social media influencers. We see them every day (if we are keen on social media). These are the familiar faces that we are dazed by on our social media channels daily—they are the bloggers, vloggers (Youtube and Vine stars), and the social media experts of today. As the new-age trendsetters, social media influencers are the ones who are responsible for the huge pull on consumers’ behavior and are becoming an increasingly vital part of digital marketing strategies.
A consumer’s shopping habits, eating habits, even lifestyle habits—recent trends are showing that consumers are making purchases based on what they see on their newsfeeds on Instagram and Facebook. In recent years, and now more than ever, social media influencers from Instagram, Youtube, Vine, and more have been used by brands (known as social media influencer marketing) to help promote a product, amplify a campaign, share the brand message, or drive traffic to a website. Many are now seeking opportunities on newer social networks like Snapchat as well.
So, who are they? And why do they hold such clout over consumers? Consumers find them relatable, trustworthy, relevant and on-trend. Which would you trust more? An advertisement in a magazine or a peer recommendation? Simply put, social media influencers have the power to create the buzz for your brand by driving engagement and starting discussions. Whether your brand chooses to work with a blogger, vlogger star, or industry expert, the influencer should be a fit for your service or product. For instance, if you are an athletic clothing brand looking to work with an influencer, you will want to find people such as those who are active and have a large following on a lifestyle-type Instagram account. For example, fitness bloggers who have a blog dedicated to fitness and working out, or athletes who have a large following on social media channels.
As mentioned before, consumers will typically value a peer’s opinion over a company advertisement. By partnering with an influencer, your brand becomes humanized and more authentic. Let’s say you partner with a widely known influencer on Instagram, and have them mention your brand in one of their posts. Their wide (and loyal) following will appreciate their opinion, and this will almost certainly lead them to your brand’s Instagram; which may help grow your audience. In a sense, you are leveraging the influencer’s audience.
If you’re still undecided about social media influencers, there are numerous reasons why you should consider working with them.
For one, they are superior at reaching a target audience and core demographic. Social media audiences are willing to engage and interact. It’s also important that the influencers you work with already share content that is in the same circle as your brand. Being in somewhat of the same circle is essential, so it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch when you ask them to talk about your brand.
Working with an influencer can eventually increase your organic SEO value. The more people you have talking about your brand, the more likely they are to post, share, comment or cite your brand in a blog or website, which can lead to higher organic traffic. One important piece of SEO is obtaining backlinks which show the importance of your site. Having links from those who are influencers and authorities online will make your brand or site even more credible.
Now that you understand why social media influencers are so key and why you should partner with them, it’s time to figure out the types of campaigns you can build with them. There are various ways that influencers can be involved with your campaign, and it’s important to make sure you have mutually beneficial goals.
Below are a few examples:
- Product reviews about your product or services on their blog, in the authentic voice and opinion of the influencer
- Guest blogging on your site
- Becoming an affiliate
Featuring your product or service (using their own opinions) on various post packages:
- A series of Instagram posts
- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts
- Youtube feature
- All of the above in addition to a blog post
Lastly, at the end of your campaign, be sure to track key metrics relating to reaching sales and brand awareness with the influencer! And be sure to continue to build a relationship with the influencer, as they are by no means a short-term solution.