In today’s digital age, any company or brand worth its salt will need an active social media strategy that engages followers through both content generation and conversation – all while remaining authentic so they can maintain loyal customer bases who expect this from the very start of engagement.
But modern consumers know better than to fall for such tricks. The minute an advertisement appears they lose interest in what was once interesting or enjoyable because there is no need for them anymore. Their attention span has gone elsewhere as soon as “ad” became part of the equation.
A single favorable reference from a reliable source can trump even the most beautifully written content or most captivating video demonstration, whether you’re selling fitness and health items, tour packages, or home services. And while brand-crafted material from a social media agency is useful and can help establish customer trust, the most influential content is often created by people your customers know and trust.
Bloggers, vloggers, and those who have large social media followings are the new influencers in this new social paradigm.
Who Are These Up-and-Coming Influencers?
Brands and agencies frequently have less knowledge of social media and digital content engagement than these new, socially adept folks. The niche-based content these new influencers produce, which is typically in a very specialized area, is what makes them even more influential.
These influencers can be further categorized to target certain audiences, such as pet owners, parents of teenagers, tech enthusiasts, marathon runners, and organic cooks, to name a few.
Once you find your influencers, it’s time to make them work for you. Influencer marketing is the practice of collaborating with social media users from blogs and other active sites in order to generate relevant content that can be shared with their followers who are likely interested in what they have to say about a particular topic or brand.
These collaborations will help increase visibility and drive traffic back towards your site which may lead people on these platforms directly into making purchases without any additional effort being needed by the business owner themselves.
How to Find the Right Influencers?
Influencers can be an effective way to get your brand’s message out there, but it could end up being a waste of money if you’re not working with the right people.
It is easy for advertisers and brands alike to see how many likes or followers they have on social media accounts when looking at who will work well as influencer marketing partners. However, this might not always tell the whole story. There needs to be more than meets the eye before deciding which person has what it takes.
To the question, “How influential is someone online?” The answer is “it depends.”
When it comes to finding internet influencers for your brand, there are five factors to keep in mind.
Before you look at unique visits or other static data, consider how well an influencer’s content aligns with your messaging. Look through their old posts to get a sense of the type of customer they are.
Just because an influencer is a tech-savvy sports fan doesn’t mean they’d be a good fit for your gaming app. The same goes for those who frequently tweet recipes doesn’t mean they’d be a good fit for an organic brand.
Do you want to find budget travelers, lenient mothers, fashionistas, or coffee drinkers? Is your brand’s personality defined by provocativeness or profanity? These factors are considerably more important than traffic when evaluating an influencer’s content and audience.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, influencers with a lower percentage of sponsored content are more trustworthy and appear more real. Personal anecdotes about genuine use or mention of a product, service, or brand are more credible than product reviews.
Deals and product reviews earn fewer shares and comments than compelling, engaging stories. While it may be tempting to ask publishers to write a lengthy review of your product (which customers are unlikely to read), a health brand, for example, may engage influencers to write a piece about things on their bucket list and how that list motivates them to keep healthy and live an active life.
This type of content is authentic for the influencer, engaging for readers, and connects the health brand sponsor to a genuine health-related conversation among a wide audience.
The level of interaction between an influencer’s followers and the content is measured by engagement. Do those readers respond, provide comments, and share your content? How many readers are returning and how many are new?
The extent to which readers interact with a publication and how frequently they return are indicators of the importance of those relationships.
In many sectors, there is a direct link between a blogger’s frequency of posting and their traffic and repeat visitor rate. It takes numerous exposures to get a visitor to click and check out your site, and you want them to come back, just like it takes multiple exposures to get a visitor to click and check out any other website.
Readers are more inclined to return, bookmark, and share when a publication consistently posts high-quality content on a regular basis. Bloggers that don’t update their sites as frequently have a higher rate of turnover, fewer return visits, and lower loyalty.
Reach is a crucial measure to examine, even if it isn’t the most significant. Marketers should, however, resist the temptation to use unique visits alone as a metric of reach. The influencer’s followers and traffic are only valuable if they have reached a large majority of your target audience.
A travel blogger with a tiny reach, for example, is more influential than a food blogger with 100,000 unique monthly visitors if you’re a hotel chain or car seat maker. Consider what other social media channels your customers use.
If you’re a food or fashion brand, having a large following on Pinterest or Instagram may be more beneficial than having a large fan base on Facebook.
Influencer marketing’s success is mostly determined by the influencers themselves and your relationship with them. Finding the correct influencers, on the other hand, is the most difficult task for many social media agency and marketers.
The power of influencers has been well-documented in the marketing field, but there are also risks — a negative influencer might cause significant harm. A bad review from an influential person could ruin your business and tarnish your company’s image to new customers. This is why it’s so important for marketers to be mindful who they’re partnering with, even if the partners come from within their own industry niche.