Influencer Marketing Guide

The Brief Guide to Understanding Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become one of the most prevalent forms of marketing, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Influencer marketing has become so prevalent that 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities!

What is influencer marketing?

In case you’re unfamiliar with what influencer marketing is, it is defined as businesses partnering with industry influencers to help them promote their companies online. Someone who has influence or can sway opinions in their respective community is known as an influencer.

An influencer has the power to affect purchase decisions within their area of influence. This is because they have built a reputation that gives them authority, knowledge, and a special relationship with their audience. They are usually someone with a significant following in a niche, and actively engage with their audience.

How big of a following a particular influencer has depends on the particular community they are in. For example, there are going to be more people following health and fitness influencers versus influencers in a niche community like bitcoin alternatives!

This phenomenon has grown from a form of celebrity marketing. Of course, celebrities are still influencers in their own right, but often require much higher fees to partner with them.

Why invest in influencer marketing?

One common question about influencer marketing is, “Why should I invest in influencer marketing over other digital strategies?” The honest answer is that you should invest in a fully comprehensive digital strategy, and influencer marketing can fit right into that.

If you’re going to spend money on online advertising, you should consider influencer marketing. This is because the online world is littered with ads, many of which get ignored or even blocked through the use of AdBlocker browser extensions.

You might have even tried things like social media marketing in the past with little success. This is because you need to have a large audience built up to get a lot of reach from your posts. Not only that, but many social media platforms are making it more difficult to have your posts show up organically to incentivize you to spend more advertising dollars.

Influencers are different because they are regular people that happen to have a large audience of people who think like them and are interested in their opinions. Their audience trusts them, and if they like a product or service, then their audience is more likely to give it a try!

The main difference here versus similar traditional advertising methods is that you’re not employing the influencer, you’re simply paying them to show off your product or service to their audience. This means that you likely will have limited sway over exactly what they say, good or bad. This makes it important to have the right influencer and audience in mind for your campaign.

Where are these influencers?

Influencers can range across a variety of online platforms, and many will often operate across multiple ones naturally. Some influencers have a popular blog on a particular topic, some may have a YouTube channel, and others might operate across popular social media or streaming platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch.

An example of a well-known influencer that operates across multiple platforms is Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja. He is one of, if not the most popular influencers in the gaming community right now.

He has a massive audience in this community, and primarily livestreams himself playing video games on Twitch. Not only that, but Ninja is active on YouTube and social media platforms. This popularity has allowed him to attract the interest of large brands like Red Bull.

Undoubtedly, this was a fantastic move by Red Bull and allowed them to have their brand in the face of hundreds of thousands of gamers daily. While this is a more extreme example, the scalability of influencer marketing is nearly endless!

How to find and select an influencer

This might all sound great, but how do you go about finding the right influencers for your brand? Before even looking for an influencer, you’ll want to take a step back and define a few key factors for your campaign.

Define your goals

If you don’t have an overall goal for your influencer marketing campaign, then you won’t know what defines success for you and your business. This could also help you later on when you are deciding on a list of influencers to reach out to.

Your campaign goals could be something such as:

  • Increasing visitors to your website by X percent
  • Increasing your brand’s social media following on a particular platform
  • Increasing specific product sales by X amount

Your goals are not limited to these; of course, they can be anything that you would define as a success!

Importantly, whenever you create goals, you need to make them SMART. If you haven’t heard this before, SMART goals mean that your goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Otherwise, your goal cannot be accurately tracked, and you can’t determine if you succeeded or not!

Define your target audience

If you don’t have a target audience in mind when you go to look for an influencer, then you might as well throw your money away. Your business and brand will naturally focus on the need for a particular kind of person, and you should find an influencer that has an audience that surrounds that need.

Let’s use our above example of Ninja and Red Bull. Red Bull is an energy drink company, and these types of beverages are often marketed to the gaming community. Therefore, it was a logical decision for Red Bull to gain Ninja as an influencer since he has a large audience of gamers.

The more you can narrow down the niche you’d like to focus on, the better and easier time you will have when you select an influencer.

Do your research

When you go to develop a list of potential influencers to work with, make sure that you do your research on them. You can almost think of this like performing a background check on a potential employee.

You can start trying to find influencers by doing Google searches on the subject. For example, if your brand operates in an industry like fashion or technology, then you’ll likely find tons of influencers to choose from.

You can also use Google to find bloggers or writers that are well-known in your industry. If they show up at the top of search results, then it is extremely likely that they get a lot of traffic to their websites and have authority within that niche.

Contact DC Web Design and Marketing for help

We specialize in helping clients in the Washington D.C. area, and have clients throughout the country who have seen lots of success through our adaptive strategies! If you need help with influencer marketing, social media, or anything digital marketing related, reach out to DC Web Design and Marketing for all your online marketing needs!