Influencer Marketing 101: Using Social Media to Build Your Brand
Social media has changed marketing forever. Online ads and influencer marketing is the new path almost all brands are taking. But how does it work, and is it good for you?
Choosing the right audience and influencer can be crucial to making a difference. For example, people who aren’t interested in getting a new internet connection wouldn’t call the Spectrum customer service number. Or, someone who doesn’t have any kids won’t buy diapers. Although you could try, there are chances of a misfire.
Influencer marketing comes with its fair share of challenges. It isn’t as tricky as it sounds, though. Most social media influencers would have a niche and a specific target market. So, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go through their content and list of followers. Such insights could help in hiring the right influencer to vouch for your product online.
Pros of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can add a human element to your brand. So, an actual person endorsing your product amounts to word-of-mouth marketing. Such pros of influencer marketing have made it the go-to method for many brands.
Reach a Relevant Audience
A decade ago, marketing was pretty much a shot in the dark. You never really knew if it would work or not. So, marketers tried their best to make an ad that would resonate with most people. While it could be a hit for one part of the population, it was a total miss for the other. Thus, conventional methods like billboards and TV ads had to be generic. Moreover, marketing professionals had to put in a lot of thought for successful marketing gimmicks, slogans, and jingles. It was also hard to figure out what was working for their brand, and what wasn’t.
Now, with influencer marketing and social media, marketers can pinpoint their target audience. By choosing the right influencer, they can reach the audience that relates to their product the most. As a result, there may be a lower bounce rate and better customer interactions. So, almost every new lead has the potential to become a sale.
Your product might not be something your audience trusts from the onset. But they do trust the right influencer. Influencers work hard to build a reputation for themselves. They try their best to stand out from the crowd and provide relatable content to their followers. Their efforts can then translate into an interested and engaged audience. That is how social media personalities also gain followers over time. Most people follow them because they have made a good rapport with them. They have developed their niche and know what they’re talking about. So, if they endorse a product, their audience listens. Many brands have seen products go out of stock minutes after an influencer endorsement.
So, influencer marketing could humanize your brand and make it more accessible. You may not be able to do the same thing with company-generated content as most people are suspicious of corporate-sounding hodgepodge.
Influencer marketing might be one of the most effective marketing methods out there today for small businesses. It can generate visible results within hours, and could still be much less expensive. You could start getting leads the minute an influencer posts about your product. All conventional methods of marketing like billboards or TV ads might take more time to make a dent in your sales. Moreover, they can also be a lot more expensive than an influencer posting a story on their account. So, influencer marketing might create more brand awareness while staying within a budget.
Cons of Influencer Marketing
While the pros might be enough to convince you, there are cons as well. So, you should consider both sides of the coin before making a decision.
Wrong Influencers Can Harm Your Brand
Believe it or not, influencer marketing could easily go south for your brand. While the right influencer could help your brand image, the wrong one could harm you more. So, it would be best to pick somebody who fits your brand image and has the same ethos. Moreover, choosing a problematic influencer could hurt your brand reputation irrevocably. It can be hard to come back from a mistake in this era of cancel culture.
So, for a successful influencer marketing campaign, you have to do some research. It is best to communicate your brand’s requirements and details of the campaign to the influencer. Because if anything between your company and your promoters clashes, it could backfire.
Difficult to Measure Results
It can be easy to generate results through influencer marketing but hard to monitor them. Influencers might not be professional enough to share insights with you. So, if you can’t figure out whether the campaign is working for you or not, it could all be in vain. Moreover, there might be times when an influencer would claim to boost a certain percentage of sales for you. But when it comes down to it, the results can be disappointing.
But there are ways to solve this problem. Most brands come up with influencer-specific promo codes for discounts. So, every time a customer uses that code, you can trace back the lead to them. Moreover, you should always ask for engagement insights from influencers and keep an eye on them. If they are unsatisfactory, you should end business with them and look for someone else.
Influencer marketing is still a fairly new world that marketers are exploring. But it is imperative that influencers follow the FTC guidelines for endorsements before they post anything. Moreover, they must mention if a post is an ad. So, whatever you do, it has to be an over-the-table deal. It could make this tricky and full of risks at every step. But you will learn a lot through hits and misses. Some brands are willing to take the risks, but others can be reluctant. So, if your brand can’t afford a misstep, you should steer clear of this sort of marketing.