What is influencer marketing?

The term “Influencer Marketing” isn’t exactly new, but with the boom of internet stars and of social media usage, it has become a keyword for any brand with a digital presence.

The name is pretty self-explanatory: the resource of influencers for a brand’s digital marketing strategy. The definition of influencer, however, might be a little bit more… subjective. Influencer Marketing Hub defines an influencer as “an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions on others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience”; “an individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche.”

The subjective part comes up when we realize that the ideal influencer varies a lot from brand to brand. The right influencer for my brand might be someone who won’t do anything for your brand. So, it is essential to know your brand, as well as your target, before you choose your influencer.

Before you choose your influencer…

… do your homework:

  • Know your target well.
  • Establish the goals you want to achieve by resorting to an influencer.

The importance of knowing your target

The big “secret” of influencer marketing is choosing someone relevant enough for your target, someone who is able to influence their purchase decisions. And this will only happen if you have this group of people well defined, as well as their demographic characteristics, interests and hobbies and in which platforms they are.

As well as your goals

What do you want to achieve with this kind of marketing? Sales, more engagement, more brand awareness, a bigger audience: these are just a few of the common goals and knowing which one you want is important, not only to establish the strategy itself, but also to be able to later analyse the results and check if it was a success or not.

Dos and don’ts when choosing an influencer

✔️Give the influencers creative freedom: these people know your target, how to talk to them and what works and doesn’t work with them.

❌Don’t focus all your attention on how many followers the influencer you are considering has. “This person has 6 or 7 digits on their follower counter” doesn’t necessarily mean “This person is the right influencer for my brand”.

✔️Analyse the results of the strategy. Even with all the homework done prior to making your choice, you can still choose someone who ends up not doing much for you brand. Through KPIs such as the reach, the interactions, the referral traffic and the conversions you will be able to understand whether your approach is working or not.

❌Don’t ignore the law. Instagram, for example, has the option to state that the post includes a paid partnership. This feature was created last year precisely to avoid the lack of transparency with the followers. So always do some research about the platform – or platforms – that you are going to be using. Oh, and never assume that the influencer is aware of these rules. Better safe than sorry!

✔️Reward the influencers you choose; this has to be a win-win situation. Some rewards commonly used are:

  • Monetary compensation:
    • Pay-per-cost: a certain amount per post.
    • Pay-per-click: a certain amount per click on a link established by the brand.
    • Cost-per-acquisition: a certain amount per each new customer.
  • Products/services.
  • A feature in your content.

❌Don’t make your choice without doing some research about the person. Check their previous posts and if they were involved in any controversy you don’t want your brand to associate with.

Soon we will publish part II of this guide, in which we will talk about some types of influencers brands can choose from. Stay tuned!