Brands today can no longer survive without social media. Countless social platforms, from Facebook to Instagram, are drawing in nearly 3 billion people, making them an important medium in consumers’ lives. So, when consumers spend a staggering amount of time on these platforms, brands naturally need to make their presence.
After all, nobody wants to miss a lucrative opportunity to grab the attention of such a massive audience. This is why spending on this important medium has surged over the years. US companies, for instance, will spend an estimated $38 billion on social media advertising this year.
But social media marketing is not just about putting up a Facebook ad or allocating budgets for Google AdSense. There are many other clever ways brands can effectively reach out to their target audience. Using social media influencers is one such popular strategy. In fact, influencer marketing is big business now. And in this article, we’ll show you how to pick the right influencers for your brand in no time.
What is a social media influencer?
Social media influencers are those with large followings of possibly millions of fans on a particular platform. They build this massive audience with a lot of hard work, creating engaging and useful content every day over a fairly long period of time. And people who follow them do so since they have a genuine interest in the specific topic or area covered by the influencer. These can range from fashion and beauty, to sports and tech.
The power of social media influencers lies in the ability to influence a massive audience, which would otherwise be difficult for a brand to achieve. Big brands usually spend millions of dollars and a staggering amount of time to reach this kind of audience using various targeted strategies. And what’s more, these influencers have already established credibility and trust and could influence their followers on their opinions as well as product purchases.
Having said that, selecting the right social media influencer for your brand needs to be done carefully. That’s because it also comes with certain risks. For example, some influencers purchase fake followers or bots to boost their follower numbers, which hardly does any good for a brand at the end of the day. Some influencers are controversial or could get entangled in some scandal, which could damage your brand. Therefore, whichever influencer you choose, it’s important to first research them. You can use Nuwber, for instance, to check whether they have had any run-ins with the law, or are associated with anyone with a questionable track record.
Finding social media influencers
Now let’s look at how you can find social media influencers to take your brand to potential customers quickly and easily.
There are 2 main ways you can do this – hunting for influencers on your own and hiring a specialized agency.
1. Finding influencers on your own
So, why should you take up this task by yourself? Because you understand your brand better than anyone else. This is also far more cost-effective and ensures that you are in control of the entire process.
Your industry contacts are your number one source for this. So don’t hesitate to ask around. Also, keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. This will give you an idea of what to look for.
Influencer marketing platforms are another useful source. These are essentially software tools that can provide you with a list of relevant influencers for your brand. Their services can also include managing contracts, running campaigns, and providing data analytics of their performance with regular reports. Influencer marketing websites such as Upfluence, Tagger, and CreatorIQ have created a thriving industry by making life easier for businesses looking to engage social media influencers for their brands.
2. Hiring influencer marketing agencies
If you want to outsource the burden of finding and dealing with influencers, then the easiest solution is hiring a reputed agency that specializes in this area.
Influencer marketing agencies such as Audiency, Viral Nation, and Fanbytes provide a range of services, from vetting and screening influencers and validating their authenticity, to even designing campaigns for you. They can take care of the complete end-to-end process, handling the influencers on your behalf and taking the entire responsibility off your shoulders.
They also work closely with top and upcoming influencers. So, with their extensive networks and industry knowledge, chances are they can find reliable social media influencers to promote your products much faster.
Having said that, it’s still important for you to get involved, since it’s only you who understand your brand and what’s best for it. Also ensure that you select a reputed agency that has proven results in your particular industry. Work closely with them so they understand what your brand represents and deliver the best value for you.
Some tips for your influencer marketing campaign
And finally, here are some useful tips to keep in mind as you go about developing an influencer marketing campaign.
1. Understand your niche
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to first clearly understand your niche so you know what types of audience to target. This will help you determine the kind of influencers you want to work with for your particular brand.
This is important because each influencer will have a niche. And their followers flock in to consume content because they are interested in that specific niche and believe that their influencer is an authority in that area. So, selecting the right influencer niche for your brand is important to target the right audience and influence them to use your product.
Knowing your niche also means understanding the geographic boundaries you need to target. Therefore, you might need to search for influencers popular in specific geographic regions.
2. Set your objectives
Be clear about what you expect by investing in social media influencers—is it to create awareness, generate leads, or to drive purchases? Ensure that you set very specific objectives when developing your influencer marketing strategy and allocating budgets.
And be prepared to discuss these with the influencer and your agency if you choose to hire one. If you are paying for an agency, they should understand the deliverables so that your money is effectively deployed.
3. Select a mix of influencers
Try to target influencers from several niches that are relevant to your product. For example, if you are selling an acne face wash, you can target influencers in both beauty care and wellness niches.
Also avoid selecting only top influencers. Reach out to micro and small-scale influencers as well. Their fan base may be still small, but there’s a good chance that their followers are authentic and are genuinely interested in their content. This ensures that your money is not wasted on fake followers. This type of smaller influencers will also work harder for you. They will often go the extra mile to create better brand engagement.
The bottom line is that using social media influencers can go a long way in driving real engagement with a highly targeted and massive audience who could have a genuine interest in your product. However, ensure that you get actively involved in the process, spend enough time going through their content, and research their background before making any commitments.