How to leverage influencer marketing in your strategy
Some of the most effective advertising is achieved through word-of-mouth recommendations, which is why influencer marketing has grown so much in the last few years.
Social media and YouTube have democratized content, making it easy for anyone to upload and share, netting talented, dedicated online celebrities huge profits – and sizable interest from corporations looking to ride their coattails.
In 2022, influencer marketing reached a market size of $16.4 billion. As more businesses allocate room in their budgets for influencers, strategies continue to evolve on how to take advantage of this channel in different ways.
Brands are now exploring the value of micro-influencers for targeting niche markets and leveraging user generated content to increase audience engagement. Even “deinfluencing” has become a thing to look out for.
Of course, the prospect of finding an influencer who not only resonates with your brand but also has an active audience may feel a little overwhelming. How do you identify the influential voices in your market? Who has real followers, not a load of bots? Where do you even start?
The good news is you can use AI for that. AI platforms are increasingly being used to match brands with influencers, source out influencer fraud, and analyze campaign metrics and performance, making it easier than ever before to get started and gain traction in this exciting marketing avenue.
Micro-influencers: Authentic & Affordable
Micro-influencers have small audiences, but big engagement. Because they have a following of only 1,000 to 100,000 people, micro-influencers tend to be viewed as more authentic and relatable than larger influencers, which can make them more effective at promoting products and services. Also, because they do not reach huge audiences, they present a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to dip their toes into influencer marketing or explore niche corners of their market.
User-Generated Content: Invite & Inspire
As mentioned earlier, the best marketing you can’t buy is through word-of-mouth. As your online presence grows, so do the opportunities to engage with your fans and invite them to share your business with others via user-generated content (UGC).
Getting public recognition from a favourite brand means a lot to the people who love you the most. In fact, that is one of the easiest ways to put a smile on someone’s face – simply respond to and reshare any content where your business is tagged.
Make it a habit to search social media channels for any relevant lifestyle content, how-to tutorials, unboxing videos, or branded hashtags that can be promoted across your social media platforms. Not only will this build a better connection with those content creators, but it will inspire your other followers to do the same.
You can also create your own UGC by regularly featuring customer testimonials, case studies, and success stories on your social channels, website, and newsletters. Depending on how much UGC you’re able to round up, you might even consider editing a video or reel to celebrate all your happy customers.
Lacking UGC to share? Launch a social media campaign with an exciting prize that encourages customers to create compelling content for your brand. Be sure participants include a unique hashtag related to your brand and theme to make their entry easy for your team to source and reshare.
Deinfluencing: Rant & Respond
Naturally, with the rise of influencing the market has found its counterbalance. Deinfluencing is the rant to an influencer’s rave. This TikTok-coined term describes the rejection of viral, cult-favourite beauty or lifestyle products (typically associated with influencer culture) in favour of more affordable choices.
These anti-testimonial teardowns explain where brands and products fall short, advising audiences to avoid purchasing them and consume with intention.
It is smart to keep an eye out for deinfluencing videos targeted at your brand, as well as your competitors. If you find a video featuring your business, you should bring it to your team’s attention to consider the creator’s point of view. You may also wish to respond gracefully in a comment or DM.
On the other hand, if you find a deinfluencing video featuring one of your competitors and you believe you can offer what the content creator craves, you may also wish to respond accordingly.
Peer Influence is Thriving!
According to iScoop, 79% of people surveyed reported that friends and family have a heavy influence in what they buy. It is clear, peer pressure still plays a significant role in the world we live in whether it’s from friends, family, or the folks we admire. For this reason, trust is the number one commodity of influencers.
As you start down this path, it is important to do your research and be mindful in your collaborations. By aligning with an influential voice that authentically resonates with your brand, you could open yourself up to a whole new audience of opportunity.