The State of Influencer Marketing and its Effect on Branding
Influencer marketing involves putting your product or service in the hands of an industry thought leader or popular personality in an attempt to boost your social proof. Companies use these individuals to promote positive associations with their brand by connecting to that person’s unique audience.
The Ins and Outs of Influencer Marketing
Vet your Candidates
The first step in finding a brand influencer involves an extreme vetting of all potential candidates. We’ve all heard the marketing horror stories before. A brand chooses an influencer then, soon after, unsavory details come out about them.
Think of your brand’s influencer as another extension of your company. Their thoughts and opinions can sometimes, whether warranted or not, be seen as a reflection of your company’s viewpoints.
Even when they aren’t promoting your products or services, audiences are still going to associate them with your company. Ideally, you want someone with a fairly clean, positive image that can accurately represent your brand without any glaring controversies.
Relevance to your Brand
A potential influencer can have the best reputation and biggest following in the entire world; however, that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily the right fit for your brand. If you’re looking to get into influencer marketing, it’s important that the person you choose embodies what your brand is about.
Savvy marketers will often choose influencers that relate to the company that they’re representing. It’s all about choosing someone that makes sense geographically or thematically for your brand.
For instance, a niche food manufacturer may choose a well-known chef as their influencer. Or maybe a New York-based small business will select a popular New York sports star as theirs.
It’s crucial that you put a lot of thought behind any decision. There’s a chance this person becomes synonymous with your brand forever, so choose wisely.
Target Audience Alignment
You’re always going to have a pre-determined target audience when you undertake a marketing campaign of any kind. When you start out in influencer marketing, the goal is to choose someone who can either invigorate or broaden your target audience.
There’s no sense in choosing an influencer whose primary audience has no use for your product or service. That can often be a disaster for your company, as well as the influencer themselves.
Likewise, avoid choosing someone who will not be well-received by your company’s target audience. The goal may be to expand your base, but it’s never a good idea to turn your back on your existing customers. It shows a blatant disregard for their needs as consumers and loyal followers of your brand.
If you conduct your influencer marketing campaign according to these tenets, you could very well be on your way to more sales and, in turn, success.