The Influencer Game Changed
The influencer marketing space has shifted in more ways than one.
For some brands, that might seem scary. But the changes are actually for the betterment of companies looking to market to a specific audience.
When I first started working as an influencer, companies were most concerned with releasing information about products. At the time, the presentation of the product came first, while the audience came last.
However, despite most marketers thinking it was a stellar marketing plan, audiences stopped responding. Audiences wanted something different. Statistics these days show that people don’t like to be sold to.
They don’t enjoy when companies wish nothing more than to push their products. People want to connect with other people.
That’s where influencer marketing comes in. Influencer marketing has shifted from focusing on the product to concentrating on the consumer. More and more companies are working on ways to connect with their audiences in honest and meaningful ways.
As a brand, you might be wondering how you can be a part of this shift efficiently and authentically. Luckily for you, we’re dedicated to ensuring that you get all the information so you can take your brand to the next level!
Learn how you can keep up with the influencer marketing changes without losing engagement, followers, or overall relevance.
Let’s Start With The Basics
As a brand, it’s essential to know certain things regarding your audience, your strategy, and the influencers you choose.
You must take time to research this information so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to go with the flow of change.
Every brand I’ve worked for has a team ready to research all the different ways that their audience matters. If you don’t have a dedicated department for research, it’s suggested you get one!
Research Your Audience
The needs of consumers evolve, which means influencer marketing must change to help brands meet the needs of their consumers.
Understanding your audience is the first step to creating a flawless influencer marketing strategy. What do they enjoy? What resonates with them most? How often do they like content from different types of influencers?
You must be asking the right questions when it comes to your audience. You’ll also need to spend some time figuring out how to acquire a new audience that aligns with your current one.
Influence marketing is all about making your product relatable to them. In what ways can you do that
Different Types of Influencer Strategies
Brands have shifted from working with a lot of influencers on smaller campaigns.
Many companies have also moved from using celebrity influencers for “one-off’s,” product promotions where they use a celebrity once for some quick engagement but nothing else.
More and more businesses are starting to work with micro-influencers who match their brand’s style and voice for the long term.
YouTube megastars and Instagram stars may have millions of followers, but followers don’t always mean engagement, which is key to success.
Micro-influencers have smaller audiences but these influencers are a lot more personal with them. They understand and respect them, and won’t promote information or products that don’t align with their audience.
These type of influencer strategies emphasize more of a personal connection with an audience by knowing who they are and what they like.
Shifting The Budget to Influencer Marketing Strategies
One of the significant changes in marketing is the shift from paying for traditional marketing to personal and influencer marketing.
There is value in this shift, since the engagement, brand awareness, and conversions are more important than merely presenting a product to an audience.
Here’s an example:
Fenty Beauty uses influencer marketing as a primary method to generate buzz before a new beauty product launch.
Before the launch of their ‘fu$y lipgloss’, they sent thousands of samples to influencers who posted about their love (or dislike) of the product using the hashtag #fu$y.
In their first year of debuting products, Fenty Beauty has grown to have millions of followers on Instagram.
Fast forward and the company is projected to be worth millions of dollars, especially with their connected Instagram family.
Embracing Influencer Events
As influencers become more involved with brands, event experiences are becoming more essential to brand development.
Instead of just sending products to influencers, companies are getting more creative by encouraging them to share their content with different audiences.
An influencer event is similar to a launch event but with influencers. These events allow influencers to share live updates of their experiences with the brand and the products.
These events offer a chance for influencers to try out products in real-time and provide their unedited opinions on the services.
An influencer event also allows influencers to have sneak peeks into exclusive products as well. Activities like this also provide the brand a chance to connect with influencers on a more personal level.
The more that brands foster a connection with influencers, the better the potential for future genuine partnerships.
Fenty generated more buzz for their newest fashion brand and Rihanna invited popular influencers to visit the new location, check out the new threads, and enjoy a party with some of the best influencers in fashion and beauty.
The result was immediate since the brand sold out of products immediately after launching.
What does your business need to do to stay unbeaten in influencer marketing? As a business, having a plan equals more success for you and the influencers you choose to work with.
Define the goals for your businessAll businesses should already do this, but it’s essential to repeat it. Before you do anything, make sure you know what you’re working towards. Define and track your goals of influencer marketing and see how an influencer can help you reach those goals. Do you want to generate sales? Grow brand awareness or increase engagement?
Align with the right influencers
The right influencer depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a general list of qualities, we’ve got some for you. The best influencer for your brand is someone trustworthy, genuine, and authentic. You don’t want to work with someone that only wants money or free products without caring who they work with.
You do want to work with someone that shares the excitement when they get your product, but in a genuine way.
The types of influencers you work with should be invested in your brand. When it comes to logistics, you’ll need to look at engagement rates and follower count, but mostly engagement.
These are just a few things to look at. When choosing an influencer, you’ll ultimately want to choose someone that feels right for the brand.
As mentioned before, it’s essential to partner with influencers who are genuinely excited about your product and campaign.
Most people don’t mind when people they follow post sponsored content. However, people don’t like being sold to, so when it feels dishonest or disingenuous, they don’t want any parts.
The authenticity and intimacy that influencers have in their communities is impactful, but only when followers sense that influencers are being genuine. As a brand, influencers as a marketing tactic can sometimes backfire if you don’t choose the right ones.
Authenticity is essential when attempting to engage with an audience.
Tell a Story
Storytelling is the best business skill to have as a business looking to market to an audience. And it’s with storytelling that influencer marketing is most powerful.
Brands are learning to understand that a successful influencer marketing strategy isn’t about merely presenting a product that people may love. Instead, the key is to empower influencers to tell stories that align with the product they are offering. It’s essential to allow influencers to tell stories in the style their followers expect.
The more freedom you give influencers, the better. When companies give influencers more freedom to develop creative stories that work for a campaign, they are more successful in the long run.
Some companies even support shoppable brand storytelling, which means that what you see in the story, is available for immediate purchase.
Making your products available immediately is one of the best ways to increase sales.