Influencers. The buzz word of the moment. As a social media agency Manchester we hear about them a lot. They are everywhere! They started off in the beauty and fashion industries, but now have spread their wings and are working with all sorts of businesses – from restaurants, to sports and nutrition, and even cleaning! So, whatever business you are in it is likely that there is an influencer who is already connecting with your audience.
Many of the big brands are capitalising on influencers popularity and investing more and more of their marketing budget into influencer marketing campaigns, and some small businesses are now starting to consider it as well. So, where is the best place to start when you are thinking of putting a social media influencer campaign together? Here is our online marketing agency Manchester guide to make it easier for you:
What is an Influencer?
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that influencers are a new phenomenon brought out by the massive increase in popularity of social media apps such as Instagram – and this just isn’t the case. They used to be known as celebrities in the days before the internet appeared! They were people who became famous through acting, music or sports amongst other things, and they then used their celebrity status to endorse items for brands. In fact, celebrity endorsement is still a large part of many successful marketing campaigns, such as David Beckham for H&M.
What has changed is the fact we now have non-celebrity influencers, who are well ahead of the curve and whose recommendations on items inspire you to buy the same. These people are more relatable to you than celebrities are, with the intimacy of social media making them seem like friends, someone who you genuinely like, and feel an affinity with – like Mrs Hinch for example. Her MrsHinchHome profile on Instagram has 1.4 million followers – yes 1.4 million. Not bad for a lady who likes cleaning! She even has her own hashtag #HinchesArmy. Admittedly she has a beautiful home and she is a gorgeous lady, but the majority of her posts are about cleaning. People relate to her, and love her cleaning tips, and so she has become a mini celebrity in her own right – even appearing on ‘This Morning.’
Should You Be Doing Influencer Marketing for your Business?
Okay, so we did say at the start of this post that whatever your business there is probably an influencer out there who is already connecting with your audience. But, just because there is one doesn’t mean you should necessarily be connecting with them straightaway.
Working with influencers should only be considered as part of your wider marketing strategy, as unless you have an unlimited marketing budget you need to keep a close eye on ROI and also make sure you choose your campaigns wisely. If you are struggling with deciding whether to put your budget into influencer marketing or not then start by looking at your marketing goals. Then take a close look at your target audience, and research other ways of connecting with them so that you can compare return on investment, as this should give you a clearer idea of which way to go.
You could also take a little time to do some competitor research as well, and see whether they are working with any influencers or not. You won’t be able to tell whether it is having a positive financial effect on their business, but you can look at things like post engagement and decide whether you could do a better job of it or not.
How to Find the Right Influencers
If you do decide to go down the route of working with influencers, then how do you go about finding influencers to work with? The best thing to do is look at who your target audience are following and interacting with on Instagram and YouTube. This may surprise you, as it may not be who you think! There are also various searchable databases online, but these tend to have a cost attached so you are probably better starting off by just doing your own searches.
Once you have a list of potential options, you should then look at evaluating them to find the best fit. There may be some influencers on your list with thousands of followers and these are going to be expensive to work with. The key thing to remember is you should always look beyond the numbers. There have been a few occasions in the news recently, where influencers have been revealed to have bought followers to make themselves seem more popular than they actually are. What you want is influencers who have a lot of engagements on their posts, as it is more likely that their followers are real and that they are interested in what they have to say.
Going back to your marketing budget, if you want huge scale exposure for a one-time fee than you might want to put your budget into working with two or three of the influencers in your list who have a large amount of followers. On the other hand, if you are looking for longer term more sustained exposure to your target audience then working with a influencer with a smaller number of followers in order to get a better return on investment.
How to run an Influencer Campaign
So, you have now chosen your influencers, and want to work with them but how do you go about it? First things first you need to read the guidelines around influencer campaigns which have been published by the Advertising Standards Authority. There are a few different ways to work with them, you could:
- Offer them products/service to trial in return for sharing content on their social media profiles
- Pay them to create and post content
- Host an event to showcase your products/service to influencers
If you are ready to work with influencers, and need some more ideas on how to do this, then please get in touch with the team here at SEO MCR digital marketing agency now.