There is a constant battle among brands and businesses to win customers.
As a consumer, it is often hard to know which stories and social media posts to pay attention to.
So how can you leverage your knowledge and reputation to become an important influencer for your business marketing?
As more and more content fills the web, using influencers as part of a digital marketing plan is becoming a major asset to brands. Consumers will naturally gravitate towards people they know and trust. During the next year, nearly 60 percent of marketers will increase their budget for influencer marketing plans.
The selling potential inherent to influencer marketing is exciting, but brands need to remember the importance of authenticity. Consumers are much less naive than they once were, and the smell of false endorsements will drive them away.
Content coordinator for Skyword, Nicole Demienne, pinpoints the goal in using influencers:
"Influencers must create and promote authentic content that is aligned with the brand's vision, and brands must convey this to their partners early and often to deliver a strategic, not click-desperate, influencer strategy."
Ms. Demienne is reminding marketers to keep their priorities straight: more clicks do not do much if it does not lead to returning customers.
To avoid misusing influencer marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Do not spread yourself too thin
If you have too many bloggers and Influencers plugging your brand, it will not feel authentic. Consumers will be able to smell the money. Instead, focus on finding Influencers who are genuinely passionate about your product and trust that they will lead you to the right audience. Just think about the last website you visited that was loaded with celebrity endorsements and quotes. Something felt off, right? When you limit your Influencers, the consumer feels like they are receiving a recommendation from a good friend rather than being bombarded by salesmen.
Do not be sneaky about it
Demienne emphasises that, "when using Influencers, brands should aim to bridge a consumer-brand trust in which the relationship of the Influencer to the brand is clearly communicated." She is hinting at the current hidden-marketing trend, such as when brands disguise product promotion in the form of BuzzFeed posts. Many brands want freelancers to promote their products in a seemingly organic way, hiding the fact that they are paying for the promotion. When consumers realise this, they feel cheated. Trust is lost. Be transparent about sponsored content. Nobody will criticise a brand for advertising... until the brand tries to hide it.
Do not put too much faith in number of followers
The natural inclination is to go for the Influencer with the highest number of followers that you can get your hands on... but wait. Is that Influencer relevant to your product and brand? If so, fantastic! If not, spending the extra money on a bigger name is worthless. No matter how big his or her audience, it will not be the right audience. Again, quality trumps quantity. Make sure you are working with someone who is passionate about your product and will naturally connect it to the right people.
Simply put, "Influencers must create and promote authentic content that is aligned with the brand's vision, and brands must convey this to their partners early and often to deliver a strategic, not click-desperate, influencer strategy."
In a culture that places so much emphasis on number of followers and re tweets, it can be easy to fall into these traps. If you do, you might see an initial burst in numbers and visits, but consumers will sense the inauthenticity and they will not return. Instead, focus on quality. It might feel like the scenic route at first, but ultimately you will generate a following of loyal customers.
Here at Pixel Fish, we connect you with your target audience in an organic way. Contact us to discuss how to make digital marketing work for your brand.