Social media influencers are everywhere on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms. Influencer and affiliate marketing is great for start-ups and fledgling businesses, as they are low risk and low cost. Many influencers will do this for free through gifting in exchange for content, especially nano and micro influencers. It is a great way of achieving social proof, as recommendations from a trusted influencer removes the risk factor for your customers.
If you’re considering using influencers to boost your brand awareness and sales, we’ve put together a few top tips:
First of all, before you even start, you need to take time to understand who your customer is. It sounds simple, but all of your marketing should be aimed at your customer – so really drill down into who they are. Look at age, gender, social status, income, hobbies, lifestyle, the reasons why they buy, and so on.
Crucially, if you’re deciding to use influencers, you need to think about whether your customers are influenced by social media. What networks do they use? Who are they following? Importantly, you need to see what makes them take action. Is it a discount code? Or aspiring to be like a particular influencer?
The more you understand your customer, the easier it will be to find an influencer who is relatable to your target audience.
It’s important to look for an influencer that fits your brand, and not just choose one with lots of followers. You need to relate to your influencer, and so do your customers, so look at their ethos and values. For example, if you are a vegan business or are promoting vegan products, make sure that your chosen influencer aligns with this.
It’s so important to set aside time to properly research the influencers you choose to use. Make sure to take a look at the content they’re producing – is it good quality, and will it suit and benefit your business? Will your brand make sense within their content or will it look really out of place?
Newsflash: influencers are not just doing you a favour. It is a working relationship, and you need to hold them accountable. We hear time and time again from businesses who have gifted an influencer a product, but not had much return. Make sure you give your influencer a contract – you are giving them your product, but you want this content in return. Send them a trackable link, set up your discount codes, give them imagery and make it easy for them to promote your products. Share with them what you want them to say about your business and products, and make sure they deliver.
As with all social media marketing, using influencers is about building relationships, and relationships take time. Don’t expect amazing results overnight, but do remember that your influencers need to work to get paid, so they will be working hard. But it will take time to start seeing results from influencer marketing – as your customers will be in different stages of the sales funnel.