Social media is an ever-changing beast. What’s trending one minute is over the next, which can leave even the world’s biggest brands lagging behind. So we thought we’d help you stay ahead of the game with some of the biggest trends that are coming to the world of influencer marketing this year.
Influencer marketing is now a mainstream form of online marketing. Although it has been a buzzword for a while now, it’s no secret that the brand-influencer relationship looks much different today. The rise of new platforms, social media-powered shopping, and demand for “unfiltered content” have certainly created a shift in the dynamics between brands and influencers. Over the past few years, influencer marketing has become an immense and essential part of the marketing landscape. It’s a powerful marketing approach that allows you to reach your target audience in a uniquely authentic way.
Following the past two years when brands found themselves scrambling to update their marketing and advertising campaigns to resonate with an audience working from home, 2022 is already showing promise. Not only have businesses learned to effectively operate virtually, more and more consumers have tuned in to the internet to meet their e-commerce needs. Brands are turning to content creators and influencers who are adept at creating reactive content. According to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), in 2021, there was a 20% decline across advertising while influencers enjoyed a 46% increase. Indeed, the spotlight on influencers is burning brighter so much so that the message to brands is – Ignore at your own peril!
Influencer marketing is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger. Just as social media has become a more integrated part of our lives, influencer marketing has exploded. People are turning to their favourite stars and personalities on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter for advice and recommendations on purchasing decisions.
Before you get started on your influencer marketing strategy, here’s some food for thought.
1. Consider your brand
Before you seek out influencers, make sure there’s an organic fit between the influencer and your brand. Many industries have influencers that are more easily identifiable than others. Fashion and beauty brands, for example, are already using influencer marketing, with 60% having a strategy in place and 21% planning to create campaigns in the next 12 months. Other brands that work well with influencer marketing include food and beverage, consumer technology, and health and wellness.
2. Find the right influencer
The hardest part of influencer marketing is finding the right people for the job. In fact, 73% say finding the right influencers is the hardest part of influencer marketing. Once you’ve tapped the right person to promote your product(s), that person becomes an extension of your brand. So, do your due diligence. Investigate an influencer’s background and history, standing if you will (hopefully all good!), and posts (positive and negative) to determine if he/she will be a good representation of your brand’s mission and vision. While you can afford to work with influencers that don’t have large followings, you may never recover from a social media faux pas.
3. Don’t sweat small count
A social media celebrity may be the ideal influencer on paper but you have to look beyond the A-listers. Remember, 72% say relevancy is more important than reach. If your influencers are reaching the target market for your brand, then you’ve hit the jackpot, no matter how large or small their audience may be.
4. Allow for creative freedom
Your chosen influencers resonate with their audience for a reason. Once you’ve determined that your chosen advocate matches your brand’s standards and speaks to your brand’s mission, let that influencer fly free. If you try to impose too many rules and regulations, the relationship may break down. Worse, you might dampen the spirit of that influencer’s posts, which means their followers won’t engage anymore.
Plan your strategy
- Get organized. Do your research. And then put in place – a strategy, plan, and budget.
- What’s your approach to finding influencers? You can find them organically, subscribe to a platform, or work through an agency. You can also rely on recommendations and word-of-mouth.
- Working with the right or new influencer takes time. Be patient and open to suggestions.
- Aim for a win-win situation for both the brand and influencer.
- Develop a schedule to communicate effectively with your influencer (i.e. via regular calls or emails once a week or month? Bi-monthly reports?)
- Last but not least, the schedule with your influencer should align with your PR schedule, product launches, events, etc.
No doubt, influencer marketing will continue to rise in the coming years. Influencers can help you grow your following, make sales, or simply get the word out about your business. Today is a great day to start creating your influencer marketing strategy, isn’t’ it?