Much talked about, increasingly used, often mistreated, sometimes overrated, some others underestimated, Influencer Marketing is a promotion strategy that, if well activated and followed, can ensure a brand’s important results.
But what is Influencer Marketing really? And how to take advantage of this promotional activity? I’ll explain it to you in this post, but let’s start from the beginning.
Who are the influencers?
Influencers are people who have the power to influence the choice, purchase, or other decisions of those around them, of people who hold their opinions in high regard because they consider them authoritative, competent, and trustworthy.
There are four characteristics that distinguish an influencer:
- The ability to stimulate and influence the decisions of others;
- Authority, namely the ability to be recognized as experts and trusted in its reference sector;
- The knowledge, the authority of the above, and able to win the trust of others;
- The network of people that the influencer has been able to build and in which it occupies a central role and the relationships that arise in this network, essential for the diffusion of the message that the influencer conveys.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Much more than an advertisement, much more than word of mouth, Influencer Marketing is a relationship. The goal of Influencer Marketing must be (although often it is not) to create and cultivate profitable relationships, capable of generating value for the brand.
It is these, in fact, that facilitate the transmission of the communicated message and generate visibility, credibility, trust, and even conviction.
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Specifically, Influencer Marketing is a marketing activity that consists of identifying influential people (influencers) in their sector of reference (which is where the brand also operates) and capable of doing it independently.
The key points of this definition you need to focus on are:
- The identification of the influencers, which is a fundamental preliminary activity to guarantee the message conveyed consistency with your values, reliability of the content and capacity for involvement;
- The people you choose must be, in fact, influential, that is, enjoy authority, credibility, reliability and must have a well-developed network of people to whom to send the message;
- Influencers must follow your communication guidelines, which are essential to guarantee the truth and credibility of the message that speaks about you, but they must do it independently, that is, always respecting their communication style because this is precisely what makes them recognizable to their target audience.
7 tips to develop the Influencer Marketing strategy
Developing an influencer marketing strategy is not a matter of sympathy or creativity. On the other hand, the choice of influencers who will convey your message must be rational and well thought out, studied, and then followed, cultivated, and monitored.
Here are my tips for getting the right benefits from your Influencer Marketing strategy:
1. Start with the goals
As always in marketing and communication strategies, it all starts with goals. The first rule, therefore, is: establish the goal or objectives you want to achieve with the Influencer Marketing strategy.
In general, these objectives can be:
- Brand Awareness, or visibility;
- Lead Generation, or the ability to intercept new potential customers;
- Brand Reputation, since the reputation enjoyed by the influencer, will indirectly fall on that of the brand protagonist of the message;
- Leadership, or the possibility of being recognized as a leader, a point of reference in the sector;
- Stimulus to purchase.
2. Choose the right influencer
Not all influencers will be suitable for your brand. It is fundamental for you to identify the right person at the right time, the one capable of conveying your message with credibility and effectiveness in that given period of time.
Choosing the right influencer is essential for two reasons:
- The reputation that the influencer enjoys and the core values that identify it will fall on you and will be associated with your brand, so it is essential that they are people in line with your identity and personality, with your mission and with your vision;
- The people you choose must have the ability to reach a broad target and influence their decisions.
3. Respect the 4 R rule
When choosing the influencer who will convey your message, always keep the 4 R rule in mind:
- Reach, or the number of people to whom the influencer can convey his message. What matters is that they are real people and potentially target your offer;
- Relevance, or the ability of the influencer to reach a wider audience than its current user base, exploiting the relevance of the message to the public and its virality;
- Resonance, or the ability of the influencer to arouse reflections and emotions among the target audience and thus to influence their choices and decisions;
- Relationship, or the type of relationship that the brand intends to establish with the influencer and which will influence the effectiveness of the message communicated.
4. Do not underestimate the autonomy of the influencer
As I suggested a little further on, allowing the influencer to communicate with the right autonomy is essential to guarantee the effectiveness of your message.
It is very important, in fact, that the influencer knows what to communicate and how but it is equally fundamental that he does it according to his style and his personality.
Precisely these characteristics have made it distinguishable, credible, and reliable over time with its target audience.
Autonomy will give the message character and truth.
5. Draw up your timely communication guidelines
In order for the influencer to communicate an effective message, it is essential that he knows your product or service and, in particular, its peculiar characteristics and the advantages it can guarantee.
It is important that he also has knowledge of the brand he speaks of, his reputation, the core values that distinguish him and the tone of communication with which he addresses his target audience. Only in this way, in fact, will the influencer be able to develop a message consistent with the identity of the brand he speaks of.
6. What relationship do you want to establish with the influencer?
Establishing a relationship of mutual trust with the influencer you rely on is essential both for the effectiveness of the message and for the achievement of the objective you have set yourself and for the impact that this activity will have on your reputation.
Establishing a relationship of trust with the influencer means knowing and understanding him, listening to him and dialoguing with him, opening up and telling you, letting him enter your world and enter yours.
7. Monitoring, listening and measuring results
There is no marketing strategy without monitoring the results achieved, a fundamental aspect to understand if a strategy has worked, in what and which aspects, on the contrary, are to be improved.
Investing in Influencer Marketing also means measuring the results obtained, an aspect that is still not so easy and immediate, since beyond the numbers there are qualitative aspects that it is essential to consider and the quantitative aspects themselves must be contextualized and traced back to specific cases and situations.
In any case, although in the absence of industry standards, there are a series of KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that we can use to analyze and measure the results obtained by an Influencer Marketing campaign:
- Traffic, or the number of visits obtained on web channels (website, blog, landing page);
- Positioning, or if and in what way the perception of the brand has changed with the target audience;
- Sales, or the sales generated by the campaigns, although it is a parameter to be evaluated with the clamps;
- Conversions, or the number of concrete actions that users have taken following exposure to the influencer marketing campaign (registrations, downloads, subscriptions, etc.);
- Lead Generation, or the number of new potential customers involved and conquered;
- Brand Awareness, or what effects brand awareness has undergone;
- Sentiment, or how people talk about us, what kind of conversations the campaign has generated;
- Criticism and advocacy, which are a direct consequence of the Sentiment analysis. Did the campaign generate appreciation? And criticism? How much it is? And what kind?
- Mention, or the mentions obtained on social networks thanks to the campaign;
- Users and influencers involved in the campaign, i.e. the generated engagement.
Influencer Marketing: the effectiveness of a promotion strategy
It is clear, therefore, how Influencer Marketing is a particularly useful and effective promotion strategy, especially today, in a communication context in which new media have facilitated the virality of messages.
With one agreement, however: the Influencer Marketing strategy must be planned methodically, programmed in detail, carefully defined, and constantly monitored.
Ann Foster is a professional belongs to finance and he is working with a well-known company where he supports getting Commercial Licence. He also writes articles on different niche to share his experience with the world.