The rise of social media influencers is expected to grow over the coming years. This isn’t surprising given how the marketing landscape has changed.
36Ad-block usage is expanding. Banner blindness persists. And just about every commercial out there isn’t connecting with its target audience the way companies designed them to. So what makes influencers different?
What separates companies from social media influencers is the authenticity they bring. These people simply have a deeper connection with their respective audiences as both identify themselves as part of the same sub-culture.
This is why the social media influencer sphere is projected to grow from $5.5 billion in 2019 to $22.3 billion by 2024. So if you’re a company that’s trying to tap this growing trend, then you need to first consider these seven factors before committing resources with a social media influencer.
1. Set Your Goals
First, you need to have clear goals about what you want to get from the partnership. Are you releasing a new product to attract new audiences? Are you aiming to expand your brand’s awareness? Are you trying to restructure your Facebook advertising cost? What is your budget range?
Whatever it is, it needs to be solid from the get-go. After that, you can now find an influencer to champion your brand.
2. Choosing Your Influencer
According to a study conducted by MediaKix, it’s better to partner with a macro-influencer than a micro-influencer. Micro-influencers are those that have a 10K to 100K following. Macro-influencers, on the other hand, are those that have more than 100K.
The study found out that even though macro-influencers and micro-influencers are almost identical when it comes to engagement rate, the former is better when it comes to likes, reach, and comments. However, this isn’t to say that micro-influencer should be ignored. Far from it, in fact.
A study by ResearchGate found that utilizing micro-influencers is actually better. This is because of several factors including the Persuasion Knowledge Model. Put simply, consumers may tend to resist efforts of macro-influencers as people perceive they’re using their popularity as a persuasive tool to sway opinions towards the product they’re trying to market.
Micro-influencers also have the benefit of a hyper-focused audience, genuine follower engagement, trust, authenticity, and affordability.
3. First-Hand Knowledge
An influencer maintains authenticity if he/she believes in your product. That means you’ll have to let them try your product and experience the benefit first-hand. Only then will they be able to support it and create valuable insights for their audiences.
Remember, a genuine influencer always aims to add value to the lives of their followers. And if they see value in your product, they can share that with their audiences. It’s like a modern version of word-of-mouth. Gift them the product first, then see where it goes from there.
4. Giving Creative Freedom
When partnering with an influencer, it’s almost always best to give them free-rein when it comes to creative freedom. This is especially true for micro-influencers.
After all, they’ve built their target audience from the ground up using the content that they know will resonate well. These people have extensive knowledge about how their audience responds to their posts and have years of experience tweaking their strategy to increase their social media following.
Of course, a middle-ground needs to be reached between your company and the influencer so that their creativity doesn’t collide with your brand’s voice. This brings us to our next point.
5. Research the Influencer’s Type of Content
According to a study done by Tomoson, 37% of consumers consider blogs as the go-to medium when trying to find product advice. Facebook is following close behind with 25%, while Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter each have five or six percent.
Thus, it’s always important to consider what type of content an influencer uses to ensure that it’s in line with what consumers are looking for when searching for information. You’ll also find the creative side of influencers during this step to see what sort of strengths they can add to your campaigns.
6. Create Connections with Influencers
After you’ve decided which influencer to partner with, you shouldn’t commit right away and pitch a collaboration. Instead, you should build a subtle relationship with them first.
Follow them on their social media platform, comment on their post, and research what personality they’re portraying to their audience. If it matches your own, you’re one step closer to finding your ideal candidate. This step also overlaps with the third advice as you’ll be establishing the relationship’s foundation when you give them something for free.
7. Ensure the Absence of Opposing Views
If you’ve built your brand to stand for something, your chosen influencer should reflect those views on the outset to avoid conflict of interest in the long run. For instance, they may be loved now, but they could have posted something in the past that would tarnish your brand’s reputation once it resurfaces.
Conduct diligent research on them first. Check to see if they are engaging in conversations that are in direct opposition to your brand’s identity. And make sure they are behaving themselves properly on their respective platform – polite, engaging, and genuinely trustworthy.
Collaborating with a social media influencer is a great way to expand your reach online. They are leaders, creatives, and are considered well-informed in their respective fields. Just ensure you’re practicing proper risk management assessment before associating your brand with your selected candidate first. Thorough research is one of the main tenets of proper business protocols, after all.
Author: Stefanie Siclot
Stefanie Siclot is part of the SEO team at Growth Rocket. She is responsible for increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic which means fun for her.