And 4 other things you need to know about influencer marketing today
Photo by: Hello I’m Nik
By now it’s a practically a given that most consumer-facing brands, particularly those in the hospitality or retail sectors, can benefit from leveraging influencer marketing as part of their marketing communications plan. But the days of finding an influencer with a high follower account that maybe only loosely fits your brand, cutting them a check in exchange for a post, and hoping for the best are gone.
As new social media platforms continue to pop up, and our old standbys constantly rework their algorithms, there’s no better time to dust off your plan, and make a few small adjustments to net some big results.
- Think beyond the ‘Gram—According to internal data from AspireIQ, which aggregated surveys from thousands of influencers and the brands that contract with them, Instagram still remains the top platform, with 85 percent of respondents saying they plan to increase their presence there in the coming year.
But that’s only part of the story. Nearly half of respondents also report planning to increase their presence on YouTube and TikTok as well. And with more than 1.29 billion users worldwide—62 percent of which are between the ages of 10 and 29—TikTok is a marketing force to be reckoned with and should be a part of a brand’s marketing strategy.
- Join the hard conversations—Gone are the days when a brand’s ethos was secondary to its product or service offerings. Sixty-four percent of brands report talking about social issues in 2020 more than previous years, and a majority of consumers report that brands that do not acknowledge the social issues that dominate headlines as being “tone-deaf” or “out of touch.” A majority of consumers (65 percent) say that they research a brand’s authenticity before making a purchase, so don’t be shy in making your support of social causes known.
- Think small for big results—Living and dying by an influencer’s follower count is cancelled. The follower threshold for what constitutes a macro-influencer varies on who you ask, but in general, they possess between 100,000 and one million followers. These influencers tend to be household names with a national or even global fanbase. Conversely, micro-influencers may have as few as 3,000 followers, but those followers are more likely to be aligned on a particular passion or niche or are focused on a specific geographic location.
These micro-influencers are often trying to grow their followership, meaning they are likely to be budget-friendly, and aligning with an influencer who is just starting out can cultivate a loyalty that may pay dividends as their popularity grows over time. In addition, micro-influencers tend to be very interactive with their audience, resulting in higher engagement rates with followers who are more likely to act upon a promotion.
- Commitment-phobes need not apply—One-and-done influencer campaigns have their place, but more and more brands see the value of long-term relationships with their influencer partners. Ninety-one percent of influencers say they prefer to be “brand ambassadors,” and want to represent the brand in a variety of ways throughout a multi-month or multi-year contract. Support can vary from sponsored posts to event appearances or social media “takeovers” and more.
This strategy can also maximize your influencer budget over time, as 87 percent of influencers report that they will work for free or trade if it is band they truly believe in and enjoy. Long-term contracts are generally more cost-effective over time.
- Embrace co-creation—A stunning 96 percent of influencers who participated in this study expressed a desire to co-create with a brand, as opposed to simply promoting it. Co-creation can come in the form of a product developed in conjunction with an influencer, or in the creation of social media content that can be shared on both the influencer’s platforms as well as the brands’.
The result is a mutually beneficial relationship that further aligns your brand with your ideal consumer, and increased loyalty from the influencer.
Contact the social media wizards at BCH today to take your influencer strategy to the next level in the form below.