5 tips on social media influencer marketing

Social media influencer marketing has grown increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes in the last few years. We’ve witnessed a countless number of individuals nurture a social media following which has far surpassed that of many celebs and as a result has seen them become important promotional partners for a whole host of brands. This trend looks set to continue given the tough task businesses look set to face with social networks requiring more investment to actually reach their target audience.

Social media influencers have proven to be far more accessible for smaller businesses than major celebs will ever be, which makes it a great avenue to go down to promote your brand. However, what should you consider before venturing into the world of social influencer marketing?

Finding the right influencers

Before you can get your campaign under way, you’ll be faced with the task of actually identifying the influencer(s) you want to approach. If you’ve spent a fair amount of time on social media with your business pages then chance are you’ve got a feel for the landscape and know who the influencers are. However, if you still need a hand researching them then there a few simple ways you can go about it.

Using hashtags to search posts on the likes of Instagram and twitter can help to narrow down content which is relevant to your industry. From this search you can browse through the popular posts and establish who has a large enough following for your needs. Alternatively, on the likes of YouTube you can search trending videos by category, most often these are populated with content produced by YouTubers with a significant following. Make a shortlist of these accounts and research their following and engagement across other social networks to get a feel for their overall content and popularity.

The search for social media influencers isn’t too hard for most industries since on most social networks it’s usually their content which is trending and being promoted.

Remember your target audience

As with any form of marketing your target audience is key. You need to ensure that your target audience is aligned with that of any prospective social influencers. Where social media influencers differ from celebs is in that often people outside of their core audience group may be unaware of them. This means that if anyone is going to connect with content you create, they need to know the influencer, and the best way of ensuring this is by opting for someone with a similar target audience.

Consider the size of their following

It might sound obvious but there’s more to distinguishing the size of an influencer than you might realise. The plan shouldn’t be to merely go for the biggest possible influencer from the get go. You should be looking to understand whether you’d be better opting for a number of smaller influencers, or a couple of larger ones. Within this selection process you also need to consider the level of engagement their content receives. Don’t just look at their following as there’s a chance that they may have a following which has stagnated over time and doesn’t actually interact with them, or worse yet they may have even bought followers which would provide no value to you. An influencer that gets more positive interaction and engagement is most often going to prove more beneficial than someone who merely has a large following.

Look at how their past promotions have been received by followers

It’s also a good idea to see how past promotions have been received by their followers. While some influencers have a following who appreciate the fact that the occasional piece of promotional content is fast becoming part and parcel of a social media influencer’s life, numerous others have faced a back lash for “selling out” and commercialising their content. Once more, if there’s likely to be a degree of negativity associated with the promotion you might want to think about how you position it or maybe even look elsewhere.

Create quality content

As mentioned at the start, social media influencers are being used more frequently by brands which is why it’s crucial to ensure the content you create isn’t overtly salesy. While it’s now necessary to state when content is sponsored, it’ll still require a degree of thought to ensure it’s meaningful, watchable and rich in quality. Remember, the better the content, the more chance there is it’ll be shared to a wider audience and increase your brand exposure.

Final words

We hope that has helped in establishing some of the aspects that need to be considered when approaching a social media influencer. While it can prove to be a great way of reaching a wider audience and achieving your marketing goals (whether that be to increase sales, website traffic or social media following), it should be well thought out if you really want to reap the rewards. Remember, aligning the influencer with your brand is just as important as creating content which will resonate with their followers.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.