So, we all know influencers have been a marketing strategy that businesses - small and big - have been using over the last few years. And the question is: Are influencers going to be relevant in 2020 and beyond? I am so glad you asked.
Influencers Are Not Going Anywhere
Influencer marketing is not a thing of the past. The buzz within the marketing industry is that companies are using large portions of their digital marketing budgets on influencers. Estee Lauder announced it has chosen to allocate 75% of its digital marketing budget to influencers in 2020, according to The Drum. That's a lot, people.
And while companies are investing in influencers, I should mention that HOW they are using influencers is changing a bit.
Influencers do sell. But, the trick is that someone has to trust that influencer. To build the trust, companies are partnering longer-term with the influencers that align with their company core values and products. So, the focus on which influencers are really right is important. If a customer has never seen the influencer mention the product and all of a sudden it is their favorite ever and they are telling their followers to buy it, RED FLAG. The vetting process is taking more time, but the relationships are lasting longer. With audiences being more skeptical with who they trust online, there is little value in a one and done post these days so taking the time to invest in the right influencers is more important.
Working with a few micro influencers is often more cost effective and productive than working with influencers with an insane following that is monetarily out of reach. It is about engagement over followers. According to Clare Gore, head of affiliates at Vouchercloud, "An audience of 2,000 with 50% engagement is far better than 2 million with .005% are interested. It's targeted, and it is efficient"
So how does this translate for your business? It really depends on what your business is all about, but here are some easy steps to finding an influencer that fits for you:
Understand WHO you are trying to reach and what influencers they are following (map out your ideal customer and do some digging around in who that person follows! Be a creeper.)
Search hashtags that make sense from the influencer side, not just the hashtags you use
Search geo tags (location tags) if you are looking for a local influencer
Follow a few influencers that you think align and watch what they are posting
Influencers often tag each other so see who your ideal influencer is hanging out with and follow them, too
Now that you have a good idea of who, reach out to a few ideal influencers and ask for their media kits
Compare the information, prices, and decide what really makes sense for you and your messaging
I work with influencers often, both in partnerships for my clients and as clients because they have a brand, too. Many of them are very effective in reaching an audience because they have taken the time to build the trust with their audience. In fact, I only work with influencers that are completely authentic (in my opinion) and I think those identifying your own standards are worth it.
Take the time to find some influencers for your business, do the vetting, and just reach out. If you are a partnership that makes sense, great for both of you. Don't overextend yourself monetarily. Sometimes payment in kind is enough, but the bigger the engagement, the harder that will be to come by. Still, ask the damn question because the worst that can happen is you don't work together.
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