The short answer, without a doubt, is: YES.
Social media has become embedded in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. Consumers are liking and sharing content, interacting with other users, and joining conversations around a variety of topics that could be relevant to any particular brand.
In its early days, influencer marketing was quickly adopted by the beauty, fashion, technology, and CPG sectors. But marketers quickly discovered they could harness the power of influencers across the board. While there are niche influencers who limit their content to certain topics, other influencers connect with their audiences on many different levels. We’ve seen content creators evolve into a multifaceted group that touches on various categories.
Tips to crack the influencer marketing code
B2C firms in every industry from financial services to consumer technology have seen results from influencer marketing. Consider that 60 percent of YouTube subscribers trust content creators over celebrities and that trusted recommendations are more influential than direct brand ads. It’s no wonder influencer marketing is catching on – it can deliver superior engagement and, ultimately, higher sales, as long as it’s done the right way.
Companies, especially those operating in highly regulated industries, might find the initial ramp-up period especially daunting due to common challenges in identifying the right influencers, selecting a platform, creating engaging stories or determining the best ways to measure campaign ROI, among other hurdles. So what should organizations focus on to maximize the benefits of influencer marketing?
Finding an influencer who speaks to a niche audience
Vanity metrics are costing marketers time and money. Looking beyond following counts is crucial when identifying influencers. It’s imperative to ensure the influencer is a good fit across multiple dimensions, including:
- Post style and tone. Does the brand or product make sense in the context of the influencer’s other posts? Does the influencer produce high-quality content? Can the brand repurpose the content through its social media channels?
- Topic frequency. How often does the influencer post about subjects that relate to the brand? Will a sponsored post about the product in question seem out of place to the influencer’s audience?
- Engagement. Does the influencer have posts similar to the ones you want to create? Do these posts see high engagement numbers, or are they ignored by the audience? Contextual engagement is key to predict if an influencer’s audience will be receptive to a specific message.
Selecting a platform that meets your campaign goals
Each social network suits a particular type of content as well as a specific demographic. Marketing teams should be strategic when selecting the platforms through which content will be distributed. With that in mind, here’s a snapshot of the most popular social sites and the types of content they work best for:
- Instagram: Ideal for short-form video and stylish imagery that inspire and motivate audiences. Instagram is highly effective for cultivating a brand image and communicating simple concepts in a fun, engaging way.
- YouTube: Perfect for longer, more technical videos such as how-to guides, interviews, and product demos. YouTube works at every stage of the funnel, from building awareness to encouraging conversions.
- Twitch: A live-streaming service perfect for immediately engaging an audience and holding their attention. Viewers can even directly respond or ask questions while on Twitch, which the presenter can answer.
- Pinterest: A highly visual platform that lends itself particularly well to the curation and resharing of photos and videos. Pinterest has a huge foothold in sectors such as arts and crafts. Plus, the long half-life of its content means that a successful campaign can literally pay off for months.
- Snapchat: What began as a service for sending ephemeral photos and videos has become a powerful tool for experiential and location-based marketing via features like custom geofilters. Snapchat also contains a unique story and commerce features for top influencers.
Telling an engaging story
Influencers humanize businesses. Therefore, you can get the most from your partnerships by having influencer tell compelling stories. People make purchasing decisions based on emotional reactions, not just the information they’re given.
More often than not, marketers focus solely on the distribution qualities of influencers, leaving aside their creative potential and personal connection with their audiences. A balance between campaign guidelines and creative freedom will impact the outcome of an influencer initiative.
Ready to get started?
Some brands may find influencer marketing difficult at first, but with the right campaign strategy, there’s no limit to what can be achieved. Open Influence helps brands of all types in every step of the way.