Over the past few years, influencer marketing has grown. From blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook and Instagram, there are so many platforms where this type of marketing can work and is found. To the audience, influencer marketing is more tangible, relatable and less ‘in your face’. In a sense, more trustworthy.
If you’re unsure of what influencer marketing really is, we’re here for you! An influencer is someone on a social platform who has thousands of followers. Their followers watch Instagram stories, engage with posts and follow along with the influencer’s life. Influencers do influence their followers, much like a celebrity would. Through this, they can share brands they believe in, products they love, events they are going to and so much more.
There are two sides of influencer marketing – the brand side and the influencer side. Each is important and beneficial in different ways.
From a brand perspective, influencer marketing is a huge tool. Aside from traditional marketing, such as radio, tv, and print ads, influencer marketing appeals to an audience differently. In most cases, it is more cost-efficient to partner with an influencer to promote your brand. While you may not get newspaper level coverage, you’re going to reach a diverse audience for less than newspaper costs.
It takes a lot of work to find the right influencers for your brand. For example, if you are a kid’s toy brand, you’re going to want to align with an influencer who speaks to your brand. In this case, you would look for mom bloggers. If you were to align with a makeup blogger who doesn’t have kids and has followers who are in their early twenties, chances are, they aren’t going to help you with sales in the long run.
There are many ways to approach this type of marketing. One way can be to approach the influencer or their agent and see if they would be willing to partner with you for some Instagram posts or stories for a fee. Through this, you would make a contract that outlined how many posts were to be made, if an affiliate link would be present, and what the influencer was entitled to in the way of payment.
Another way to approach this is to send an influencer a gift of product. While this doesn’t have a guaranteed outcome, it’s a good first approach. If an influencer receives product without a contract, they are not obligated to post about it. If they don’t post, then you are just out the cost of the product. If they do post and tag you, you just earned free marketing. The influencers will most likely follow a link or a tag so that they can have the same product as well.
As an influencer, this type of marketing is beneficial to you in another way. Before you can get there you need to be able to get the attention of a brand. To do this, you want to reach out to their Public Relations and Marketing department with your media kit. A media kit explains who you are, what your demographic is, how many likes and comments you get, and how many followers you have on your different social accounts.
If a brand wants to partner with an influencer, then a giveaway is usually the best option. Through partnering with a brand for a giveaway, an influencer is more likely to gain more followers than if they had just posted about the product. With giveaways on Instagram or Facebook, anyone who enters also usually needs to tag a friend. You get more exposure through word of mouth. With this, you can build your personal brand and follow to have more in your back pocket when you reach out to another brand.
For all parties, influencer marketing is generally a great way to gain exposure. This type of marketing works for products, events, charities, you name it. With this industry growing every year, there are more and more influencer marketing fashion jobs popping up. For this type of job, no matter which side you’re on, a background in business, marketing or social media is good to have. If this may be your career goal, make sure to watch current local influencers and what how the industry changes day by day.
Image courtesy of: Husskie
By: Megan Renaud, Vancouver, @meganbrigette
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