People don’t trust brands. Not like they used to, at least.
That’s a fact. How do you convince your customers to come back to you? How do you promise them they’ll be satisfied? How do you keep them from looking at you like you’re just trying to sell them something?
Brands saw the potential of influencer marketing once they realized the landscape of media has changed. The digital revolution caused the democratization of media. The power is in the hands of the consumer. Anyone can be a content creator so long as they have an internet connection.
That means anyone can be your brand ambassador. Or brand enemy.
Say you’re looking for a new camera. You have a few specs in mind, and this leads you to a couple different models that you’re willing to purchase. So, you do some online research.
Maybe you watch a YouTube video review.
Maybe you are following a local photographer on Instagram who just posted a rave endorsement.
Maybe you saw a post on Reddit in a photographer community that hands-down sells you on your choice.
What happened here? Did a commercial sway you? Or did real people, with real opinions on the internet help you make your choice?
Enter the influencer. Influencers are social media celebs in niche industries with massive followings. Think: Instagram or YouTube celebrities. They are content creators who have established themselves as credible parts of particular communities, and have a dedicated following to boot.
When these people endorse your brand on their own channels, they are reaching millions of followers. Their message is authentic. Some influencers have strict codes about what brands they will and won’t work with.
While influencers may boast millions of followers, microinfluencers’ audiences sit in the 1,000 to 100,000 range. Don’t let numbers fool you: These people can be powerful brand advocates.
Why should I use a microinfluencer?
It may seem counterintuitive to focus on partnering with users that have a smaller reach, but recent studies find microinfluencers are much more effective in connecting with their smaller audience than those with larger followings.
Higher engagement? Check. But that doesn’t solve the smaller reach problem, does it? Higher engagement with smaller numbers still equates to less people.
Here’s the kicker: When dealing with microinfluencers, you aren’t looking at the huge price tag some power users have. In fact, you’re looking at a fraction of the amount. This leaves you with some flexibility to explore other options, including using several microinfluencers for your campaigns.
Think about our camera scenario from earlier. What if that camera brand partnered with an influencer to create an authentic endorsement of your new point-and-shoot? According to our story, you would be their newest customer.
Now you’re speaking my language. How do I find these people?
Hint: They aren’t only on Instagram.
While Instagram has exploded with power users, it’s not the only platform with clout.
Here are a couple tips for choosing an influencer to partner with:
1. Look at a few platforms.
Think about what your product is and who you want to target. Then, do some research about where those people live online.
We’ve been doing influencer marketing since before the term was coined, partnering with mom bloggers across the country. By syndicating digital games, quizzes and family movie review portals through our blogger network, our model set new records in the movie industry for Warner Bros. and Disney.
This network of bloggers contributed to three back-to-back home video sales records for Yogi Bear, Winnie the Pooh and Tangled, surpassing theatrical box office results for the first week of retail sales.
The takeaway? Know who you’re marketing to. Mom bloggers were perfect for us to partner with in the family entertainment space. And we drove results because of it.
2. Take a deep look at their history.
These people will be your brand’s partner. They will be representing you in the social space. It is crucial that you understand what they stand for.
Does their voice make sense for your brand?
Does their content ring true with who you are as a company?
Do you feel comfortable with the way they handle themselves?
Remember: While you may get final say on the content, nearly all influencers operate with a degree of integrity. Their audience thrives on their authenticity, and they will protect that.
3. Understand they might turn you down.
Like we said, influencers thrive on authenticity.
They may not agree with your brand statement. They may not be an actual fan of your product. They may demand complete artistic independence.
And sometimes, they might just turn you down.
The world we navigate online is a tricky one, but it’s not hopeless. Consumers crave honesty. If you can provide honest, helpful content to your consumers, you’re miles ahead. Sometimes, though, you need a little help.
That’s where these influencers come in. Their unique perspective and voice can be a fresh breath of life for your brand. Trust your consumers and trust your brand partners. You might just have a winning campaign on your hands.