Back in spring, Instagram announced it reached the astonishing 700 million user mark. Combined with their now, widely popular Live Video, Instagram Stories, and Direct Message (DMs) features, Instagram has successfully revolutionized the sort of “As Seen On Me” approach to marketing that millennials – and many others – have widely adopted.
Influencer marketing has quickly taken over the traditional approach of promoting goods and services. When backed by a genuine following and authentic branding, an influencer is more powerful than any commercial worth thousands of dollars. And while the Kylie Jenners of the world may quickly come to mind, there are also those, who earn a fraction of the celebrity price, but bring just as much worth to each brand they represent.
Whether an influencer garners the attention of 100,000 followers or 10,000, the truth is that they have learned the art of swaying their audience’s sentiment into the direction of the brand or product they promote. The key to achieving the right exposure is to find the right influencer to partner with—and most importantly—trust in their power to convey a message to their audience. Conversion is everything, but branding is even better.
The most successful partnerships result from a genuine message, which reflects the influencer’s own lifestyle. For example: a travel blogger with 60,000 followers—who never speaks about home or beauty products—will have less of an impact promoting a Dyson hair dryer, than a beauty influencer with a following of 6,000. A successful partnership results from a collaboration, which reaches the right consumer, whose interest a brand should aim to pique.
Influencers are influential for a reason and their opinions should be trusted.
Gone are the days of marketing campaigns, created behind the closed doors of a boardroom. The “professional driver, testing the latest BMW model down a race track” has given way to the influencer, driving the same vehicle down a highway on their way to a music festival, with a matcha latte in hand. Why? Because their audience can actually relate. The truth is that the average user isn’t likely to end up enjoying a test ride within a controlled-environment, but they are most definitely going to have the time of their life, speeding down the highway on their way to Coachella or Osheaga. It’s that kind of authenticity that pays off and why your influencer’s opinion on the execution of a specific campaign counts the most.
Influencers aren’t just average Instagrammers, who’ve mastered the perfect selfie. They are content creators, photographers, social media managers, marketers, and—most importantly—brand managers, who have mastered the art of promotion. They study their audience and dissect each one of their followers’ interests and shopping habits, they listen to their feedback, and use it to better their brand’s performance. A seasoned influencer knows the “story” behind their content’s metrics and can predict the success of a campaign by simply studying their past and current exposure.
When an influencer reaches to a brand with an idea to collaborate, they construct their pitch around their existing numbers and an understanding of the consumer’s need. They present a solid idea; based around a target audience, a brand’s goals, and a strongly, established voice. They breakdown their numbers and ultimately know what works for them. They don’t speak to the masses with the hope of converting a small percentage, but target a loyal group, who already believe in their feedback.
It’s important to listen to your influencer.
You picked them, you trusted them to create the campaign, you believed in their ability to draw a following, and make their voice heard. They build high-quality links and drove traffic to your platforms, ultimately strengthening your SEO; they boosted your brand’s visibility and drew a relevant crowd closer; they engaged with the kind of new audience that you didn’t know you could reach; they started conversations and continued it beyond their campaign. But most importantly – your influencer built trust and authentic relationships with their audience. They appealed to the emotions of your target audience, by standing up for a cause/product/service they genuinely trusted in and—in the end—established meaningful relationships with the customers that you hoped to draw in.
They did their job!
Want to put these tips into practice and start working with world-class influencers to promote your brand and your brand’s products? Introduce yourself to #paid today and reach a new audience.
Raya is a Bulgarian-born, internationally-bred lifestyle blogger who has immense love for good music and tacos. She is an aspiring writer with an affinity for hip hop [auto]biographies, who is always on a search for the next graffiti wall and can be found on Instagram under @stylecontroversy. Raya is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.
Featured image by: Mulberry & Melrose