02 May Jargon Buster – Influencer Marketing.
Jargon Buster – Influencer Marketing.
From YMG – Digital Marketing Experts in Chelmsford, Essex.
You’re online checking your social media account. You’re scrolling past pictures of your neighbours’ pets.
Suddenly, you see an individual with a huge following. They’re talking about an item they like. You think “Wow. Imagine if that was MY product”.
Well, you can.
Welcome to the latest edition of Jargon Buster. In this edition, we’re going to be addressing influencer marketing.
What Exactly Is Influencer Marketing?
There are currently over 2 billion monthly active online users on Facebook. Over 500 million Tweets are sent per day. So, needless to say, social media platforms are a big deal. And each online platform has people known as influencers.
No matter your market, there will be some degree of influencer for that area. From videogames to rollercoasters, stationary to alcoholic beverages. There are influencers for every interest. These influencers gain a following of people with similar interests. This following trust this individual’s opinion.
Influencer marketing is the process of these individuals promoting your product or service. This is done by providing the influencer themselves with the product or service you offer at no cost. Influencer marketing is also often referred to as ‘endorsement’. But this is incorrect.
You cannot pay someone such as an influencer to promote your product or service under the pretence that it’s genuine. It must be clear that it’s an advertisement if you’ve paid them to mention your business. If it’s not, it may violate the FTC act.
Complying to the FTC act means that the influencer must state their connection to your business. Additionally, it must be clear. For example, saying that you have sent the products to them for free. Also saying that they hold the freedom to say whatever they wish about them.
Are you thinking about using influencer marketing? Then you MUST ensure you’re aware of the ins-and-outs of the FTC act. Click here to learn more.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
As outlined before, the basic principles are this:
- You find someone considered to be an influencer in your market.
- You then provide the influencer with your product or service.
- You ask them to talk about or mention your business to their following or fanbase. This is usually done either through their online content or social media accounts.
- Their following become leads or convert into customers for your business.
Because of the subject area of the influencer, their following likely fit into your audience persona. So, they’re likely to have an interest in your product or service. This process, of course, only works assuming your product or service is of good quality.
Would Influencer Marketing Work for My Business?
The short answer to this question is yes. But, it’s not as easy as that in most cases.
Yes, it can work for your business. But if it will work is down to your approach.
If you approach an influencer you don’t know much about, it may end up backfiring. For example, some influencers gain a following through satire and mocking. If you don’t believe your product or service will come off favourably in with this individual’s content, you won’t want to use them.
Asking an influencer to talk about your product if it’s not of good quality can also be damaging. As their content is online, it quickly spreads. So, if the way the influencer talks about your product or business isn’t favourable, it can soon be shared worldwide. Especially if they have a particularly large following.
Furthermore, you must remember that influencers aren’t immune from criticisms themselves. There have been several cases in recent years of influencers getting in trouble. Varying from things they’ve posted on their social media, things they’ve said, videos they’ve made, or their behaviour in general. So, be careful when choosing your influencer. If you associate with one, only for them to do something questionable, it could damage your reputation as a business. Do your research. Be sure that any contract has a way of you distancing yourself from said influencer if things go south.
How Do I Use Influencer Marketing?
First, choose a product or service you wish to promote. Then, research online into the influencers that deal in your subject area or market. Use hashtags on social media sites and look at the accounts linked to the highest posts.
Most cases of influencer marketing begin simply through email enquiry.
Some digging into the individual’s social media platforms or online site should reveal contact information. Some higher-level influencers may have agents or agencies you will have to go through. You could message the influencer through the social media site itself, but, this approach is last-resort.
After this, the approach varies depending on the individual/size of their online following. Some may want face-to-face meetings. Some may prefer to use your item or service for some time before they talk about it. Each influencer has their own way of working.
Ensure you always stay professional and courteous. These individuals are businessmen and women of a different kind. Yes, they may have become successful by social media or different online means. But treat your interaction as you would any other business meeting.
On a rare occasion, the influencer may be aware of your business or product already. They may discuss or review your product without contacting them first. Assuming they talk about your business in a positive light, this is a free advertisement for you.
In this humble man’s opinion, influencer marketing is somewhat of a high-risk, high return strategy.
As it’s against the FTC act to ask the influencer to praise your product or service, it’s a roll of the dice. You hope that the influencer likes whatever it is you provide them with (at no cost to the individual). If they don’t, it spreads like wildfire online, across social media platforms, damaging your online presence.
And yet, share functions exist online and on social media. So, if influences praise your business, the rewards can be immeasurable…
YMG are a full-service digital marketing agency based in Chelmsford, Essex, and home of the Jargon Buster series, helping business owners to understand the technical terms of digital marketing.