Influencer marketing has been around long before the term became popular. In the past, it was about celebrity endorsements and targeting opinion leaders. The difference now is an advertiser has more choices for aligning their products or services to an opinion leader than ever before.
As a result, an eMarketer survey suggested that 84% of advertisers expect to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer over the next 12 months. The important thing is that the rules of the trade don’t change. It remains important to focus on the customer and not the popularity of the social media accounts. As in all advertising, whether it’s online, offline, broadcast or other media audience, alignment to the offer is critical.
With over 2.5 billion social media accounts, identifying networks, based on geodemographic and psychographic follower profiles, is central to success. It’s not unlike broadcast or addressable advertising, where profiling the audience of specific programming and day-part for maximum reach is a major ingredient. If you’re promoting your brand to an audience with a non-relevant offer, then no amount of influencer endorsement will make it work. It’s all about having a good fit.
Some influencer networks have a database, while others are actual networks that influencers opt into. The benefit of social media is a result of the emergence of cable TV. That is, the ability to segment your targeting, or in the case of social media, narrowing your targeting, through small audience micro-influencer collaboration.
The key, as with any advertising, is targeting and memorability. The product or service must credibly align with the influencer and balance the ability of the influencer to help increase awareness of the brand. Tracking and reporting is also important in demonstrating the viability of the channel. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, blogs and YouTube are among the most popular distributors of influencer content, including celebrity, macro, mid-tier, micro and nano. In selecting an influencer, the brand must determine audience alignment and the association with the influencer. Keep in mind, it’s important to ensure that the influencer represents the values of the brand. Focusing on outcomes will be important to measure engagement, impressions, clicks, earned media and, ultimately, sales.