What is influencer marketing and do I really need an influencer strategy?

What is influencer marketing and do I really need an influencer strategy?

Influencer marketing continues to evolve as the Internet and social media grow. We used to think of influencer marketing as celebrity endorsements, but the definition of an influencer has grown significantly over the past few years. 

An influencer is anyone who has a following within a specific niche that they engage with on a regular basis. These influencers have the power to impact the purchasing decisions of their followers because of his or her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his or her audience.

The difference between the types of influencers are blog, social media, key opinion and celebrities. The key is to determine if there are influencers in your field that can help grow your brand. If you are in the home remodeling business, you may consider the Property Brothers as influencers but there are likely many local or regional specialists that have a following that can help grow your business as well. 

Think of an influencer as something more than just a marketing tool; they are a social relationship asset that your company can collaborate with to reach your marketing goals.

The growth of social media

We have seen social media grow rapidly over the past decade. According to the 2020 We Are Social report, more than 4.5 billion people use the internet, and 3.8 billion use social media. This means that nearly  50 percent of the world is on social media and they spend two hours and 24 minutes on it every day. It is easy to see why influencer marketing can be an important tool in your marketing toolbox. 

Companies and brands love social media influencers because they can start trends and encourage their followers to buy the products and services that they promote. The industry is set to reach $15 billion in worth in 2020, according to Business Insider. Instagram is the gold standard for influencers, followed by Facebook and YouTube. TikTok is also making its mark with a more youthful demographic. 

Types of influencers

There are many ways to categorize influencers, such as by the number of followers, type of content or copywriting and level of influence.

Followers

There are four categories of followers that range from the mega-influencers which usually have over one million followers down to the nano-influencers which usually have a small number of followers, but are considered an expert in a highly specialized field. Nano-influencers can be especially important in a highly specialized field or niche product. 

Micro-influencers are the group that is on the rise. These are everyday people who have become known for their knowledge or copywriting in a specific niche. Micro-influencers have smaller followings and they are usually very cautious about partnering with a brand because they need to maintain their relationship with their followers.

Type of content

Of course, we all know there are social posts, but bloggers, YouTubers and podcasters are also influencers. They have created their reputation through the quality of their posts, the blogs they write, copywriting, the podcasts they record and the videos they create.

Level of influence

As we said before, celebrities were the original influencers and they still have a role to play, although they’re not as influential as they used to be. Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity endorsements. The category had to grow because there are few celebrities that can speak credibly about a specific brand.

The key to your business is to look at key opinion leaders. These are industry experts and journalists that cover your industry. You may also want to consider academics if your field is highly specialized. Professional advisors can also be considered key opinion leaders.

How to create an influencer strategy

  1. Do your research. Choose the networks that you want to be on and the type of influencer you want.
  2. Set a budget that includes time to plan, execute and review your strategy.
  3. Set your goals.
  4. Develop the message.
  5. Find your influencers.
  6. Review and adjust your strategy.

If you’d like help developing an influencer strategy, we’re here to help. You can contact Outlook Business Solutions and we’ll help you create a strategy, find influencers and grow your brand.