What Exactly is Influencer Marketing and Why is it Important?

DSM Digital school of marketing - influencer marketing

You’ve most probably heard of influencer marketing by now as well as its importance in your digital marketing strategy. But do you really know what it entails? And what really makes it different to traditional advertising strategies at the end of the day?

What is Influencer Marketing?

Kyle Wong, from Forbes Magazine, says that influencer marketing is a form of marketing that identifies and targets an individual with influence over potential buyers.  This means that any person who has influence over a particular target market could potentially be seen as an influencer. For that reason he or she could, form part of an influencer digital marketing strategy.

However, influencer marketing has changed in the last couple of years owing to the rise of platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Because influence is more easily obtained on these social networks, they have increased the demand as well as the impact of influencer marketing.

Difference Between Micro and Macro Influencers

Macro Influencers

A macro influencer is someone with a significant amount of influence. Think celebrities, sports stars, TV personalities, etc. These individuals have a tonne of followers but the interest of their audience is also a lot broader because of their reach.

Micro Influencers

Micro influencers, unlike macro influencers, have fewer followers and therefore less influence. However, their audiences are most likely more targeted.

DSM Digital school of marketing - influencer marketing

Why is Influencer Marketing Attractive to Companies and Brands?

Knowing that you understand what an influencer is, we are sure you can start to see why influencer marketing is an attractive form of marketing for companies and brands.

It’s easier than ever today to reach out to an influencer. Knowing this it’s easier to get your product or service in front of people. So, to answer your question about what influencer marketing is all about, this type of digital marketing is about collaborating with an influencer to get them to share your product and service with their audience. Influencer marketing is essential and shouldn’t be ignored by you or your brand. The main reason is that it’s an affordable way to spread the word about your brand, product and service.

Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Today, according to a report by TapInfluence, 92% of consumers prefer to get advice on a specific product or service from people they know or trust.  The good news is that this advice is not limited to family and friends. It extends to anyone who feels connected or wants to be connected to. And this is where influencer marketing comes in. If you want to get your brand noticed by a specific audience, you can look at leveraging an influencer that is connecting with those types of individuals.

How to Go About Your First Influencer Marketing Campaign

So, know that you know a little bit more about influencer marketing, let’s have a look at how you can kick-start your brand or business be leveraging influencers.

Before we start, it’s important to know that influencer marketing is not a silver bullet. Yes, it’s more affordable but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be a success. Before you launch your first campaign, make sure to consider the following.

Set Clear Goals

Before you jump into an agreement with an influencer, make sure to set clear goals and KPIs for your campaign. For example, how many posts a week or month do you want, what message do you want the influencer to get across to his or her audience, and also, how are you planning on measuring the response? Will it the number of links clicked to your website, coupon claims, or reach on social media. By establishing clear goals  you and the influencer can remove any uncertainty around the success of the campaign.

Make Sure The Influencer’s Audience is The Kind of Audience You Want to Reach

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known as one of the world’s most influential influencers, however, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a good fit for your brand. Yes, he might have millions of followers, but unfortunately, not all of them might be interested in your product or service. Yes, you might reach more people, however, you will also reach less relevant individuals.  Knowing that, make sure the influencer you are planning on collaborating with has a following that fits in with your brand, product and service.

Influencer marketing is growing and it’s expected to be a US$10 billion (almost R140 billion) industry in 2020. With that said, make sure to keep an eye out for potential influencers you can collaborate with in your industry. Once you’ve found someone, set clear goals and KPIs to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to the expectations of the campaign. Lastly, ensure you pick influencers with an audience that fits your target market. Instead, opt for micro influencers if you are just starting out.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

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