Five Things you should consider before engaging a Digital Influencer
The world of marketing is shifting and whether you are an avid social media user or subscribe to your favourite magazines, it is almost impossible to ignore the rise of the digital influencer or "the celebrity blogger". Simply put, influencer marketing is when a company engages with an individual to influence potential customers into buying their products. A digital influencer can be in the form of journalists, sports people, academics or bloggers/vloggers. Real influence is not really paid celebrity product endorsements anymore, it’s about genuine, personal recommendations from believable and authentic digital personalities who have a loyal following.
Before you embark on engaging a digital influencer, take a few minutes to think about whether it is right for your brand...
Is your business looking for a company influencer or company spokesperson?
Influencers are content creators who discuss your products and services within a particular niche, such as fashion, health or food. On the other hand, a company spokesperson or ambassador would be typically hired to talk about a brand or product. The relationship here may not always be trusted. Simply ask yourself, for example, would an Olympic athlete really be interested in sporting poor quality sports gear!?
This difference is key to your business’ success in this marketing world. Influencers can be an excellent asset for your product or company. They do the real and honest communication about your products while at the same time being compatible to your product.
Do you wish to stimulate action?
An influencer does much more than promotion – they raise awareness, but more importantly they inspire engagement and action.
Influencers have an audience that value their opinions. Therefore, when influencers share reviews and experiences, they impact their follower’s purchasing behaviour.
Are you happy to let an influencer manage your message?
A product spokesperson will listen to your company’s message. Here you will have the ability to control your message.
Influencer marketing is different. Here, you need to ensure that the individual is compatible with your product while at the same time be allowed the freedom to express their own opinions and approach to your company or product. However, an influencer can be asked to mention key points but should be done in a way that resonates equally with the influencer and product or else the message becomes questionable. If you are handing your product over for review, make sure that you can stand over it 100%, otherwise you may not like what they have to say about it!
How much are you willing to spend?
Any form of marketing will entail some form of investment. In most instances, you will have to offer some token of appreciation for an influencer’s services, whether it’s product or monetary compensation.
Depending on your notability as well as the influencer’s following, you might have to pay more upfront to work with them. Bear in mind, that well known influencers can ask to charge considerable amounts. If your budget cannot afford such an influencer, consider searching for influencers who have a smaller reach.
Mid-tier influencers, (those with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on social media), can often produce organic conversations. While their content most likely won't reach millions like an A-list influencer’s would, those with a smaller reach are often more open to sharing your content more often. The more they share their enthusiasm and love for your brand, the more people will hear about your products.
How can I ensure my message is authentic?
I’m leaving the best to last - If you do find an influencer to promote your product, it is vital that you ensure your message remains authentic. It is important to note that you must now make it known that your chosen influencer benefited monetarily from promoting your product. Failing to do so is not just morally incorrect, and both the influencer and your business runs the risk of damaging both reputations.
Needless to say, a well thought out strategy can produce fantastic results for your brand.
So go forth, build and nurture relationships with influencers who are keen to help promote your product and sales, and new business opportunities will come!
How trustworthy do you believe digital influencers are today - are some more authentic than others??