In true influencer fashion, I don't want to throw any shade and I'm not judging anyone's style or taste.....
If you have ever gotten lost in the range of You tube videos you do find there is a common pattern. People trying very hard not to offend anyone as they want 'Likes'. You do get a few in-your-face characters, but that reflects in their subscription and follower numbers. It pays to be nice.
This might all seam very frivolous. But as a marketing strategy for brands, social media influencing, is an industry worth a staggering $5-10 Billion. We have seen brands such as Gym Shark and Glossier shun the traditional routes to market. Leveraging influencers and customers to generate sells, recommendations and free content.
Proving your marketing spend can be much lower than you think.
Where once you would commission a TV ad and spend a huge amount on press adverts, now the marketing model paradigm has been turned on its head.
Instead of spending $1m on a commercial, you can partner with a few influencers at the cost of $100k and reach the same level of customers, if not more. Within Beauty, on average, for ever pound spent on influencers results in £8.81 in sales. Generally for brands a ROI of $5.20 for ever dollar spent is typical.
However, Influencers are coming under greater scrutiny regarding false claims about products and not being transparent about their relationship to brands.
Gifting and paid promotions must have a #ad or #paidpromotion in all social media posts when influencers posts something they did not pay for themselves.
We have seen the advertising standards agency recently starting to clamp down on Tik Tok and have started to issue warnings and fines. So make sure you as a brand don't get into trouble. Work with people that act in line with the advertising standards for your country. Transparency is key.
Best Practice for working with Influencers
Below are some tips to help select influencers. You do have to do some research to maximise your bang for your buck. Some of it is really, common sense.
Think about your customers and your brand values. Who appears to be a good fit?
Don't forget the power of Customers & Communities
Influencers can be your customers. Often people when they find a brand they love or have a great experiences, will tell their friends. So as part of your complementary strategy for working with established Influencers don't ignore the content you can create via customers sharing and posting online reviews.
Encourage followers on your own channels via competitions and simply liking and commenting on their posts. Build a community on your channels.
Also, find communities you can tap into. For example if a Yoga-wear brand, you should be engaging with fitness channels and fitness experts. You might find affinity with Vegan/Vegetarian groups if your products are animal product free.
Do a bit of research to find the groups you can find synergies with:)
We do have more and more people inventing themselves as influencers. So their power is not what it was 5 years ago. So don't be afraid to push back on some of there fees or claims. Plus be careful of fake followers. Some Influencers will 'buy' followers.
This leads to regulations. Still early days, but we will see more guidelines as the industry evolves. So do think about ensuring anyone you work with is authentic and honest with their followers.
Consumers are becoming more savvy. They know they are being sold to, so don't ignore the power of Nano influencers, customers and community groups to leverage your reach via social media.
Some case studies to further your knowledge: