Influencer marketing has been around for a long time in various forms. Testimonials, word-of-mouth marketing, professional and celebrity endorsements and sponsorships, etc… We’ve seen them all, everywhere. Informercials, magazines, TV commercials, and now, of course, the internet. Websites are making use of testimonials more and more, with positive results. The degree to which they compel the prospective user to purchase depends on the credibility of the testimonial, and I’ve seen some that range from highly credible and relevant, by people that carefully brand themselves and what they endorse, to sites that obviously make up a first name and initial, grab a stock headshot, and write up a glowing testimonial themselves about…themselves. Meaning there’s no credibility. But even those tend to work to a degree, on people that only need to sense that others like the product or service, even if the person is fictional. It’s just how humans are wired, to want to belong to a community and associate themselves with others that fit some part of a persona that they have created for themselves. We’re just like that.
So, obviously there’s a right way, or at least better way, to perform influencer marketing, and a wrong or not-as -effective way. I’m going to try and hopefully provide a better way.
The first step is to find some influencers. If you have a big budget that involves contacting an agency that represents a name that would add weight to your product or service lineup or brand, and whose public perception would add value to your brand. You want to leverage their appeal and glom onto their success, and let their Midas touch work its magic. But we don’t all have Proctor & Gamble sized marketing budgets.
Another route is to use a service like Rep. Rep not only finds social media influencers, on Instagram but if you see yourself as some type of influencer on your niche, you can sign up and make a few bucks. As their tagline explains, “REP is a marketplace that uses machine learning to connect brands and influencers based on the influencer’s audience, ensuring the greatest ROI.”
In some cases, it can lead to some pretty lucrative gigs. Personally, I’d advise some caution not to cross the line of exploitation if you’re using your kid or pet to grow an audience and build your influence. There’s a delicate balance that needs to be achieved in my opinion, which I can’t dictate, but I think we can all identify when that line is crossed.
For a pretty minimal cost, you can hire some influencers to promote your company to their followers. But there’s a better way to take it further by adding that to content marketing.
This is a pretty good article that explains how content marketing and influencer marketing work together. I won’t repeat what’s covered there, as he’s done a fine job of covering it. But it explains that there’s a synergy when you implement the two as a strategy.
If you have some tips or ideas on using a combination of marketing strategies synergistically, by all means, leave a comment and let me know!