Influencer marketing has become one of the most sought after marketing tactics in 2017. About two years ago, a study by Tomoson revealed that brands increased their influencer marketing budget by 59%.
With so much content online, already, it’s hard for brands to cut through the noise and get their message to the target audience.
In fact, there’s an overall content shock right now. The question is no longer how to create content, but how to get people to respond, read, and act on it.
Many experts may have advised you to invest in influencer marketing — how do you know you’re making the right decisions?
Trust me, it’s hard. As a brand, you need to have a clear strategy in mind, and on paper for promoting your content, product, and ideas. With more brands targeting the same consumers, you need to strategize on how to reach these consumers faster.
The harsh truth is, influencer marketing may not work for every product, content, industry, or scenario.
So, how do you ensure that you’re not wasting time with influencer marketing? Let’s start with a simple question:
1) DOES YOUR PRODUCT HAVE MASS APPEAL?
Before you plunge into influencer marketing, you need to first determine whether or not your product will interest enough consumers.
Remember that every product has a topic — and that topic must be popular to be successful. These are simple tips on how to gauge product’s appeal:
- How often do you hear your topic mentioned in the news?
- How many similar products are already in the market?
- Does your product have a broad demographic appeal (e.g., teens, retirees)?
- Will your consumers feel excited to know more about your product?
This is so important, because when you’re connecting with influencers if everything goes well, you’ll be exposing your product and content to thousands if not millions of people at the same time.
But if your product is niche, then the whole idea of leveraging on this marketing tactic may be futile.
More importantly, you need to be able to determine the marketability factor of your product. For example, if it’s a mobile app for shoppers, then it will interest a lot of people. Video and mobile games like the Game of Thrones, equally have a mass appeal.
When a product strikes a chord with a larger audience, it becomes easier to get that product on the shelves of major merchandisers.
This also means that if you spend time designing a product that will resonate with a broad audience, influencers will likely help you amplify its reach.
If you’re selling a physical product, for example, “you’ve got to prove that you can supply a larger number of products, to meet the demand,” says Don Debelek.
Hence a niche product will not make sense. Because it’s an indication that you can’t meet up with the demand, as it were. General or broad products tend to perform best with influencer marketing.
2) IS YOUR DESIGN UP TO PAR?
Yes, design matters.
Design plays an important role in branding. Of course, you can use social media to improve your brand, but design comes first.
According to Patrick Barwise and Sean Meehan from the Harvard Business Review, “social media makes it more urgent than ever that companies get the basics right, developing and reliably delivering on a compelling brand promise.”
A professional design makes it easier for consumers to recognize your brand. But that’s not all — it also meets the following goals:
- Communicating a clear value proposition/message
- Proves your credibility to consumers
- Creating loyalty with new and existing customers
- Connecting and sharing information with your customers
Whether you’re using an agency or doing it yourself you need to get your design in order. Before your web page design, content design, or product design, start with your strategy — understand your objectives, simplify your plans, and be quick to implement them.
You really can’t go far without a solid influencer marketing strategy. Sadly, this is where most brands and marketers stop. They start out on the right foot, but since they don’t have a documented strategy in place, everything gets complicated.
Truth is, using famous people, celebrities, power users, and experts to sell products and services is not a new idea.
You could launch a full-blown influencer marketing campaign in the past, with little or no professional design. But today it’s a different story. Because the competition is stronger.
Having a professional look is critical.
No matter what you want to promote (article, video, podcast, ebook, mobile app, software, whitepaper, etc.), good design can help you create that first impression. It will educate, inspire, and influence decisions.
As a result, a well-designed website, product, or content can tell a memorable story — thus giving influencers a reason to like, share, and promote your content at will.
The Over app is a good example. The app’s one-page website has a user-friendly interface and intuitive design, and the great use of video makes it fun.
Note: The essence of a having a professional design isn’t so you can look good (although it’s a good reason) in front of influencers and consumers, but you want to seamlessly captivate the audience, and convey your message more clearly.
3) DO YOU HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE?
As I said earlier, social media is the lifeblood of influencer marketing. In other words, if you want to amplify the reach of your content, and acquire more customers, you need to have a social media presence.
No, you don’t have to spend your whole life on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. With a great social media strategy, you can automate postings with tools, such as Buffer, Hootsuite, and more.
A social media presence will give you an upper hand so that when an influencer tweets your content/product or retweets it, you can take advantage of that social proof to engage with your audience better.
If you’re not aware, brands allot large amounts of money to drive influencer marketing success. In fact, it’s estimated that 52% of companies have a stand-alone sponsored social budget for their brand.
When it comes to using social media to enhance influencer marketing, you don’t have to go all in. Trust me, you’ll be distracted if you choose to dominate Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social networks at once.
The rule of thumb is to start small.
When influencers are sharing your content on social media, it’s important if you’re being tagged in the post. This way, you’ll get a notification and can reshare/retweet the post to get more traffic to your website.
4) ARE THERE INFLUENCERS FOR YOUR TARGET MARKET?
Influencer marketing begins with engagement. Yes, you need to engage only the right people. When you do that, then you know you’re on the right track.
Influencer marketing isn’t all about connecting with every social media power user out there. It makes no sense. Or does it?
Here’s a case scenario: Let’s say I’m promoting my new book to help mobile app developers get more downloads, who do you think is my target influencer?
- A finance expert?
- A personal coach
- An app marketing expert?
Sure I heard you, “the app marketing expert.”
The reason is because the expert’s audience matches my target group. Don’t just contact any influencer out there, you’ll be making a huge mistake.
Make sure you identify influencers based on audience type, content type and style, and level of engagement. Endeavor to build relationships with influencers, and don’t be carried away by influencer’s huge number of social fans.