Many companies are beginning to understand the power of influence and social media. We often get clients and potential clients preferring to leverage influencers other than media to drive sales for the product. There are a time, purpose and place for everything.
First, let’s start by answering the question. What exactly is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is using personalities that have social influence to drive attention and interest to a brand or product. Influencer marketing falls into the current gray area between social media, PR, and marketing. The idea being that if this influencer likes the product that people that identify with that influencer will also be interested in that product. A social influencer can be anyone from a professional thought leader, to a blogger, to a YouTube personality, to a celebrity.
Influencer marketing can be very powerful and outweigh using a traditional marketing or PR approach depending on what you are trying to get from it. There are some things you should consider before diving into an influencer marketing campaign though.
Cost – It is not free to work with influencers. In fact, it can be very expensive depending on what you want them to do and post. Cost can vary from $250 for a blogger post to $5000 for YouTuber engagement and even more for dedicated posts across various channels.
Creative Control – Sometimes you’ll have it and other times you have to allow the influencer to create content that matches their voice. Even when influencers charge $20,000 their biggest asset is their approach. While you may be able to give them ideas, you may not have ultimate control over the way they want to use the brand.
Staying true to the brand audience – Make sure the influencers you choose have the right demographic. While the influencer themselves may be the right demo, sometimes there is a gap between the influencer and their audience. You should ask the influencer for their marketing statistics before entering an agreement.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate – Many influencers will want to work with you, especially if your brand is one that seems a natural fit. Negotiate with them. This may include cost, number of posts, links generate, inclusion in an affiliate program. Use all your chips in this case to get the best deal.
With all these factors in play, you may want to consider work with an influencer agency that can help you manage cost and allocate your budget to the right type of influencer for the results that you are looking for.
That said make sure if you’re going this effort solo that you do your due diligence to identify followers/reach of each channel, get pricing, availability, and timing for the influencer, reach out to more than you think you’ll need.