Influencer marketing has quickly become an essential puzzle piece for most people’s marketing strategies. But what exactly is influencer marketing, and how can you leverage it to boost your brand? Here’s an in-depth guide on the ins and outs of this new branding landscape.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing can either describe the kind of marketing an influencer engages in or a company hiring an influencer to help spread awareness of a product or brand. Influencers are fantastic allies in your marketing program because they already have a baseline trust with their audience, making it easier for their followers to connect with your product.

What is an influencer, exactly? The term itself is somewhat nebulous; it could be everything from an Instagram fitness guru to a breakout YouTube star. Either way, the goal should always be aligning yourself with an influencer whose influence overlaps your target demographic.

The Future of Influencer Marketing: Authenticity and Strategic Partnerships
Now, brands are beginning to search for authentic influencers

Creating the marketing strategy

There’s no successful campaign without a sound strategy. If you’re new to influencer marketing, here’s how we suggest crafting a strategy that caters to your goals.

The right kind of influence

Start building your strategy based on your target audience. Who are they? What does a day in their life look like? Flesh this out as much as possible until you have a clear picture of the person you’re trying to reach. If your plan involves reaching out to an influencer, make sure they fit somewhere into that picture. Not only do they need to be relevant to your brand, but they should have consistent engagement and produce quality content.

Building genuine relationships

Influencer marketing doesn’t work if you don’t consider it a relationship-building exercise. Crafting authentic content that resonates with an influencer’s followers should be their bread and butter. Still, it’s ultimately your responsibility as a strategist to ensure that their interactions on behalf of your brand feel as authentic to your brand as they can.

What to know about Influencer Marketing
An influencer is someone who has persuasive power in a particular and is backed by a large following of people.

Cross-platform camaraderie

Don’t limit yourself to just one platform; you might even want to consider which apps your target demographics use and which wouldn’t. Spreading your social media campaign across multiple platforms ensures you’re casting a wide net. Just remember to adjust the tone accordingly—you might treat a Facebook post with more levity than a LinkedIn post, for example.

Setting clear, actionable goals

What results are you looking for from your marketing campaign? Be clear about what you're looking for and how you’ll attain them. This will help you better measure the success of your campaign and pivot as necessary if things aren’t moving in the right direction.

Common pitfalls and how you can avoid them

Even with the best intentions, influencer marketing campaigns can sometimes fall flat. Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Neglecting engagement

An influencer’s impact is often measured by reach; people assume that the more followers an influencer has, the better. But engagement is often a much better litmus for their success at bridging connections between their audience and your brand. You should also always look for influencers who foster a genuine connection with their followers.

Choosing the wrong influencer

Choosing the wrong influencer can mean wasted time and resources. But more than that, it can also cause confusion about what your brand’s voice actually is, mainly if the influencer’s reach is exceedingly different than yours.

Ignoring FTC guidelines

This pitfall seems more niche, but failing to abide by FTC guidelines could tarnish your brand’s reputation in a way that’s hard to fix. Influencers must disclose sponsored content to comply with FTC guidelines, so make sure that transparency is always at the forefront of any content throughout the campaign.

Influencer marketing: more than just a buzzword

Using influencer marketing as a powerful tool to expand your brand’s visibility is more than just a good idea. It’s quickly becoming imperative for those who want to shine with their brand’s social media presence. 

Remember that your primary goal should always be fostering genuine connections, be it between you and other influencers or between the influencer’s content and their audience. With a well-thought-out approach and some savvy planning, you’ll see firsthand just how much potential there is for growth with influencer marketing as a part of your strategy. 

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