Influencer marketing is not a relatively new term in the marketing world but its popularity has resurged thanks to social media and it’s easy to see why. For years, brands have struggled to solve the promotional component of their marketing strategy and find reliable brand ambassadors who can promote their products. The result of great influencer campaigns can pack a serious punch and help you find new customers while gaining legitimate brand exposure. The technology and resources surrounding influencer marketing have drastically evolved over the past few years and it is now a legitimate marketing strategy to consider.
Is Influencer Marketing Worth It?
Major celebrities and public figures were the original cast of influencers for decades but social media is now giving everyday people a powerful platform and voice. Thanks to the advancements in targeting and tracking engagement levels through social media channels, influencers can help you discover new customers, untapped markets, and engage your existing customers.
The internet created a complete shift in the way influencers reach audiences and the engagement metrics reveal the ROI that was never measurable before. Now that an influencer’s reach and your investment is measurable through a variety of data reports, influencer marketing is worth considering if your business offers a unique brand, experience, or product. But be warned, influencer marketing can be a huge waste of resources, budget, and time so it’s important to make it the best marketing tactic you’ve ever used. Great influencer marketing campaigns come down to two things: smart decision making and collaborating with the right people.
How Can I Find The Right Influencer For My Business?
In the past, well-established influencers usually had an agent that implemented costly fees for using their client’s likeness, so brands are now preferring to use a more relatable, and affordable figure in their ads. Because of their fees, traditional influencers like athletes and celebrities, are now getting overlooked by brands and marketers prefer using someone with a strong social media presence, otherwise known as being “Instafamous”. An individual’s “Instafame” is based on the number of Instagram followers they have and the clever tactics used to get likes, shares, comments, and participation from their audience. Very rarely are people Instafamous for fun and legitimate influencers are entrepreneurial businessmen and women just like you, the difference is that they care about making a brands business their business.
Finding the right influencers at the right price can be a difficult task so it is important to be cautious about who you are associating with your business. Social media profiles and the number of followers someone has can be easily manipulated or inflated with fake audience members. Many individuals on social media choose to purchase likes or followers to make themselves appear influential and end up wasting a brand’s money. So how are you going to find legitimate influencers who can grow your business? Well to prevent you from getting duped, here are a few things to look out for when researching influencers.
How To Spot A Fake Influencer Checklist:
#1 Evaluate Their Engagement Levels
- It’s easy to qualify an influencer by looking at their quantity of followers, likes, and comments, but we recommend that you take things a step further and vet their engagement levels and the quality of their audience. The numbers associated with social media metrics are important but they can only be valuable to you if they’re genuine.
- Looking at engagement rates will help you determine if their audience is legitimate and full of potential customers. If you see several profiles with a strange handle (aka the profile name), a large number of followers, limited content, and even fewer likes, that’s a red flag. This usually means those followers and likes have been purchased from a shady service selling fake engagement from a bot account. Avoid using accounts with these kinds of followers because it will only waste your time and hurt your marketing budget.
#2 Perform A Google Search
- Grab your Sherlock Holmes costume from last Halloween because you’re going to become a detective. We can’t go a day without entering in a search query so why not perform some research on your prospective influencers? By searching the influencers name, social media handle, and the brands they’ve worked with in the past, this can give you a great idea of who they are how they do business. You may also uncover blog posts and other forms of content that can help you decide if they’re the right fit for your business.
#3 Ask For References
- It’s not up to the influencer to determine how valuable they are to you so don’t be afraid to ask for a reference or to see their results from a past campaign. If you’re going put in the effort and associate this person with your products or services, make sure that their influence is going to work for your business. Remember, a good influencer can tell you how many followers and likes they have, but a great influencer will show you a variety of engagement levels and data points to describe how much traffic was generated from their posts to an external site.
With these filters, you can verify an influencer’s legitimacy before engaging in a collaboration. The campaign strategy, terms, and fees are the next things to take care of, but for now, you can be happy knowing that you’re definitely not getting ripped off.
I’m Struggling To Find Influencers For My Industry
If you’re struggling to locate the right influencers for your business then let us introduce you to our friends at Find Your Influence (FYI). We sat down with Samantha Ley, the Director of Client Development, to find out more about how FYI’s platform and managed services help connect brands with influencers.
VM: How does FYI connect brands with influencers?
SL: FYI uses our SaaS influencer marketing platform to connect notable brands with a variety of influencers. It is our goal to work with brands, pair them with the right influencers, and deliver great results. We recognize that no two digital marketing campaigns are the same so we also offer our team of expert marketers to help you manage the influencers. Our network of influencers and brands have been curated and categorized by industry experts who use more than 25 data points to evaluate the influencers and their audience. Because we have a great network of influencers, we don’t bother with bots and are solely focused on providing results.
VM: What can brands expect when they subscribe to the FYI platform?
SL: When you work with an influencer from the FYI network, you know that you’re getting the real deal. We work with creative thought-leaders that have a history of driving results and increasing engagement for brands. The main benefit of FYI is our platform, which was the first of its kind and we’ve been relentless in fine-tuning our technology. You will also receive the benefits of great customer service and our 500+ brands are thrilled with their results.
VM: How much should brands pay for an influencer?
SL: We take a very realistic approach to influencer marketing and that means working with budgets of all sizes and influencers from across the globe. Just like any other marketing tactic, there is an investment and an extremely limited budget can stunt the potential of your campaign. We’re constantly adding a variety of influencers to our network so we always have the right people at the right price point for your brand.
Looking for more information about Find Your Influence? Request a demo and find your influencers today!
Here’s The Deal
So to answer your question, is influencer marketing worth it? When done correctly, the answer is yes and you probably have to use influencers in at least one marketing channel if you want your brand to remain relevant with potential customers. But much like the California Gold Rush of 1849, it’s attracting everyone and influencer marketing is making some business boom while others are a total bust.
The bottom line is that if brands want to mix up their marketing tactics and engage in influencer marketing, they should focus on their social media strategy with legitimate influencers. Using influencers allows your business to use an authentic voice, reach new customers, and separates your product or service from the harsh light of regular ads. The obstacles that remain in finding the right influencer or determining how much influencers should be paid will continue to be shaped by the changes in social media apps, the value of influencers, and companies like Find Your Influence.
If you’re not ready to commit to a social media agency the best way to protect yourself from dishonest social media users is to become social media savvy. Follow your competitors, follow people you meet through networking, do the research, and approach influencers with a plan. Developing a measurable goal and educating yourself will help you stay on top of your influencers and help make your social campaign is a success.