By Kylee Karns

Influencer Marketing–because you telling people how great you are just isn’t as convincing…right?

What do JoJo Fletcher, Josh Ostrovsky and Lauren Bullen all have in common? I’ll give you a hint–take a look at their social media profiles.

They all have followings so massive that if their followers came together for one big meet-and-greet, they would exceed the population of North Carolina.

It seems like everyone is plugged in these days. Order some mouthwatering food? Snap a pic of it for Instagram. Have an interesting thought? Post it on Twitter. Friend doing something funny? Take a video for Snapchat.

With the simple click of a button, sharing information has never been so easy or given the sharer so much power. As marketers, it’s our job to use this power to our advantage

The question for marketers is this:

How do influencers get this following, what do they do with it, and how can it help us as marketers?

The modern media landscape is constantly evolving, bringing new and more effective ways to reach audiences. One of the more commonly known tools a marketer can have in their arsenal is social media.

Take our influencers we mentioned earlier, for example. Here are the amount of followers each social media has on Instagram and Twitter:

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JoJo Fletcher: 2.2M Instagram followers, 434K Twitter followers

image2-3Josh Ostrovsky: 10.5M Instagram followers, 278K Twitter followers

image5-1Lauren Bullen: 2.1M Instagram followers, 16.3K Twitter followers  

After scrolling through their accounts, it’s no surprise that people are drawn to JoJo Fletcher, Josh Ostrovsky and Lauren Bullen. For Fletcher, it’s her Pinterest worthy outfits and adorable relationship photos, Ostrovsky for his satirical humor, and Bullen for her envy inducing travel photos.

Each post they create generates thousands of interactions from their followers in the form of likes and comments. But look beyond the photoshoots, videos and memes. See any tags to specific companies in the photos, the words “Sponsored Ad” or a blatantly obvious post promoting a certain brand? These are results of influencer marketing.

Pinckney Marketing blog image influencer marketing

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing focuses on using influential people and key leaders in the market to distribute your brand’s message to an even larger market, typically through social media.

Influencers are paid, hired or inspired to get the word out for you to your market base. These are people who have amassed large followings with other users who engage with their content. The influencer doesn’t necessarily have to use the product or brand, they just need to spread its message and encourage others to use it.  

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Your brand can benefit from influencer marketing big time

Build customer trust

  • 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from other individuals over the brands themselves. (Nielsen)

Meet marketing goals effectively and affordably

  • Influencer marketing provides your brand with a cost-effective marketing channel known to generate more than twice the amount of sales than a display advertising channel.

Boost search engine optimization

  • More mentions on social media brings more popularity and relevance on search engines.

Connect to consumers

  • Influencer marketing speaks directly to your target customer and connects them with your brand.

Gets around ad blockers

  • Influencer marketing delivers a highly-visible and relevant message from a trusted source that most don’t even see as an ad!

Places ads within organic content

  • 70% of internet users want to learn about a product through content rather than through traditional advertising. (MDG Advertising)

Targets audiences accurately

  • Brand exposure through the influencer will be targeted to the right kind of audience because the influencer’s audience matches that of the brand’s target.

Follow these steps to build a strong influencer marketing campaign

  1. Evaluate your brand and its mission, audience, and perception.
  2. Determine what you want to achieve with your influencer campaign. (Ex, increase brand awareness, generate leads, up your follower count)
  3. Identify influencers who you believe to be a good match for your brand. Reach out, form a relationship, and continue to follow up with said influencers.
  4. Co-create content with your influencers. (They know best what will speak to their followers, but you know your brand better than anyone.)
  5. Track key metrics for reach, sales and brand awareness.
  6. Continue monitoring and maintaining the campaign to ensure its effectiveness.

Just a few more influencer marketing tips…

  1. Find people your audience already follows, trusts, and relates to.  
  2. Don’t be fooled by large followings–quality of engagements should come before quantity of followers.
  3. Create a list of influencers and continuously update it. Get creative with your influencer selection. Sometimes the less obvious choice can be more impactful.
  4. Develop direct relationships with as many of your influencers as possible.

So there you have it! Influencer marketing offers a highly effective option for marketers looking to connect with their audiences in today’s digitally driven, social media minded age.

If social media is where you’re looking to take your brand or business’ marketing efforts, get a load of this! It’s our Social Media Handbook, designed to teach you how easy and effective generating leads on social media can be.