Understanding influencer marketing

Undoubtedly, one of the top social media trends of 2018 has been the rise of influencer marketing. Why? Because it works. Why does it work? Because consumers are attracted to and connect with authentic, genuine and personal content.

Think about it. Are you more likely to purchase a pair of shoes because a stranger standing behind a curtain tells you to or because your good friend describes to you why they’re worth buying? I’m going to go ahead and guess it’s the latter!

Photo credit: @EmilySchuman on Instagram

This is why influencer marketing is so powerful. On social media, we’re able to follow the lives of our favorite influencers, and, without even really knowing them, we trust what they have to say.

A recent trend we’re beginning to see is that anyone can be an influencer. For brands, this means there’s a much larger pool of influencers to choose from, which is extremely beneficial. It also means that, if your company can’t afford the bigwig influencers, it’s no problem! You will probably find just as much success working with micro-influencers, who are more approachable and relatable, cheaper and may even be more effective! They have a smaller audience, but that audience is dedicated to that influencer and engages with what he or she has to say.

The value of influencers isn’t their follower count. It’s their ability to capture the attention of their audience, and, ultimately, their ability to persuade their audience to take action. A PR firm can help you sort through the millions of influencers out there and find the ones that will work best for your brand.

Photo credit: Daily Advertiser and SkyZone

For example, I recently used influencer marketing to promote the rollout of Sky Zone Lafayette’s ninja warrior course. Instead of searching for top celebrities that would cost a fortune to book, I found a young man in the Louisiana area who recently competed on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. He came out, competed against customers, promoted the experience on social media and did a few TV interviews — the turnout was great!

But, you have to remember that using an influencer is a business deal, so there are FTC regulations that must be followed. For example, you have to be transparent that it’s a paid partnership. It’s as simple as putting #ad or #sponsored in the post. Instagram has recently made the process even easier with its branded content option, where influencers can clearly disclose they’re being compensated for promoting your brand’s product or service.

If you need help navigating the rules and regulations of influencer marketing, a PR firm can help! A firm can help the process run smoothly, as well as offer advice on how to track how much revenue influencers bring in.