One question we often get asked by new clients when deciding upon the scope of our work together is, “are influencers a necessary evil?” Although I understand the stereotypes that have led to this becoming a popular question to ask, I view working with influencers a bit differently. After several years of leading influencer marketing services at Segal Communications, I see these partnerships as an often untapped opportunity for brands to reach their ideal audiences, build recognition and trust amongst the public, and engage in a form of advertising that works with their budget.
Targeting your preferred audience
One of the most significant benefits of influencer marketing is its unique ability to deliver your message directly to the customers whom your product or service is designed for. In the initial stages of identifying social media influencers for your brand to partner with, your PR representative will request a media kit from them that contains valuable audience statics that will inform their decision on whether the influencer is a good fit. These statistics include everything from age and gender to the location of the influencer’s followers.
Is your target customer women between the ages of 25 – 34 who live in the US? Your PR representative will be able to source influencers whose audiences are in total alignment with this target demographic.
Building brand familiarity and trust
We know that repeated exposure builds familiarity, and the mere exposure effect tells us that consumers prefer things they are familiar with. These principles are important to consider when planning an influencer marketing campaign as they support the case for engaging in long-term relationships rather than one-off partnerships. When audiences see your product or service repeatedly being featured on the page of an influencer they follow, recognition begins to build. As audiences continue to become familiar with your product, the chances that they will prefer and ultimately purchase your product greatly increase. Along with familiarity, ongoing partnerships with influencers are a great way to build trust in your brand.
Advertising within your budget
Engaging with influencers can be surprisingly affordable with the right strategy in place. If you are a young company with a smaller budget, micro-influencer marketing could be the best route for you. Influencers within a certain range of followers, typically between 5k – 100k, are often happy to share a brand’s offerings to their social channels in exchange for a gifted product or experience. The key here is targeting the right influencers; those with well-established large audiences will almost always only post in exchange for monetary payment. If you have the budget to allocate to paid partnerships, the right relationships can lead to a sizable ROI. So although paid partnerships are a larger investment, oftentimes the exposure they provide will end up paying for itself. We typically recommend that our clients engage in a mix of trade micro-influencer partnerships and paid partnerships with larger influencers for optimal results while staying within a reasonable budget.
Ready to take the leap on an influencer marketing program for your brand? Reach us at [email protected] to get started.