Influencer Marketing – What You Need to Know

Influencer marketing has hit the industry big time. In a landscape where no one discipline such as marketing, branding, design or public relations can survive on its own, influencer marketing has become one such area that has brought these disciplines closer.

Influencer marketing is basically the ability to build relationships with digital influencers who are able to affect the purchasing decisions of your consumers.

We’ve learnt some valuable lessons in working with influencers. Here is what you need to know:

1.  It’s not a one night stand
Every valuable relationship needs nurturing and trust in order to grow. You therefore need a strategy. You need to write down your aims and objectives, and what you expect from the relationship. And most importantly – document what the influencer will get out of it. A successful influencer marketing campaign requires a vision that both you and the influencer have agreed upon.

2.  Get with the times
Processed is out, organic is in. Don’t overwhelm your influencer with your messages. This defeats the purpose. Allow the influencer an experience that they will then, in their own time, share with their followers. Your job is to make it one hell of an awesome experience! Followers can easily identify between the authenticity of the influencer and content that’s been hurled. And they seldom succumb to the latter.

3.  Bigger is not always better
Influencers with smaller followings may yield better results for your brand, if they are really into what you are selling. Try and find the influencers that have higher engagement levels with their audiences.

4.  Dem bones
"The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone, the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone…" Your influencers naturally become an extension of your brand. They are ambassadors and take great pride in what they do. Work together, listen and give the influencer an opportunity to share their ideas with you.

5.  Beware the smokescreen
Unfortunately, not all influencers are in fact, influencers. There are a number of malicious programmes that can generate thousands of fake followers across all social media. The key is to research and investigate your influencer thoroughly. Monitor engagement against the number of followers to give you an initial idea of the authenticity of your influencer.

Your relationship with your influencer community should be one that is mutually rewarding. Many influencers are professionals in their field, so don’t forget to express gratitude and compensate them for their work.

Written by Carmen Lerm

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