As a consumer your buying behavior is always influenced. Television commercials, Facebook ads, and your best friend’s rave review about a new company can change your buying behavior. Influencer marketing is another form of advertising used for this reason and it’s popularity is expanding. The definition of influencer marketing varies depending on who you ask, though our definition is:
“Utilizing highly influential industry experts with substantial and loyal digital followings in order to increase market reach.”
In a nutshell, brands work with individuals who have large digital followings in order to talk about their brand and influence follower’s buying decisions.
Brand ambassador is another term that is used interchangeably with influencer, though they are distinctly different. A brand ambassador is a paid agreement in which a digital influencer partners with a specific brand for ongoing promotion. Influencers don’t always get paid monetarily and don’t always have an ongoing relationship with the brand. Remember that by law any paid influencers or brand ambassadors must publicly disclose their relationship with a brand.
As digital influencers and brand ambassadors have entered the marketing space in the last few years, many business owners have been left wondering whether they could benefit their business. There are three key advantages to using these type of influencers.
1. They Widen Your Audience – Using a third party influencer automatically widens your digital audience, and it’s to your benefit to use an influencer that has an audience that would be interested in your product. Do you own the new daycare in town? Mommy bloggers would be good influencers for you. Have you developed a food product that you’re trying to get on store shelves? Consider food bloggers in your geographic area.
2. They Increase Your Credibility – People look up to the organizations and businesses they following on social media and online. Time is valuable and most individuals will only dedicate time to bloggers and brands they respect. Having one of them tout your best qualities raises your credibility right away.
3. They Can Work With Anyone – Endorsements from some of these influencers are extremely valuable. The practice of attracting digital influencers is not new. In fact, many influencers, especially those with exceptionally large digital followings, would tell you they are contacted on a regular basis about being being involved with various opportunities. Because of the influx of interest, many influencers can be more selective about who they work with and request higher compensation. This shift has made any endorsements valuable to businesses, influencers, and consumers alike.
If all of these advantages appeal to you and your business it may be time to move forward with influencer marketing. Be strategic in who you contact. Consider their audience carefully and don’t contact those with only large audiences. Take into account how they engage with their audience, too. A large following is not valuable if they’re quiet.
Also remember to offer something of value to whomever you contact. Be respectful of their time and value. Monetary compensation is great, but if that’s not possible offer an experience, free product, or tickets for an event. Don’t assume they work for free; it’s offensive, reflects poorly on your business, and greatly decreases your chance of a partnership.