February 21, 2017
Social influencer marketing is a somewhat new and certainly exciting facet of the digital age of advertising. It is an opportunity for brands to expand their audience and garner trust among consumers in a unique way. Princeton Partners has successfully used social influencers to market to foodies, parents, and even teachers for both B2C and B2B clients.
If you are on social media in any capacity, you are likely being exposed to influencer marketing regularly. Do you have a favorite fitness guru you follow on Facebook? An entrepreneur you love on LinkedIn? Even a fashionista you envy on Instagram? They are likely a social influencer. However, as a marketing professional I’ve learned that many people aren’t aware of this type of marketing or how to use it properly for brand exposure or positioning.
Here are 5 important things to know about social influencer marketing:
Social influencers are people who have built up a substantial following on one or more social media platforms. You probably follow some yourself. They are individuals whose content you like enough to subscribe to. For instance, Richard Brandon, the founder of Virgin Group, has achieved influencer status with 10,528,001 followers on LinkedIn.
This is the practice of “building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you.” When you collaborate with an influencer, they can reach their own audience of consumers with your message. For instance, Kim Kardashian is arguably one of the most powerful social influencers in the world. If she posted a picture with a particular product on Instagram, this is going to promote awareness to her 92 million+ followers of said product, and likely convince many to purchase or increase awareness the product.
Macro-influencers are those with millions of followers. They may even be household names, such as famous YouTuber, Zoella. Macro-influencers are great for brand awareness because one post can reach millions of consumers.
When strategizing how to work with macro influencers, there are a few things you should keep in mind. They tend to have high price points for paid or sponsored content, so be ready to budget accordingly. Their audiences are also much more diverse, both demographically and in what interests them, which means you may see lower engagement with your promotions.
Micro-influencers can have as few as several thousand followers on their most popular social platform. However, their followers tend to have very high levels of trust in them. Audience engagement with a micro-influencer’s posts can be more effective and cost efficient than macro influencers because the content is more targeted to the interests of their followers.
Once you collaborate with a social influencer, they become a representative of your brand. This makes it incredibly important to ensure their content aligns with your values. It’s also key that their audience consists of people who will be interested in your brand or product, otherwise the message will fall flat.
For instance, YouTube’s biggest star, Felix Kjellberg of PewDiePie, was recently dropped by Disney Company’s Maker Studios, a network of online video creators where PewDiePie was marquee talent, because of anti-Semitic marks he made in recent videos posted to his channel. These controversial videos have also caused Nissan, which paid him for a promotional ad in December, to cut ties with the influencer as it does not want to be associated with this viewpoint.
In order to reduce the risk of something like this happening, always vet influencers prior to partnering with them.
Many brands, especially regional brands, are tentative about using social influencer marketing in their channel mix. But it’s certainly worth exploring due to the benefits of highly engaged audiences.
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