The definition of Influencer only entered the Oxford Dictionary in 2019. Yes, the term Influencer, as in a person who exerts influence, has been around since 1662, but, a second definition to cover the now more commonly assumed meaning of has been legitimised.
Influencer: a person who is paid by a company to show and describe its products and services on social media, encouraging other people to buy them.
The number of Influencers is growing globally year-round, and they have the power, both through organic mentions and paid endorsements, to give a product their seal of approval to a dedicated pool of followers.
Influencers can reach a potentially untapped audience for your brand, they are more cost-effective than traditional advertising, and are trusted by those who watch/follow them. Using an Influencer has become, somewhat, then norm, but the question remains: should you use an Influencer for your next marketing campaign?
Perhaps you are a relatively new brand, or you’ve peaked with sales and follower numbers across social media. If you are looking to grow your brand's presence then an influencer marketing campaign may be right for you. The best part is, you don’t even have to break the bank.
The landscape of Influencers are tiered by their follower numbers giving you; emerging influencers, micro-influencers, mid-influencers, macro-influencers and celebrity influencers. The numerical lines for these tiers can vary but the bottom line remains the same; the more followers an Influencer has, the more you can expect to pay them.
If you are looking to dip your toe into working with Influencers to grow brand awareness, start at the lower end. Understand how they work, what your expectations are from each other and whether working with them has given you the impact you were after. Not to mention there is a lot of overlooked talent in those lower tiers which will give your brand an edge.
Not one to typically give in to peer pressure; but if everyone else is doing it, why aren’t you?
The Influencer Marketing train isn’t only driven by startups. Everyone from high brow fashion to household named brands have jumped on the bandwagon at some point, and together they’re helping to steer the direction of its success. Do you want to be left behind?
Like with any other campaign, you’ll have your goals, and the message you want to share with your audience, but the beauty of using an Influencer is that you get to outsource the content creation.
Once you’ve outlined your vision, it is left in their hands to bring it to life. This means less time spent brainstorming, hiring models, photographers, studios, or being the one left with the camera in their hands and being expected to make the magic happen.
The fresh content will engage with their audience who will, in turn, engage with your brand.
Doing a complete 180 on the above - Influencers as a form of paid advertising might be something a consumer expects and brands have a dedicated team to facilitate the use of. However, there are still downsides which need to be considered along with the positives.
Running an influencer marketing campaign takes a lot of time, work, and often hand-holding of the smallest of details. There is a lot of back and forth between the brand and the Influencer - approving content and copy, negotiating fees, drawing up contracts, gaining access to back door insights and much more. Although Influencers who have been in the game since the beginning are well versed in all of this, many are not.
The Influencer you bring on board will only make up one portion of the campaign you are running but their involvement could mean a lot less time invested elsewhere.
You might never meet the influencer you are collaborating with. Correspondence will take place via a long thread of emails and the odd phone call. They produce the work, send it through, and depending on the content you could end up getting them to redo the work if it doesn’t follow brand guidelines or meet the set brief.
There is no studio you can walk around in, no professional photographer who knows how to make the lighting work just right, or prior understanding of your brand’s aesthetics forged by a longstanding relationship.
Despite their experience of being an Influencer, the person you bring on board may not have that professional feel you might be after. If these are the things you are looking for, it might be time to admit that you don’t want to use an Influencer at all. You don’t want your content to have an organic feel, you want beauty shots. You don’t want to hand over that creative responsibility, you want to be in the room where it happens, tweaking this and adjusting that.
Just because Influencers are trending, doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon if it isn’t right for your brand. Your marketing budget could be better spent on increasing your creative team’s equipment and sticking with what you know and what works well.
Ultimately whether or not you think you need an Influencer for your next marketing campaign rests solely on you.
There are positives to take into consideration such as the extended reach, how cost-effective it can be and the long-standing partnerships that can form as a result of working with trusted Influencers.
However the constant news cycle of Influencers buying followers, not declaring paid media and the general burden of bringing in an external resource to consistently monitor need to be taken into account.
Think about the goals your brand wants to achieve, the needs of your product or service and if an Influencer - one that has been carefully chosen due to their reach with your target audience, relevancy to your brand and the authenticity of their voice - can give that to you.
At this point, it would be near impossible to quantify the number of influencers that exist globally across every channel. There might be the more popular names such as Jackie Aina and Zoella, who are celebrities of sorts within their niche to Chrissy Teigen and Maya Jama who are actual celebrities. Then there are the growing names quickly surpassing 10,000 followers, the first wave of monetised TikTokers and those doing their first PR hauls on YouTube.
It can get overwhelming but thankfully with Streams, you can cut through the noise. Our tool will help to plan your campaigns and reveal content that works and maximise your marketing with searchable, customisable and saveable insights. So you never have to guess about the content that works for your audience.
Say it better with Streams - we help make content clearer so you can find the inspiration for your next marketing campaign.
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