We have observed an increase in digital marketing influencers in recent years. Here, brands turn to influencers to reach more people, expand their reach, and build a larger and more reliable network of fans. To enable them to expand their reach, brands use various strategies to help them find specific individuals who have the ideal audience for their products and services. These connections also benefit the influencer, as they offer a better chance of entrepreneurship and numerous benefits, such as being recognised as an expert in your industry, as well as all kinds of financial and non-financial incentives. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

People trust influencers 92% more than companies, according to surveys. This creates a business opportunity for marketers, as people’s trust in influencers can be transferred to their products or services. Customers are significantly more likely to believe a friend’s advice than a brand’s advertising.

Don’t be shocked if this is new to you. Let us help you! Having a digital influencer on your team can help you expand your reach and build trust in your brand. Here’s everything you need to know before you get started:

Digital influencers and what they mean
Influencers are usually those who have built a significant, engaged and active following on social media. They are the kind of people who can influence people’s beliefs and behaviour. They are experts in their field and have built strong relationships with their followers, based on mutual trust and two-way communication. The followers strive to be like the digital influencers, eat what they eat, wear what they wear, and buy what they buy. They are mostly on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.

You can bring your brand to the attention of a large audience if you have Digital Influencers by your side. Influencers are people who can help your business take advantage of social media sites like Snapchat and Pinterest. For example, Snapchat has 310M monthly active users who watch an estimated 10 billion videos a day. Another is Pinterest, which has more than 100M monthly active users.

All these features make influencers incredibly attractive for brands to partner with. On the one hand, brands gain access to customers who are already interested and inclined to buy. On the other hand, customers are more likely to trust a person rather than a brand if they feel they know that person personally and can interact with that person. As a result, brands today tend to pay a lot of money for targeted people to link their products or services to a favourable influencer.

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Types of digital influencers that marketers should be aware of
Anyone on social media has the power to become an influencer. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ellen DeGeneres, and others have been known as “influencers”. But not only the rich and famous can now be influencers, but also well-known bloggers, social media stars, and even ordinary consumers.

Influencers can be classified into three categories based on their reach:

Micro-influencers
These are people with fewer social media followers, usually thousands or tens of thousands. However, they have a higher engagement rate and a much more targeted audience. They are usually less expensive than superstars and more genuine, offering real things their audience can relate to. This influencer has the highest brand relevance and ability to drive desired action from their audience, based on personal experience with a brand and strong relationships with their following. This is best for conversions and engagement.

Banana Republic is an excellent example of using micro-influencers on Instagram for fashion and leisure. They work with men and women from SME companies to showcase their clothes in different contexts. Influencers provide topical content for Banana Republic and raise awareness among their followers in this way.

In total, Banana Republic ran 13 ads, which reached 43.2 million people. They not only increased brand awareness, but also got hundreds of images of their items at a low price.

Macro-influencers
Having the backing of a well-known macro-influencer can help you achieve significant results in a short period of time. They are rarely seen on the red carpet, but they may have millions of social media followers and are well-known in their field. They may be CEOs, journalists, or bloggers, and are often recognised as thought leaders in the industry. The higher the cost of working with an influencer, the more followers they have. You can make the most of them to increase brand awareness and engagement.

The partnership between Becca and Jaclyn Hill is an excellent illustration of this. Becca is an Australian cosmetics company, founded in 2001, with products launched in more than 36 countries by 2012. Estée Lauder bought Becca in 2016, yet the company continues to grow through influencer marketing.

Their partnership with YouTube star and digital macro-influencer Jaclyn Hill helped the company achieve massive growth and brand awareness. They collaborated on Champagne Pop, a limited-edition highlighter that gained immediate traction and became Sephora’s bestseller on the day of its debut.

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Mega-influencers
These are social media superstars with a following of more than a million people. They have the most engagement and reach per post. Although, all this comes at a cost, and usually only the biggest brands in the industry can afford it. Mega-influencers are generally not that influential, especially if the goal of your campaign is conversions, as they have the slightest potential to drive audiences to the necessary action. It is best to build brand awareness and make first impressions.

To beat its main competitors, Adidas created an influencer-driven social media marketing strategy. The hashtag #MyNeoShoot was used to generate user-created content for the youth-focused campaign.

Adidas leveraged Selena Gomez’s social impact and celebrity status to call on fans to submit photos of themselves wearing Adidas merchandise.

The said campaign was a huge success, with more than 12k submissions and 71k hashtag mentions of #MyNeoShoot. Adidas saw a sales increase of 24.2 per cent, while Nike saw a sales dip of 9.1 per cent.

Finding the right influencers to target is one of the most challenging aspects of setting up an influencer marketing campaign. In many circumstances, the temptation is to go for the big names because they have the biggest audience and clout. However, it is more important to discover the right fit. It’s not just about the size of your audience; it’s also about how interested and targeted they are. Know that the more followers an influencer has, the more brand visibility you will gain, but the conversion rate will generally be lower.

Find the right influencer for your brand
It is time to choose an influencer who is a good fit for your brand, once you have made a decision and settled on the type you want to engage with. Several aspects, including your target audience, can help you determine how beneficial an influencer would be.

Demographics and engagement of followers
Followers and how likely they are to like, comment on or share your selected influencer’s posts are all part of post engagement. Do they reply, inform, or start a conversation? The greater the connections between the influencer and his followers, the more engaged the audience is. Go for someone who interacts with the audience rather than just pushing things.

You should also aim to find an influencer with followers similar to your target audience in age and gender. As a result, you should first find out who your average customer or client is and then choose an influencer with followers who fit that character.

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Relevance of content
It is crucial to find an influencer whose followers are of the same age and gender as your target audience, as well as how closely the influencer’s material matches your business. Your brand will suffer if the influencer’s niche has nothing to do with yours. You need to make sure that the content your influencer delivers is consistent with your brand’s mission.

Will the material the influencer delivers be attractive to your target audience? Who is most effective at attracting and retaining your target audience? Who is popular in your industry on Twitter? If you advertise exotic holidays, for example, look for an influencer who tells stories about his travels around the world, posts videos of his adventures, and generally promotes the pleasant life we all desire.

Authenticity
The importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. As a business, you need an honest influencer who speaks from personal experience to develop brand loyalty and trust. Someone who is not just trying to increase sales because they are compensated, but who is genuinely interested in helping others by delivering value. You need an influencer who can tell memorable and engaging stories that matter to your target audience.

Would you trust an influencer’s recommendation? More shares and responses are generated by engaging stories than by simple discounts or product review. It is sometimes made too clear to users when something is sponsored. This quickly tarnishes the reputation and trustworthiness of the influencer and looks more like traditional advertising than influencer marketing. Allow your influencer’s individuality without giving too much direction, as this will make the content seem less authentic. Maintain the integrity of your brand, but don’t let influencers say things they don’t believe. You don’t want your followers to see it as outright advertising.

Conclusion
Influencer marketing has proven to be a very efficient way for brands to reach and engage with their target audiences on social media. Influencers and their genuine content help brands capture consumers’ attention and earn their support. Influencer marketing benefits both your brand and the influencers. It’s about give and take, so don’t approach influencers just to take. You need to provide value to your influencers in return and build good relationships. That way, you get a win-win scenario.

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