In simple terms, social media influencer marketing refers to the sum total of the activities that you use to market your brand to people who can then spread the positive word about it to large audiences.
These people are the “influencers”; they have the power, credibility, and reputation to sway the thought processes of those who follow them.
An influencer, once on board with your marketing campaign, can broadcast your marketing message in a contextualized manner through his or her social media profiles and personal blog.
Social media influencer marketing blends the best of social media marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, and social proof from high-authority sources. The result can be incredible growth for your blog, website, brand, e-store, business, idea, and organization.
Integrating Influencers into Your Content and Social Marketing Efforts
Through influencer marketing, you use social media to promote your brand. Your efforts in this regard need to be consistent with your brand image and to be aligned carefully with your overall content strategy.
How to Find Influencers
One method of generating a shortlist of influencers for your marketing campaign is to consider the following “three Rs”:
1. Relevance: How relevant is the potential influencer’s audience to your business goals? Define the characteristics of your audience in order to determine what proportion of an influencer’s followership is of potential interest to you.
2. Reach: Numbers matter. How many additional people will your message reach if this influencer comes on board?
3. Resonance: What level of engagement can this influencer create? Look for responses to previous posts in which he or she has mentioned a brand.
Leveraging the Potential of Influencer Marketing
It is important to determine exactly what you aim to achieve through influencer marketing. Here are the mode-dependent approaches to get you started.
Using an Influencer’s Social Channel to Launch Your Brand Message
In most cases, influencer marketing is about tapping the potential of an influencer’s social media followership through collaboration that involves the influencer sharing a post about your brand message. Invariably, this message must be contextualized and positioned subtly within the larger context of the post in order to drive more acceptance.
Targeting Niche Audiences
It is often useful to direct branding messages to a niche audience. This audience may not yet be a part of your own brand social profile followership. By targeting audiences, you can identify influencers who have the right followership for your brand and relay your message through them.
Here’s how the National Pork Board partnered with Latin influencers in its attempt to encourage Hispanic families in the U.S. to consume more pork. Such targeted messaging is best done through influencers.
Participative Content That Goes on Your Own Social Profiles
By driving contests, review requests, opinion requests, and so on, you can induce influencers to create great content for your brand that you can share on your social profiles. Optimally, the influencer also does a share on his or her profile, leading to the double benefit of exposure to multiple audiences. Check out these stunning examples of how brands have benefited from influencer marketing.