Influencer marketing has been around for decades, but it is always evolving.
The rise of social media has seen an explosion in the popularity of using influencers, with many companies implementing an influencer marketing strategy into their plans for brand growth.
However, as competition intensifies, the game is changing.
If you want to get the most from partnering with influencers, you need to know just what is going on in the current digital landscape.
How Influencer Marketing Has Changed
Today, you need more than a decent Instagram presence to be a credible influencer. Brands expect more, and as a result, influencers need to work harder to deliver the goods.
Influencers Are Buying Followers
Advertising giant Unilever is leading the charge for greater transparency with influencers. This is in response to the flux of “fake influencers.”
People are buying up bot followers to pad their social media accounts in an effort to dupe brands into believing they have a much larger audience.
By doing this, these influencers command a higher paycheck, which will inevitably yield a poor return due to this fabricated following.
Content Reviews Are More Common
Growing concerns about brand safety motivates companies to demand more, as they want to make sure they get value for money.
It’s becoming more common for brands to ask for content reviews, which means influencers could find themselves redoing work more often.
Considering 94% of consumers will show loyalty to brands that are transparent, it’s a smart move to make sure your influencer partnerships run smoothly.
5 Steps to Implementing a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy
As with anything in marketing, a solid plan will boost your chances of success. With influencer marketing, that concept holds true.
1. Define Your Vision of Success
Your influencer marketing strategy needs to lay out the end goals, and then chart the journey towards achieving them. You must have a clear vision of what you want before hiring influencers.
2. Find Influencers Who Are a Good Fit for Your Brand
Ideally, you should look for someone who:
Is passionate about your products
Has a genuine audience that is large and engaged enough to help you achieve your goals
Knows how to create great content that reaches your target audience
3. Look for Long-term Partnerships
If you only focus on one-off projects, you’ll always be wasting time looking for a new influencer. Save yourself the time, money, and stress by developing long-term partnerships with authentic influencers that can help build your brand over time.
4. Focus on Instagram
The world loves visual content nowadays, and it’s likely to stay that way. More than 90% of influencers prefer Instagram over any other platform.
So, if you want an influencer marketing strategy with a mind on the future, then Instagram is your best bet.
5. Be Unique
As with any other channel, influencer marketing is becoming congested. To cut through the noise, you need to find unique ways to connect with your customers.
Cosmetics giant L’Oréal decided to work with a group of micro-influencers instead of more well-known social media stars. The gamble paid off, as it helped them nurture trust with a much wider audience because people found the micro-influencers more relatable.
The Right Influencer Is Worth Finding
Some of the trust has been lost in this form of advertising because of misleading engagement and dishonest practices by some influencers.
However, having an influencer marketing strategy is still a viable, cost-effective method of spreading brand awareness and establishing a position of authority in many industries.
The stakes may be higher now, but if you can find influencers who are aligned with your brand and goals, they could become great brand ambassadors and take your business to the next level.