what is influencer marketing?Influencer marketing is a partnership with a public figure who has an established, specific following. These influencers promote your products or services, mixed in with their usual content, to help further your brand awareness to an audience who is likely to have an interest in your company’s offerings. In plain terms, influencer marketing is a form of content marketing that utilizes brand partnerships to increase reach and garner brand trust.

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is an individual who has essentially turned themselves into a brand, educating and entertaining their follower base with regularly published content tailored to a specific market. Influencers may use a variety of platforms to reach and captivate their target audience, such as blogs, social media networks, and television. Over time, they build credibility with their audience through relevant posts that provide continuous value. This relationship gives influencers the authority to make lifestyle and product suggestions that their followers trust, which is exactly why they’re called “influencers.”

Finding the Right Influencer for You

Influencer marketing is only as effective as your choice of influencer. Use these guidelines to help decide which influencers you should work with:

Cultural Fit

An influencer’s public image, branding, and values should flow well with your company’s own. When a well-known figure promotes your business, their persona can act as a reflection of your brand. For this reason, you’ll want to closely monitor an influencer’s online presence to ensure their character or conduct doesn’t garner any negative association.

Quality Engagement

It’s not just general engagement rates that matter, but the caliber of those interactions as well. Comments that are directly related to a post hold more value than irrelevant post engagements as it showcases followers have consumed the content and displayed direct interest. What’s more, some accounts may actually purchase followers to increase their follower count. Measuring true engagement will help discern whether an audience is real or manufactured.

Audience Match

Having a large, active audience isn’t enough to make a partnership worthwhile if an influencer’s followers don’t match any of your buyer personas. While increasing reach and brand awareness is typically a big goal of any influencer marketing campaign, you’ll, of course, want these views to turn into more revenue. If your target audience and an influencer’s don’t match well, the partnership will be moot for both parties. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense for a food blogger to promote office supplies as their followers aren’t looking for that type of content. The type of influencer you work with should be coherent with what you’re trying to sell for campaigns to see good results.

Implementing an influencer marketing campaign requires thorough research and strategic planning in addition to monetary resources. You’ll first need to determine which influencer or influencers are a good fit for your marketing goals, then figure out the details of the partnership and come up with your content marketing campaigns. However, these efforts can often be worthwhile, as 60% of consumers have reported making purchases based on recommendations from an influencer. As it combines the power of word of mouth marketing and social proof, it’s easy to see why influencer marketing is rising across a wide variety of industries.