The influencer era: How to stay up to date with the new digital marketing model

If you’re up to date on marketing, you may have come across the most talked-about advertising model of the moment: influencer marketing.

How many times have you bought a product that a friend – or popular celebrity – referred you to? In a nutshell, that’s how influencer marketing works.

Influencers and micro-influencers are people who build popularity and sway on certain platforms like Instagram and create relationships and trust with their audience. As a result, the brands they back can lead to windfalls in sales.

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It’s turning into a can’t-miss opportunity for brands to promote products and services in a very specific niche by using influencers.

Influencers and social media in 2020

Social media has changed the way that people consume content. It gives users the ability to follow people, content and brands that match their cultural interests and life values. 

At the same time, consumers are looking for entertainment and products – and information or references to go along with them – off the screen and in real life. It’s leading social media to be that close friend who tells you at the right time what to wear, where to eat and where to go. 

Sounds pretty comfortable and easy, right?

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And there are a lot of people out there trying to be consumers’ friends. Look at Instagram, where over 500 million stories are published daily, according to Statista.  Users are flocking there to consume information and to listen to what influencers and brands have to say.

How can brands get an advantage in the influencer age?

According to the Oberlo, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. So, the important question is: how can you position your brand in front of that audience in a natural way to influence buyers?

Let’s get started:

1. Select the right influencers

Let’s start with a bit of homework and some research (sorry, but it has to be done!).

The question is simple enough: which traits and characteristics align with your brand’s mission, culture and values? Start by listing all of them before you do anything else.

With a rough idea of what type of influencers you want to work with, you can find influencers in one of three ways:

  • Research on Instagram by using hashtags that are relevant to your business or target audience.
  • Use platforms such as Upfluence, which offer a huge selection of influencers and their social media metrics.
  • Search for influencers using platforms like BuzzSumo, which help you find them by topic. 

2. Where to start?

Depending on the popularity of the influencers that you want to reach, some of them may already have a media kit. It’s a document with all the information that you need to know about them: how many followers they have, what their audience looks like (gender, age, location, etc.), which brands they’ve had a relationship with before and how they handle partnerships.

You can find the media kit on their website or by requesting it directly via social media. Once you have that document, you can start to brainstorm creative ideas and strategies that’ll work best with that influencer.

3. Brainstorm ideas

Now that you know enough about your influencers and their audience, think about how a partnership with an influencer would work. A creative approach that matches with your audience’s interests is the key.

Giving out product samples? That’s a bit outdated. Open your mind and think about how you can promote your brand with the influencer: could it be an event for their audience? Does it take the form of a competition? Or maybe a live course sponsored by your brand?

With so many competitors out there, you need to stay innovative to be relevant and not get left behind.

4. Start the relationship

Now that you have some ideas in mind, the best way to get started is to send an email to the influencers telling them about your brand and what you have in mind for the partnership.

Some of the influencers will charge to promote your product, some will be happy with a freebie – each one has a different way to go about influencer marketing.

The key in this new influencer world is the relationship. Build a solid relationship with influencers and your audience. An honest relationship is an amazing exchange for everyone involved!

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Best of luck in your influencer marketing! If you need a partner to brainstorm influencer marketing ideas, you can always give us a call.

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About Nicole

Nicole is the Lead Generation & Client Success Manager at 256. She has been a passionate and enthusiastic digital and content marketing professional since 2008, having graduated in Brazil. Nicole is also a food blogger and loves to write about food and restaurants in Ireland for the Brazilian community.