We want to see ourselves reflected in advertising, so finding a person your target audience relates to and admires is a sure-fire way to get your message heard. Over the years, we’ve been influenced by royalty, celebrity, and sports people – which has given rise to the influencer. Largely found on social media, influencers have created a familiar form of person-to person marketing, bypassing the traditional forms of business-to-customer marketing. This organic type of media can be an effective way to reach your audience and guide them with their decision making.

What Is An Influencer?

Influencers can be anyone, anywhere, who have built a reputation for their knowledge on a particular topic. Bloggers, fashion commentators, writers, business people – they typically have a large social media following and the ability to sway their audience. Influencer marketing takes advantage of the organic connections people form with influencers, enhancing the authenticity of the message. So in simple terms, you engage them to promote your message or product, taking advantage of their loyal follower base and originality. They use their connections to their followers to promote a message or product.

Why Use Influencers?

Australian influencer Rozalia Russian has some 233,000 followers, who watch and wait to see her post her outfit of the day. In a recent collaboration with a national fashion retailer, she showcased a winter coat which went on to sell 50% of stock within the following week. A carefully chosen influencer combined with a well-planned marketing strategy has excellent potential to increase the brand engagement and following. Influencer marketing is also a neat way around the issue of ad-blocking, with one in four people using ad-blocking software. Influencer marketing is a great way to reach people via digital platforms.

So…Which One Is Right For You?

It’s incredibly important to choose the right influencer, you have to make sure the influencer you choose has the right credibility for your audience and message. Ideally, the influencer will align with your organisation’s values and existing marketing material. There have been some influencers who have expressed controversial views, and tarnishing partnered brands by association, so thorough investigation of their profile is a must. Finding the right influencer for your brand can be as simple as google searching hashtags or using a third-party agency to source the right person. Fake follower numbers can be an issue too, a recent American study examined the follower lists for influencers engaged by major corporations and found up to 32% were fake profiles. Transparency is important, there are rules governing the clarity of sponsored posts. Your influencer must clearly label any sponsored content.

 Content- What you talkin’ about?

Influencers can work across multiple platforms and promote all sorts of different products. It’s important to work out exactly what you want from your influencer. Part of the reason they’re so successful is the authenticity factor. If you engage an influencer, you are borrowing their reach and pulling-power, so have a clear plan of what you want from them, so the message is delivered in a way that is satisfactory to both parties, and the intended audience. Influencer content has the capacity to be fun and creative, but also a touch unpredictable. The lesson here is do your homework

If you need help finding an influencer or choosing the right marketing for your organisation, contact us at MediaSmiths for a chat about planning a tailored strategy.

Natasha Michelmore

About Natasha Michelmore

A self-confessed social media geek, Natasha is obsessed with learning new digital trends and spends her time exploring new places, enjoying good food and sharing these experiences across her social media. Originally from the UK, she has worked for multiple communications agencies in London and brings her expertise in all things digital and social media to MediaSmiths. Natasha is passionate about understanding people, and combines quality storytelling with data to create kick-ass content that emotionally engages the right people at the right time in the right place.