From the Influencers

Influencer Marketing: Your New Value Driver

April 21, 2017

Marketers all over the spectrum have likely at least heard of influencer marketing by now, and have also heard about how valuable this form of marketing really is. With good reason, too; this is a field of marketing that has some incredible possibilities attached to it, and can bring a lot of value to operations. It's not always the easiest form of marketing to use, though, and getting a handle on best practices in this field can make a difference between mediocre results and maximized returns.

Influence marketing starts by selecting the right influencer, or influencers, to engage with. This isn't always easy; first it's necessary to find an influencer in a particular market, and then see about said influencer's market reach. Most influencers have different appeals, appeals that aren't always told by maximum audience size. It's similar to broadcasting; just because an influencer has millions of followers doesn't mean that those followers care about your product line.

Next, consider your platform: four major platforms—Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook—are ruling the roost right now, so consider using a mix of these as social media users' tastes are fickle and tend to change without much reason or predictive ability.

Then, don't stop at the influencer alone; see what you can do to give the influencer a leg up. Promote an influencer's campaign; even the greatest influencer has only a bare fraction of the Web's total reach under his or her control, so augmenting that reach can be helpful. Don't forget to track and measure, though measuring influencer impact isn't always easy.

Keeping these points in mind, along with a few others—remember to be authentic above all else, keep your expectations realistic, don't forget to monitor results—will help get the most out of influencer marketing. Always remember that the real value of influencer marketing is that the influencer's audience has come to expect an authentic viewpoint.

While some will always believe that such authenticity is inherently tainted by corporate sponsorship—whether de jure by the force of the corporation's direct demands or de facto by the influencer's own willingness to not “upset the apple cart” and keep the payments coming—most understand that even influencers need to eat. Thus, those users can continue to enjoy the content and the influencer can afford to produce it. Users continually interact with an influencer, and it's this voluntary seeking-out that makes influencer marketing as valuable as it is.

Essentially, those using influencer marketing must actively refrain from killing the influencer goose that lays the golden eggs of user engagement via authenticity. With these points in mind, those engaging in influencer marketing will ultimately get much more out of it.

Edited by Alicia Young

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