There used to be a time when you could hire Sean Connery, put a vodka martini in his hand (shaken, not stirred, of course), feed him a few lines about how smooth your vodka brand is, and sit back and watch your sales skyrocket.
Oh, the glory days when influencer marketing was little more than a celebrity endorsement.
Ever since Mark Zuckerberg introduced us to a little thing called social media, using influencers to help spread the word has become an integral part of the marketing efforts of brands big and small.
It’s a world we play in every day. And after nearly a decade, here's a few insights we’ve learned along the way that are worth thinking about for your next campaign. 1. If you want big engagement, think small.
While the big dogs on social media can get your message seen by the masses, micro-influencers hold the key to higher engagement. They tend to have a closer bond with their followers and treat them more like real friends, which makes their audience much more receptive to the content they share – your content. And since their followers are more like friends, micro-influencers are able to connect with their audience in a much more authentic and genuine way.
Another way they keep engagement high is by sharing less sponsored content. Followers are savvy, and when influencers bombard them with too much sponsored content it’s a turn-off. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, surround a few key pieces of sponsored content with lots of organic posts. As a result, their followers perceive all their posts as more authentic, including sponsored content. And when it’s believed to be authentic, followers are more apt to engage. 2. It takes a village to raise your brand.
Unless you’re paying a Kardashian millions of dollars to spread your message, one influencer is never enough. To extend the reach and impact of your program, enlist a team of influencers who can deliver your message in unique ways to your target audience.
Consider building a team that spans a large region as well – even across the country or continent. We use influencers from coast to coast and have found that it increases the authenticity (and engagement) of our campaigns. After all, it’s a lot harder for people living on the east coast to connect with and believe an influencer from the other side of the country versus their own backyard.
And make sure your team works together. For our Graco® Registry Collection campaign, we gave a different product to five mommy influencers who then worked together to multiply the campaign’s reach and impact. By tagging and mentioning each other in their posts, each individual influencer was essentially speaking to the followers of all five. 3. Say hell yes to hyper-local.
Major metropolises aren’t the only place influencers call home. In fact, you can find them in nearly every city. These hyper-local influencers know the culture, language and customs of their hometowns better than anyone, and may even be a recognizable face in their community – all of which adds authenticity and credibility to your influencer program.
Working with a hyper-local influencer becomes extra powerful when you can pair them up with an in-store promotion or event. We did this recently for Jordans Cereals Canada, to promote their Morning Crisp cereal at a specific retailer. Not only did our influencer increase awareness about Morning Crisp, she also included a direct drive to the retail point – sending her followers to London Drugs stores in British Columbia and Alberta. 4. There’s an influencer for that!
Think your product or service is too obscure to consider influencer marketing? Think again. While foodies, fitness buffs and mommy bloggers play a major role, there are influencer communities for topics as specific as construction, gardening, curling, squash and even knitting.
As part of our Canadian launch campaign for Post-it® Extreme Notes, we found influencers in the construction industry and used them to educate their followers on how Post-it® Extreme Notes will benefit them on the jobsite.
An additional bonus of using these kinds of influencers is that they tend to fall in the micro-influencer category and therefore come with all the same benefits.
Influencer marketing is here to stay.
Whether it’s micro, team, hyper-local or a little obscure, it’s clear that influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. And it's hugely effective, too.
As social media continues to dominate our screen time, influencer marketing has become increasingly important to the success of all brands. And like all things marketing, those who know more will win more.
If you want to talk more influencer marketing, there’s tons more to discuss. Like showcasing authentic experiences with your product, spicing up those #sponsored posts, and what to consider when partnering with like-minded brands on joint campaigns. And that’s just the beginning. So reach out and let’s chat over a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred, of course).