Does influencer marketing really work?

You may have heard the term “influencer marketing” or at least you may know what an “influencer” is. But, what is it? what do they do? and, can it really work for your brand?

So, first of all… what on earth is “influencer marketing”? Influencer marketing refers to the use of industry influencers to market your brand, products or services. Influencers are individuals that hold “influence” over a particular audience and will generally have a significant number of followers, with high engagement levels.

Lots of companies use influencer marketing and, you can even see it in high level marketing, with brands using celebrities within their television adverts and other forms of content.

Using influencers can be a great way to get your brand the exposure it needs and, according to Hubspot, 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective.

But, be careful! If you want to use influencers to help market your business, make sure they are the right fit for you and your brand.

So, what should you look out for?

 

1. High follower numbers but low engagement

You may be tempted to work with an influencer because they have millions of followers, but, be cautious. High follower numbers doesn’t necessarily mean high conversion rates.

What you really want is an influencer that has both a high number of followers AND high engagement rates. This will mean your content is more likely to be seen by the audience and you are more likely to see conversions.

If you are a small local business, using a micro-influencer can work well. Micro-influencers have smaller followings of say a few thousand but will have high engagement rates as their audience has been qualified well.

 

2. Can you pinpoint what they are about?

If not, they are probably not the right influencer to use. To effectively sell your services, you need an influencer that specifically operates within your industry and not someone who dances across multiple sectors, promoting a variety of products and services. You will be unlikely to see good results if you use an influencer who usually promotes fitness, to promote your garden furniture range, for example!

 

3. Have they had success elsewhere?

If you are thinking of using an influencer, don’t be afraid to ask them for information on results they have had elsewhere. If they haven’t had any they can highlight, you should take caution. This doesn’t always mean it won’t work though, in some instances, the influencer may not have worked with brands before. In that case, if they are a good fit within your industry and their follower count is made up of your ideal audience, it’s probably worth a punt.

Just bear in mind that it might not give you the results you are looking for. It’s always wise to test the water with a smaller budget first.

Using an influencer can be just as effective as other methods of marketing and is definitely worth considering, particularly if you are a B2C business with a tangible product to sell. As with other methods of marketing, it shouldn’t be your ONLY method.

Marketing always works best when you have a variety of activity happening, accompanied with a good sales approach.

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