Influencer Marketing. It's one of the biggest buzzwords around right now - so how can you make it work for your brand? Working with influencers and brand ambassadors is a great way to connect with an audience and build an authentic, loyal base.The idea of influencer marketing isn’t a new concept born of the internet or Instagram. For years, celebrities and notable public figures have been the face of a business connecting with an audience and demographic that looks to them as an authority figure or expert. Watch any television show, and you’ll find a celebrity touting a brand or service in the commercials. Product placements are sprinkled throughout films as well, giving you a subliminal impression that the character (or actor) endorses the product. Through the expansion of social media, brands have connected with everyday people who have become famous on Instagram or YouTube to act as a brand ambassador – essentially serving as the face of the product or brand itself.
What’s the advantage of working with influencers or brand ambassadors? For some brands – especially new or indie brands – tapping into a particular market or audience might be difficult, especially at first. When connecting with a popular influencer who is an authority figure for your target market, your brand is not only getting exposure to the ideal demographic, but it’s coming on the recommendation of someone they trust.
The great news about influencer marketing is that you don’t need to spend vast amounts of money looking for celebrities to act as the face of your brand. Instead, nano and micro-influencers – those with thousands of authentic followers – work even better at developing trust and attention for your brand and products.
Why go with someone with only a few thousand followers (as opposed to someone with millions)? Well, for one, there’s more to an effective marketing strategy than merely a follower count. At first, brands were dazzled by high numbers of followers, but after wading through the new territory of social media, they realized that just because an influencer had a massive following didn’t mean they had authentic reach and engagement – two crucial components of any successful influencer marketing strategy.
In any effective influencer marketing strategy, you might feature some of the following:
- Brand ambassadors
By having a variety of options, it allows the brand to select the right ambassador or influencer for maximum reach and engagement. If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a strategy group to get you connected with compelling and engaging individuals.
Why Do I Need an Influencer Strategy?
Today’s audience is a lot more savvy to marketing and advertising – which also means there’s a level of distrust from consumers toward brands. Where do we usually get our trusted recommendations? From friends, family and those, we see online sharing experiences, answering questions or talking about specific services and products! A micro-influencer marketing strategy taps into your audience and provides one of the most important benefits: trust.
Now that you’ve gotten the basics about an influencer strategy it’s time to consider putting one in place as you grow and expand into target markets. Here are essential steps to building an effective marketing strategy using brand ambassadors or influencers of any size:
- Plan your strategy out – What do you want to accomplish with an influencer? What message or product do you want them to promote?
- Figure out who you want to target – Don’t look for the influencer first. Instead, figure out who you want to reach with your brand and products and then narrow down your options for brand ambassadors.
- Identify and select your influencer – Look for influencers with an authentic engagement and reach. Is there an influencer who’s familiar with your brand or do they promote your products already? If so, this is a great place to start. If you are in the early stages of building a marketing strategy, you can look to beauty marketing strategists to get you started strong.
- Create goals – These need to be clear and measurable. Determine the goals you have with your ambassador – they can include building your social media following, increasing brand awareness, – and most important – driving sales!
Building an influencer marketing strategy on your own might seem daunting – especially if you’re trying to expand your brand or build it up from the ground up at the same time. If you need trusted insight and recommendations, check out Beauty Barrage for expert marketing strategy plans and guidance.