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January 10, 2016

Influencer Marketing 101 Part 2

Jamie Allebach
Jamie Allebach Chief Executive & Creative Officer

In our first influencer marketing blog we introduced you to the fundamentals, now it’s time to step up your game.

With so many fish in the sea, identifying the type of influencers that are right for your brand is crucial. Depending on your campaign goals and budget, you can use one type or mix and match from the following categories:

  • Celebrities: Think Bieber, Kardashian, LeBron James, Ellen and Cristiano Ronaldo. They will cost you a good chunk of change, but if you can get them on board, they can be game changers. But buyer beware, choose carefully. Over the years we have all seen “A List” celebrities fall from grace and create problems for themselves and the brands that sponsor them (Tiger, Jared, etc.).
  • Specialty (Bloggers & Vloggers): Pioneer Woman, Michelle Phan, What’s up Moms, Lily Singh. If you’re looking to reach a targeted group, specialty influencers could be a good fit. Typically they won’t be as expensive as celebrities, but will cost more than a consumer influencer. Specialty influencers include bloggers, YouTubers, Viners and Pinners with millions of followers: they are usually focused on specific topics, such as beauty, food or travel. They are viewed as likeable and real so their fans feel a bond with them, which gives them a high level of influence.
  • Power Users: People who have built-up a significant base of followers, could even be media specific. They’re not celebrities or stars, but they are professional influencers who represent brands. Shonduras was one of the first influencers on Snapchat. Kids follow him because he’s wild and interesting. Julie Lee on Instagram. A photographer who has developed quite a group of followers because of his artistic style.
  • Fans & Friends: These are the “normal folk” who people know in real life. And according to Nielsen, these may just be your superstar influencers since “92% of consumers trust the recommendation of a friend or family member over any other form of advertising.” Their audience is usually smaller, but they are already natural fans and their love for your brand is never fake. Their influence may not be as far reaching, but their loyalty carries weight and could bring you further than you ever imagined.

Next up, the whole process of convincing your team/boss/client to spend on influencer marketing. Here are few things that should sway them:

It’s convincing: Influencer marketing encourages consumers to consider a brand or product in a way that traditional media or digital banner ads just can’t. And according to a study by McKinsey, “marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.”

It has staying power: By finding the right people and creating the right content, you build messages that resonate and spread. This can have a snowball effect, enhancing brand perceptions, purchase rates, and market share. Plus, there is a stickiness you don’t always get from paid digital ads. Most people fall victim to a phenomenon called “banner blindness” – they don’t even see or pay attention to the banner ads, they have just become pure noise. On the flip side, the content created through influencer marketing is something consumers are already looking for and they keep it in mind as they make purchase decisions.

It’s trustworthy and non-intrusive: More than ever, consumers are actively seeking honest, genuine content from people they trust. They welcome the insights and knowledge from these people and enjoy discovering their new content organically, rather than having it forced on them (like that over zealous personal trainer correcting your form during a lunge).

While finding the right influencer is key, don’t be afraid to change it up. If one influencer isn’t giving you the results you had hoped for, find another who fits with the brand a bit better. Just like all other marketing tactics, there isn’t going to be a secret formula. But through the process of creating, tweaking, and starting again, you’ll gain the insights, knowledge and experience you need to find the sweet spot.