Note: This is a guest post by Prakhar. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
Many people have different versions of what they understand with influencer marketing but all they have is a superficial idea of what exactly it is.
To start with, in the year 2010, social media took the internet by storm and Facebook spread like a wildfire. Amazon took this opportunity and connected Facebook with their brand – resulting in, that consumers could see what their friends & family members were buying.
Facebook users could see that gifts suggested by Amazon based on their interests. It even came along with upcoming birthdays of friends and it was a well-executed strategy which ultimately drove other brands & social media platforms to sincerely think and explore influencer marketing.
In the year 2015: Airbnb started it
Airbnb was the first to take the influencer marketing one step ahead, changing the game once and for all. Airbnb shook hands with Mariah Carey, an American singer and songwriter also referred to as the Songbird Supreme by the Guinness World Records enjoying a supreme social media following & engagement.
Mariah started posting her photos & videos of all her travelling & lodging on her every social media handle like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. She didn’t just stay and posted but communicated with her fans & followers sharing the details of her stay in a much-elaborated way, consistently replying & interacting with her followers.
She posted her photos & videos on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Airbnb took advantage of her popularity to showcase their vacation & rental properties. The partnership was a huge success and led Airbnb to continue with more such collaborations.
In recent times, Instagram is one of the most loved social media platforms. Every influencer shares their own unique content in the form of posts, pictures and videos. With new influencers emerging every day, it is very important to know how to leverage the instagrammability of your Instagram page?
Why is it important?
Influencers generate a massive ROI & traffic for brands and company than an average Ad because they have a set of followers who are your target audience already. They have an ongoing engagement and fan following with whom they directly communicate with on messages, comments, posts and reply to their queries & doubts on a daily basis, so they are not just your brand ambassadors but brand advocates.
They Know Their Audience
Influencers didn’t become influencers overnight. Their perpetual presence on the social media made them who they are, that is why they know their audience and are trusted by them. Influencers enjoy an enormous fan following & engagement on social media platforms.
People really look forward and anticipate their every post. Every influencer has built this over a long period of time and is widely recognised on social media platforms because of it, people trust them, like them, share and spread every post, link & stories coming from their page & account.
Influencers provide a great opportunity to generate natural backlinks which ultimately drives and boosts your website ranking. When an influencer shares your link, chances are high that their followers will share the link further.
For example, WordStream followed the process of Linkbaiting, tweeting to several journalists & reputed writers earned them a strong and valuable backlink from the New York Times itself and further that link was retweeted hundreds of times and went viral.
Unique content in 2019 is not just important, it is necessary. Content that is so interactive, creative and engaging that users actually like, comment and share from their own accounts & pages bring natural growth & organic traffic to the landing page of the brand.
People on the internet and social media platforms follow influencers for a reason, they like their personality, they like what they post & how they do it. Also, people trust them and so the content created & posted by them are by default accepted authentic by their followers.
How to do it?
Strategize A Goal
Before entering into influencer marketing one must have a well-rehearsed plan of execution.
- A determined objective
- Create a persona as to what should be there in an influencer representing the brand
- Catering a list of influencers shortlisted as per the requirement, number of engagement, number of posts per week, what quality and quantity of comments and likes do they generate
- Send proposal and DMs for collaboration and take appropriate follow-up
The influencer must feel for the product, he or she shouldn’t do it just for the sake of endorsement but there should be a sentiment shared between the influencer and the brand, they should feel the brand, they should have trust on the products and be connected to it.
So, when followers ask them for review and queries they should be able to respond in a helpful and positive way.
If an influencer does not share a sentiment, he or she will create the most generic and poor quality of content for the brand, which is not at all permissible from the brand’s point of view.
A good and well-negotiated compensation model saves you from a lot of trouble, it’s better to have it discussed with an influencer and come to a point where both the parties agree. There are a different set of compensation models that a brand may adopt, but there should be research and understanding as to why it should be initiated in a particular way, for example –
Pay per click – This compensation model mainly depends upon how many clicks drives the users from the original post to the landing page of the company.
Barter collaborations – Apart from monetary compensations & incentives, barter collaborations with free products and services can be offered to the influencers depending on how relevant the product goes with the personality of an influencer.
For example, if an influencer is into fitness and bodybuilding, products like protein supplements and workout accessories can be offered. While, it will be hard for the influencer to decline the offer, on the other hand, it will build a trust and relationship with the influencer for future collaborations.
Pay per post – For each post, monetary compensation can be set but on the contrary, this can be an expensive compensation model and not useful for many brands as not all the post drives sales and many of them are just for maintaining the presence of the brand
Pay per acquisition – For each sale & acquisition, the influencer can have a negotiated percent of profit. This compensation model is more target centric and objective oriented.
Most brands like to be authoritative and interfering in the accounts & pages of the influencers, disturbing their thought process.
Do not try to control influencers for the sake of brand, to have a one on one conversation in order to discuss the pointers which need to be covered and explored while posting is important but the influencers must be given creative liberty around it.
Do not try to control them, they know their audience and have been breathing and living on that from a long time. Let them have their own creativity and ideas to experiment.
In the year 2019, influencer marketing has become a substantial part of social media marketing. It is quintessential for your brand to adapt influencer marketing because even though many brands are already exploring it, only the right strategies and execution can make your brand rise.
About the Author
Prakhar is a passionate and enthusiastic content specialist at Walnut Folks. He loves writing short novels and blogs and is a connoisseur of Urdu poetry. As an aspiring filmmaker at heart, he ardently follows the works of Anurag Kashyap, Gulzar, Piyush Mishra and Christopher Nolan. When not found at his desk, you can expect him to be either dancing to an upbeat Bollywood number, or humming some Sufi tunes.