Celebrity endorsements and influencer marketing are some of the best bang-for-your-buck forms of advertising. For those unfamiliar or a little shaky on what influencer marketing is, it's the 2017 word for paying a spokesperson.
Companies contact people with large followings, either through agencies or directly with the goal of paying or bartering with the influencers to have them promote their product. However, you have to be methodical when it comes to starting an influencer campaign.
Let's break down the good, the bad, and the ugly behind influencer marketing:
When executed properly, influencer campaigns can yield great results. This is done when a brand identifies an influencer that represents their company values and is able to open them up to a new group of people.
The cost of influencer marketing can range from a couple of hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars for an influencer to share a post. With the good, you can get massive exposure, engagement, and sales at a fraction of the cost on other platforms.
One popular method is to give influencers a particular link to a product called an affiliate link where the influencer will actually take a commission off of the sales they specifically produce. This mitigates risks for brands and verifies audience strength of the influencers.
For companies with a small budget, it can be a formidable way to get massive market exposure at a very cheap rate.
Some people have inflated followings, with very little engagement. On the flip-side, others have massive followings and getting a message posted may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Like any other type of marketing, the opportunities to carelessly spend money are endless.
You need to be sure the influencer you choose has an audience and product fit with your company. You want there to be a clear and track-able metric that you define as a key performance indicator before any campaign is started.
Are you looking for sales? Brand awareness? Followers?
Figure it out before moving forward.
Any time you pay someone to promote your brand as a spokesperson you run the risk of having them negatively affecting your brand if they get themselves into trouble. You can't control everything, but you can vet your influencers before bringing them in on your campaign.
You also have to see what other products influencers are promoting and if those companies are providing value to customers. Earlier this year, the disastrous Fyre Festival was promoted by influencers and misled thousands of consumers about the product.
The festival was a complete nightmare, and influencers played an instrumental part in misleading consumers. This undoubtedly damaged the trust people have in those influencers and any product they go to promote in the future.
So what should you do?
If you're on a tight budget, look for people with followings between 5,000-50,000 who have an engaged audience you want to tap into. People with this size audience are much easier to get in contact with and are much more affordable.
Sometimes a simple product sample is all that's needed for a shout out on social media, especially if these people like what you're selling.
Give it a try. Just remember to be as careful and methodical with influencer marketing as you are with the rest of your company.