Influencer marketing is on the rise and it’s something we can hardly argue about. It has emerged organically from the explosive growth of social media and has filled the gap of budget-friendly celebrity endorsements. In the age of Instagram and Youtube, you don’t need to have a producer like Jay Z to become a celebrity. The reality is we now have thousands if not millions of highly targeted local celebrities, aka lifestyle personas. Their social influence is quite impressive, sometimes even stronger than that of a super famous celebrity. The reason is that social influencers and bloggers are one of us, they communicate in a more informal, direct manner, which makes their voice heard better. So given all of this, no wonder that these personas are eager to monetize on their social influence and brands are hungry for the result they can offer. So this is a win-win collaboration for both brands and influencers.
The variety of social channels and tools makes influencer marketing campaigns just as diverse and multi-channel. There are a number of ways brands and collaborate with influencers to grow their businesses and here are a few of those.
#1 Sponsored Content Sharing
The most common and straightforward way of collaborating with influencers is through sponsored posts, whether it be a blog post, an outfit photoshoot, a youtube product review or simply a social media mention. There is a great variety to choose from. Obviously, before choosing the influencers you want to target you need to make sure they do have the influence, which is basically their website traffic and social following combined. So when an influencer has strong social accounts and quality website traffic, this type of collaboration can be quite fruitful for the brand.
So how does a sponsored content sharing work?
When you reach out to key influencers in your niche, you usually send a free sample of a product to try out and this goes without saying. After the influencer forms his/her own opinion about the product and shares it with the audience. Depending on the project terms, the sponsorship may or may not be publicly announced.
#2 Contests and Giveaways
A more engaging and attention-grabbing strategy for influencer marketing is to run brand giveaways and contests partnering with key influencers. Here again, it is a win-win collaboration for all 3 sides: the brand, the influencer and the customers. Contest and giveaways attract a lot of participants, especially when the gift is worthwhile.
How does it work?
Contestants usually need to follow the brand and the influencer on social media, comment or share a specific post (to expand its reach even further) and submit a photo/video or any other user generated content, although this might not be mandatory. In a short while this type of contests generate substantial amount of followers and leads for the brand.
#3 Longterm Brand Ambassadors
Finding and partnering with influencers is actually not an easy job and I bet, as a brand representative you won’t be happy reaching out to new bloggers every time and negotiating terms for every new project. So having devoted brand advocates is a solution that can save you a lot of time and effort, as well as bring qualified leads and actual sales.
Brand ambassadors usually stay dedicated to a single brand and do not work with competitor brands. They sound more genuine and organic when promoting the products that they truly like themselves. And of course, consistency is key. The more consistently and regularly your product is promoted via the same influencer channel, the more it is going to stick with the target audience.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@gayane_virabyan” display_mode=”box”]Brand ambassadors sound more genuine when promoting the products they truly like themselves. [/tweetthis]
With influencer marketing you are limited only by your own creativity. Every brand can reach out to its niche influencers and put up a custom campaign to meet its specific needs and you have an extensive list of tools and services at your disposal. So go ahead and embrace the opportunity before it becomes a cliché.