A social media influencer is a social media user who is seen as an authority in a given industry, has a large and engaged fan base, and influences others due to his/her reach and credibility. Social media influencers have been gaining prominence for the past few years. Several major companies have already incorporated social media influencers into their official marketing campaigns. Smaller companies often reach out to social media influencers with free products in exchange for giving a review or even mentioning the product in their blogs, videos, or podcasts. 

According to Nielsen, 92 percent of Consumers would base their purchases on the recommendation of a stranger rather than basing the decision on what they themselves knew about the brand. Consumers trust other people, which is why you cannot ignore this trend. Social media influencers are a major force in content marketing today. Here are a few tips for incorporating social media influencers into your marketing campaign.

1. Influencers Need to Fit Basic Criteria

While it may seem that almost anyone can become an internet celebrity, social media influencers need to meet two basic criteria. First, an influencer must have a massive following. His/her audience must be both large and engaged–“engaged” being the operative word. Followers are different from viewers: viewers passively consume content, but followers interact with the influencer. These interactions can include comments, questions, shares, likes, etc.–the point is, that followers are engaged and invested in the influencer’s content. Second, an influencer is (or appears to be) authentic. Authenticity is of paramount importance to Generation Z, the baby brothers and little sisters of Millennials. Consumers of today consider themselves savvy and don’t like salespeople disguised as content creators. 

2. Build a Model Influencer as You Built a Model Consumer

What do you want in an influencer? What age, race, gender, etc. would best appeal to your target audience? What hobbies and interests does she/he share with your Consumers? You created a model Consumer when you first determined your brand’s target audience; now you will create a model influencer. Figure out what you are looking for in an influencer before you actually begin your search. It will save you time and money.

3. Influencers Should Connect with Your Target Audience.

What is the point of collaborating with a social media influencer if she/he does not influence your audience? Just because an internet celebrity is influential does not mean that your audience will respond to him/her. Leading YouTube personality (and recently named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador) Lilly Singh routinely ranks as one of the most influential internet stars. However, she/he would not be an effective collaborator if your brand’s target Consumers were Baby Boomers or stay at home dads. Influencers need to appeal to your Consumers–they are representing your brand, after all. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your prospective influencers, do exhaustive research into each one. Your brand will be connected to this person forever. Doing your due diligence at the beginning can save you a lot of bad publicity down the line. Influencer marketing might look difficult, but we can help you adapt your brand’s marketing strategy to include this powerful method.

At StartUp TakeOff, we understand the value of a strong team. We also know that finding the right people can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming, so we made it easy for our Clients. Choosing the wrong partners can be a costly misstep for any entrepreneur, which is why StartUp TakeOff’s founder, Stefani Thionnet, has assembled a diverse group of marketing experts from across the industry who will provide you with solutions that save you time and money. Our team of marketing industry veterans will get to know you and your brand so that we can provide solutions perfectly tailored to your needs. It’s difficult to find the best people, so we’ve brought them together to get results you will love. Call today: (855) 209-0226 (New inquiries, press 1; Current Clients, press 2).

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