Long gone are the days where influencers could advertise brands and products on their social media channels without having to mention the hefty cheque they’d receive in return! Over the last ten years, influencer marketing has become one of the world’s most effective strategies for brands and businesses.
This in turn has attracted the likes of advertising regulators such as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) who have classified ‘Influencer Marketing’ as an official category of marketing, bringing with it its own set of guidelines and rules. It has now become a desirable career with many people making from it a substantial living.
So, you’re thinking of becoming an influencer eh? While there is no step-by-step manual for you to follow, there are however several fundamentals that have proven to be crucial to consider when starting a career in influencer marketing.
First of all, what is an ‘Influencer’?
In short, an influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others. Usually the size of an influencer’s following dictates the amount of leverage they may have over an audience. YouTube, blogs, podcasts and social media channels are the more commonly used platforms by influencers to engage with their audience and begin their ‘influencer marketing journey’.
3 Ingredients for Success
It’s 2020 and there are new influencers popping up on feeds every single day. How can I disrupt the crowd? Be your authentic self and do it with pride.
Now this doesn’t mean just being true to yourself, it also means being true to brands you may work with. Influencer marketing is a partnership between you and a brand. Therefore when working together, both reputations are on the line. Consumers are not as gullible as they once were. With the rise of review sites and personal blogs, transparency with your audience is now more important than ever in building their trust. If an audience believes your intentions of promoting a brand are inauthentic, then the repercussions to both you and the partnership brand could be detrimental. This has proved to be the case with many celebrities in recent years delving into the world of influencer marketing and heavily promoting products they do not use to their millions of followers. These are mistakes that we can most definitely learn from.
Take away tip? Only work with brands that you truly love and already use to avoid any negative backlash from your audience. In other words, be as authentic and transparent as possible!
Consistency, consistency, consistency. People love being entertained on a regular basis and if you are able to provide high-quality content on a consistent schedule then you have already won half the battle!
But what does consistency actually mean? For influencer marketing specifically it means producing consistent high-quality content and ensuring this content is consistently published. Becoming a regular on your audience’s social media feeds will overtime make you a familiar face and ultimately someone they are likely to trust and engage with.
If you have multiple channels that you post on, it’s important to always carry this consistency across all channels to ensure your content reaches the maximum amount of people it possible can. This consistency also relates to your tone of voice and personality across different platforms. If your brand tone is usually fun and friendly on Twitter, then it is essential to maintain this tone of voice across your other influencer platforms like Instagram and YouTube to avoid any audience confusion.
Take away tip? Try and produce consistently high-quality content that you post on a regular basis across all your influencer marketing channels.
They say it takes two to tango? Well this is definitely the case when growing your influencer audience. People crave for that human to human connection. Whilst this cannot be done in person, you can engage with your following via your online platforms. Building an engaged community of followers who love your brand and content will require a two-way communication stream where you should reply to comments, interact with followers as well as like and share other content as much as possible.
A mistake that many beginner influencers make is purchasing followers on social media (most common on Instagram). While this will boost your numbers and give off the impression that you are popular, these paid ‘robot’ followers will never engage with your content and ultimately will not provide you with the community you were originally after. If found out, you may also lose some of your real followers because of this and brands could inevitably stop working with you.
Take away tip? When growing your audience at the beginning of your influencer journey, always try to engage with as many people as possible in order to build an authentic community of followers who genuinely love your brand and the content that you publish.
There is no quick fix with gaining a large following when embarking on your influencer marketing journey. Consistency, authenticity and engagement are just three ingredients out of the many that are required to be considered when striving for success. Above all else, it requires patience for you to see the desired results so stick it out! After all, they say Rome wasn’t built in a day…