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Influencer Marketing 101: Tips & Warnings

Influencer marketing is the newest form of marketing out there and many businesses are benefiting greatly from this new marketing strategy. Many hope that they may go viral or even up their sales just a little. Would it benefit your business to move into this new space?

In this blog post, we will share some tips and tricks we have for businesses wanting to hire influencers for marketing purposes. We will also share some things to look out for with this new strategy. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. You need to be careful who you choose to work with and what that relationship will look like.


What is an influencer?

Influencer marketing has really taken off in the last couple of years with great success for some businesses. But what is an influencer? Influencers were first thought of as celebrities doing endorsement campaigns for different brands. Think Peyton Manning and his Nationwide commercials with Brad Paisley.


Going into 2023, we won’t see many mainstream celebrities as “influencers”. We categorize them differently. Influencers are people on social media that have amassed a large following in a specific niche area. These influencers then turn around and do brand collaborations to “sell” products to their followers within their niche. Their followers will view them as an authority or very knowledgeable in this certain niche. Followers gain a sense of trust from this influencer and trust that what they are selling them is worth their money, thus purchasing whatever products they are promoting.


Many influencers are coming out of the Instagram and TikTok worlds. Most started on YouTube and that’s where most influencers came from. Some examples of influencers and their niche market...

  • Mikayla Nogueira is a makeup influencer on TikTok

  • Chiara Ferragni is a fashion influencer on Instagram

  • Kaeli Mar is a lifestyle influencer on TikTok

  • PewDiePie is a gamer influencer who is on YouTube


What is influencer marketing?

So now that we have covered what an influencer is, we can look at how they market products with brands to sell to their followers.


Most of the time, brands will reach out to influencers to see if they would be willing to do a “collaboration” with them to showcase their products. Other times, influencers may not showcase products but mention the brand and get their name out there, increasing brand awareness. Sometimes brands will provide discount codes to bring in web traffic and increase sales. These are all examples of different ways brands work with influencers.


Tips & Tricks


1. Research

The first tip we have for any business wanting to collaborate with an influencer for the first time is to do your research. The best thing you can do is to find the influencer that you believe has the right niche for the target audience you want your products to be seen by. Picking the right influencer can make or break the campaign because if their followers aren’t into your products, they won’t buy them.


2. Build relationships

There is a caveat with influencer marketing. It is up to the influencer at the end of the day whether they will accept your offer or not. The best relationship you can have with an influencer is one where they like you and your brand, and they don’t just see it as a job. If they believe in what they are promoting, their work will show it.


3. Follow the rules

Now that influencer marketing is more commonplace, there are stricter rules and guidelines that need to be followed. The Federal Trade Commission is the one that developed the rules that influencers and brands need to follow in order to keep content up. The most important takeaway is that you need to be clear with followers that the posts are branded content, and are sponsored.


Warnings

Looking at the tips and tricks we just discussed, we can turn to the flipside of each to explain the warnings you need to be aware of when working with influencers.


1. Picking the right influencer

If you didn’t do your research and pick an influencer that isn’t in the right niche, your money may well be for nothing. If their followers aren’t ideal customers for your brand, then don’t work with that influencer. Don’t pick an influencer just because they have amassed such a large following. Influencers with even 10,000 followers can be more effective at selling something than someone that has over 600,000. It all depends on how their followers view them.


2. Personal relationships are a must

Yes, this is considered a work deal for influencers, but if that’s the only way they view a collaboration with a brand, the content will suffer. Most influencers will pick brands that align best with their personal brand. They don’t want to promote something to their followers that they don’t like. Don’t micromanage them either. They are the content creator; those are the skills they are bringing to the table. Trust that they will create content you will be happy with.


3. Rule breaker

If you end up with an influencer that refuses to follow the rules set up by the FTC, then you run the risk of the content being taken down or their followers losing the trust they have in them for not being upfront with them about sponsored content. Followers don’t like products being shoved in their faces and being told to buy them because the influencer likes them without knowing if they’re getting paid to do so. If the influencer is upfront about being sponsored to post the content they are, followers trust that even though they are getting paid to promote the brand, they still believe in the brand.


Wrap-up

Now that you have a basic grasp of influencer marketing and some tips and warnings to get you started, what products are you looking to promote? If you need some help coming up with a strategy, we are here to help! We are a digital marketing agency! Reach out to us to see what we recommend for your digital presence and how we can help you. You can also view our services and the different plans that we offer on our website. Follow us for more helpful tips on our social media channels as well!



Resources

Hootsuite, “Influencer Marketing Guide: How to Work With Influencers”, Christian Newberry September 14, 2022 https://blog.hootsuite.com/influencer-marketing/, accessed December 6, 2022

Influencer Marketing Hub, “What is Influencer Marketing? – The Ultimate Guide for 2023”, Werner Geyser, November 25, 2022, https://influencermarketinghub.com/influencer-marketing/, Accessed December 6, 2022

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