Social media marketing is a form of online marketing that involves creating and sharing content to promote your business on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It includes activities such as posting images and videos, listening to and engaging with followers and running social media ads. As well as being a powerful way for businesses to reach prospects and customers, it’s also an effective way to build brand awareness, increase sales, and drive website traffic — but only when tailored to the right audience and platform. Influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the most popular methods.
An influencer is loosely defined as someone with the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. Although not always the case, influencers usually have a following in a district niche, for example, beauty, fashion, or fitness, with who they regularly engage.
In the social media world, influencer marketing often sees brands collaborating with influencers to market their products and services, although some collaborations are less tangible than that, where brands simply employ influencers to build brand awareness. So how do they do it?
One of the best ways to promote your products and create a buzz around your brand is by running contests or giveaways. Get an influencer on board and watch your reach rocket. By spreading the word about the contest, influencers can increase curiosity among their followers to try your products or services, while promoting engaging conversations. But bear in mind, more followers won't necessarily mean higher engagement rates.
Example: To promote its Pixelbook, Google worked with DIY-focused micro-influencers, The Sorry Girls, who ran an Instagram giveaway contest via a sponsored post. Users simply had to ‘like’ the image and leave a comment to win.
Blogging and posting relevant content is a great tool for increasing traffic to your website and gaining visibility for your brand. Inviting an influencer from your industry to submit a guest post to your blog adds even more value since traffic is driven from multiple platforms. By sharing the post with their followers, they can boost brand recognition and build greater trust around your products and services. Readers of your blog — particularly first-time visitors — may also perceive your blog as more trustworthy as a result. This type of post works particularly well for brands aiming to reinvent their image and appeal to new audiences.
Example: St. Regis Hotels & Resorts wanted to cater to more than just the luxury traveler. By inviting social media influencer, Naomi Davis, to blog about her experience at the Monarch Beach resort, they showcased its appeal as a family-friendly destination.
If an influencer has done a particularly good job at promoting one of your existing products or services, it might be worth thinking about asking them to help you create something new. As well as helping the influencer themselves become more invested in your brand, their followers will too. Some of the most successful product collaborations have happened this way.
Example: Chrissy Teigen collaborated with BECCA Cosmetics to create her own makeup palette. She announced the launch in an Instagram video that generated over 5 million views.
You may have seen influencers share promo codes for specific products on their social media platforms. This is what’s known as a referral program. Brands often provide influencers with a promo code that is unique to them, which they can then share with their followers. The fact that the code is exclusive makes this a great way to measure the ROI from the campaign since it’s easy to see where the traffic has come from.
Example: Watch brand, Daniel Wellington gave a range of influencers a personalised discount code, which was valid for a limited time. As well as creating a sense of urgency, followers were more eager to purchase since the unique code made the opportunity more exclusive.
A Twitter study found a whopping 88% increase in the purchase intent of consumers when the products were promoted by a trusted influencer. But what are some of the other benefits of influencer marketing?
Collaborating with influencers can be the start of a strong partnership that drives long-term results and opens up opportunities for other joint ventures. Nearly half of marketers say they are working on long-term campaigns with influencers.
As we’ve mentioned above, social media influencer marketing can greatly expand your reach and positioning online. Each time an influencer mentions your brand or recommends your products, you gain more visibility, thereby boosting brand awareness.
Running short of fresh and engaging content ideas? Influencer marketing can aid your content strategy by helping you to co-create content. Remember that social media influencers are experts in their niches, so providing you find the right match, enlisting their help can prove extremely beneficial for your brand.
One of the most important factors that can decide your search ranking is your Domain Authority (DA). Building backlinks from other trusted sources that have a high DA, such as influencers is one of the most effective ways to boost your ranking — something which in turn will increase your traffic, too.
But the main thing to bear in mind when it comes to creating an influencer marketing strategy is that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. For your social media marketing efforts to be impactful, ensure you tailor your approach to the specific influencer. That doesn’t mean choosing the influencer with the most followers and assuming your brand will love them, but rather keeping in mind that the aim is to elicit a particular action from your customers.
Are you interested in taking a social media marketing course? Check out our intro and advanced options.
by Emma Gibbins | 22 Feb 21
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