Product endorsements have formed part of the marketing strategy for brands throughout history. Influencer marketing is a new twist in online marketing where you partner with a celebrity or popular online personality to raise the profile of your product.
The idea is to ride on his or her influence in terms of number of instagram, facebook, twitter, etc followers.
2017 has seen a significant growth in the number of brands using influencer marketing. This is evident by the increase in budgetary allocation for this marketing strategy.
It is especially beneficial to entrepreneurs and startups because they can reach more people without spending a fortune. The brands that have tested this approach have reported tremendous growth in their sales numbers.
Unlike social posts where people just share or repost, influencer campaigns are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The idea is to ensure that they are conducted in an ethical manner.
For marketers, there is need to learn the laws to avoid costly breaches. Most of these laws relate to the fact that influencers must declare that the posts were sponsored. It allows followers and fans to differentiate between an ordinary post and one that is commercial.
Caution When Using Influencers
There is need to be cautious when using influencer marketing. Though the strategy is extremely powerful, there are tales when this approach has flopped terribly, leading to a damaged image. As a marketer, you pay a lot to influencers with the promise of meeting the expectations of those who follow their hint.
However, should you fail to deliver on this promise, it becomes a disaster. Social media that can be an incredible source of growth becomes the cause of your down fall. The disappointed followers begin to troll you on social media and your name gets soiled.
Marketing regulators are also looking out for legal breaches and ready to impose fines on any brand that contravenes the fair trade rules. Most of the victims have failed to disclose that the posts were paid for and thus were called out for misleading people.
Automation of Influencer Marketing
Like any other campaign, there is need to track the performance of your campaign. You need to get in touch with the influencer to know how effective your campaign was.
This means procurement of SaaS- Software as a Service that automates your interaction and enables you to access reports on metrics. This gives you an idea of the performance of each post and thus helps you to gauge the effectiveness of each campaign.
Return on Investment
2017 has seen a significant growth in influencer marketing strategy. Focus now shifts to getting value on this investment. This is one of the challenges most marketers are facing. It calls for installation of analytical tools and performance indicators.
SEO tools may help alongside those used in monitoring inbound marketing strategies. Pay Per Engagement and Pay Per Click tools will also be useful in determining ROI though not as accurate as one would expect.
There is no doubt that Influencer Marketing in 2017 has grown and is becoming a significant part of any successful marketing strategy. With increased budgetary allocation, brands should focus on return on investment. This should happen alongside better endeavors to understand the laws better to avoid costly breaches.