The coveted influencer – you’ve heard about them, probably follow some, and maybe even worked a little with a few, but what exactly is an influencer?
Influencers are someone, as the name suggests, that can influence others. Very popular in the new digital age, they have become a trusted voice. Not many people these days trust the old school advertising anymore. They look to peers and brands who offer a “real-life” look at products.
22% of 18-34 year-olds made a large purchase after seeing an online influencer endorsing the item (source).
With such an authority, brands are looking to influencers to help promote and market. The content they create, as well as the sales they can generate, are good reasons to partner. However, the huge advantage of working with influencers are their reach and the brand awareness they can bring to the table.
To add some hands-on experience to this topic, I have asked one of our Senior Account Managers, Natalie Filion, to answer some questions. Natalie has worked with some top brands in her career and offers several years of online marketing experience from small to medium-sized businesses. She’s seen a lot of success with influencers and has seen the growth available to a brand with this type of strategy.
Let’s see what she has to say…
What type of influencer are you most used to working with?
I have mostly worked with fashion and lifestyle influencers; as well as health and fitness influencers, in the affiliate programs that I manage.
What kind of success have you seen while working with influencers?
By working with influencers, we’ve been able to increase brand awareness and visibility from the content that gets published. The unique and interesting content that these partners create about a brand also makes a positive impact on our clients’ SEO. While influencers are generally more top-of-funnel partners, we have seen an increase in revenue and new customer purchases from influencers in several of our affiliate programs.
In your opinion, what are the biggest myths of working with influencers?
That greater reach is always better. Many people think that the more followers an influencer has, the better opportunity it is for a brand. I have found this is not always the case. What’s more important is finding an influencer whose audience and target demographic fits well with the brand, as well as their engagement rates.
What advice would you give to other brands trying to work with influencers?
I would advise other brands to identify influencers that believe in their product or service and treat them as collaborators. When reaching out, make sure to personalize your message or email to say why you think the influencer would be a good partner for the brand and use specific examples of their previous work. This will help build a strong long-term relationship.
Anything else you would like to share on the topic?
It’s important to remember that recruiting and activating influencers into an affiliate program can take a lot more time than other traditional affiliates and the impact is not necessarily immediate. These are more long-term relationships, but if done right are well worth the effort!
As Natalie mentioned above, this is a steadfast type of partnership and an investment type of strategy. Unlike traditional affiliates, influencers can be a true extension of your marketing team. While they do indeed help drive sales, their efforts are hugely important in long-term profitability of brand awareness.
Working with influencers is also not as expensive as some might think. 84% of micro-influencers charge $250 or less for sponsored Instagram posts, and 97% charge no more than $500 (source). The targeted reach an influencer can achieve will last longer than most campaigns and surpass your initial investment when the partnership is managed correctly.