One of the more recent trends in marketing that has become a staple for businesses online is the use of social media influencers to recommend and sell products. Building an audience on social media can be difficult for struggling brands that need to get the word out about what they do. Social media influencers provide an outlet for businesses to more easily reach people on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Some brands might see social media influencers and the impact they have but wonder whether it will really work for them. Do social media influencers work for every type of brand? It is in fact possible to find the right influencer for your brand as long as you know who your target audience is and where to find them.
The myth that social media influencers and the platforms they use are only for millennial audiences is not true. Older generations use social media and can also be influenced by recommendations online but you need to find the place where your demographic “hangs out”. Social media influencers can have a tremendous impact on your brand if you use them to your advantage.
Understanding Social Media Influencers
The reason businesses are so interested in social media influencers is that they often speak directly to a large audience online. Influencers have built up their own following simply by being themselves and creating interesting content that people want to see. Their followers tend to listen to what they say and trust in their taste because it always comes across as completely genuine.
Even though followers of an influencer may feel that this person recommends products based on their own positive experience, the reality is that many are paid to promote certain brands. However, people see them as an authority in their field of influence and because of their existing relationship with their audience, influencers can have an affect on people’s purchase decisions. Social media influencers have a larger than normal following, but also usually have a niche audience that they are speaking to.
A common and increasingly popular example of a social media influencer is the “beauty guru”. This is a person on YouTube or Instagram that has been recognize by their followers as having special knowledge or expertise in makeup or beauty related products. They often test out new products, create tutorials or find creative ways to review or talk about beauty items.
Social media influencers exist in all kinds of different niches and as long as they are seen as an authority on a certain topic, people will be influenced by what they say. An influencer could be a celebrity, an industry expert, a content creator or just everyday people that become well-known online. No matter what type of brand you have, there is most likely an influencer that can help you promote your products or services.
Identifying the Right Influencer
How do you find an influencer that works for your brand? The first thing to think about when looking for a social media influencer is what you consider to be your brand message. You need to know beforehand what you want to say about your brand and what you want people to know.
In addition to developing your brand message you also need to know who your target audience is and what kinds of things they are looking for. Your target audience needs to be both people you want to reach and those who are more likely to be interested in purchasing your products. You don’t want to waste effort marketing to an audience that would have no need or no interest in your brand.
Once you have a better idea of your target audience you will need to find an influencer that has many followers in that audience. This doesn’t mean looking for an influencer with the most followers but looking for someone that matches your brand the most and speaks to the right demographic. Your influencer should share a similar message to your brand and an audience that is more likely to buy from you.
A great way to start looking for effective influencers is finding people that already like and mention your brand online. When someone genuinely loves your company their message is going to feel more authentic to followers and they won’t see it as an advertisement. If they are already interested in your brand then it is more likely they are good fit as far as their message and the type of content they create.
When you find the right social media influencer you will be able to have a direct channel to communicate with your target audience. Start developing relationships with social media influencers now so that you can create more loyal fans online.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.