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Influencer marketing – hype or opportunity?

Jan Homann, CEO at blogfoster, explains how to achieve the best results via influencer marketing.

The fastest growing segment in marketing, influencer marketing, has become a big talking point in 2017.The fastest growing segment in marketing, influencer marketing, has become a big talking point in 2017.

The new stars of social media, the so-called influencers, have a very important impact on the purchasing decisions of their followers, which affords influencer marketing a much higher return compared to conventional media channels. Communities built around legions of loyal fans follow the recommendations of their idols very closely. This relationship between influencers and their community affords Influencer marketing both credibility and authenticity.

Marketing managers have had their heads turned by influencer marketing for a reason – it places the brand in a hip and contemporary environment that is spot on from a messaging point of view. Bloggers and influencers enjoy impressive reach and popularity and offer the promise of an attractive source of revenue. Taking all things into consideration, which channel offers the highest potential from an advertisers point of view? Usually this approach is thought to be too narrow, that is to say, focussing purely on reach is simply not essential or valuable.

Are you paying too much when it comes to choosing your influencer?

Let’s consider carefully in order to avoid the mistakes commonly observed across the industry. What is the currency of influencer marketing? The objective of

Influencer marketing can be said to be, a well-targeted message to a relevant and broad audience, delivered by an influencer of choice. Clearly the reach of an influencer is an important factor when choosing the right channel. Reach alone however, will not guarantee the desired effect and perception by the target audience. The ability to deliver the desired message in a convincing and authentic way, thereby triggering the desired action by the audience is decisive for successful influencer marketing – looking at reach as a standalone variable is therefore not useful. The relationship between influencers and their followers has to be based on trust in order to achieve meaningful results.

What is the value of influencer marketing?

There are two key elements when rating the value of influencer marketing:

1. What data can we observe with respect to reach and the degree of trust? Both factors must be considered fully before we can make a reliable assessment about how significant certain social media profiles or blogs really are.

2. Which channel will carry the desired message to achieve the best results? It is imperative to understand not just the overall reach but also on how relevant a channel is for the specific message and the intended target group.

Don’t throw your money away focusing on the wrong channel

Different influencer channels each have their own unique format and characteristics. For example, when looking at Instagram or Twitter, it is easy to share an idea or statement with the followers of that particular influencer. This lends itself well for the launch of a product or news announcement for example. When considering such a short timeframe where you are focusing attention of the user on a specific product means that you must keep your messaging short and visual; something that engages the audience quickly.

However, if you want to address a topic or present a product in a more in-depth fashion then using a blog post or ‘vlog’ yields much better results. Blogs and Vlogs remain visible during a long time, years even, and encourage the user to spend more time interacting with the content (the average session duration for blog posts is 0.5 – 1.2 minutes).

What questions MUST you ask when defining your influencer strategy?

Careful consideration needs to be given towards budget and how best to allocate it across the channels of choice. Any influencer marketing campaign needs to ensure that your message is spread far and wide to the relevant audiences – you must be present across multiple channels. What objectives do you want to achieve?

What message should the influencer ideally transmit? Which channels are best in order to reach the desired goal? All these questions are important for brands and agencies that want to invest in influencer marketing. Answering those questions allows you to start the search for the right influencer. Influencer marketing should be seen as an entirely independent marketing channel that will be implemented and used across various platforms. Consider your methodology – rather than just browsing through single accounts, entertain a more holistic approach.

Time to believe the hype?

Marketers need to consider influencers right across the spectrum, and target those that can offer credibility and who have an engaged target audience. Those influencers with millions of followers aren’t always necessarily the best choice.

Achieving the best results via influencer marketing, and in order to realise its full potential, it has to become an integral part of the marketing mix. Channels should no longer act separately – cohesion is needed in order to work towards a single, underlying campaign goal. Positive results can see brands enjoying a better ROI, a more loyal and engaged audience and growth of an exciting marketing channel. It’s time to unlock the potential of influencer marketing

blogfoster builds technology that helps professional bloggers and social media influencers analyse, manage and effectively monetise their reach.

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