As few days back I was surfing the internet looking for reviews of a new phone launched in the market. That’s when I stumbled upon a heavyweight YouTube reviewer who seemed to have reviewed all the latest phones in the market. I started wondering “how can he have access to almost all the new smartphones within mere days of their launch?”
Well, the answer was quite obvious. Smartphone companies were engaging this reviewer – an influencer – to review their product and market it for them. This emerging marketing model, called influencer identification and engagement, is picking up pace across industries.
Unlike the cliché in marketing with celebrities endorsing products and services, brands have started using social media influencers for increasing their outreach. However, given the fact that social media is a chaotic space, it is key that brands engage with the right social media influencers to maximize their impact.
Brand Ambassadors and Social Media Influencers: How Are They Different?
Brand ambassadors are mostly celebrities or industry experts who essentially spread the word for a product or service in a social or public gathering. In most of the cases, ambassadors are aligned to the product and company values and have some form of an affinity towards the brand. This can set into motion the Loyalty Ripple Effect.
However, this strategy of using brand ambassadors for influencing target markets has witnessed a shift in the recent times with the rise of social media. Today, every individual holds the power of influencing others. In fact, social media has evolved to create more and more celebrities in every domain. All you need is a dedicated follower base and engaging content.
These so-called social media influencers are the next generation brand ambassadors. Their definitive task is to influence people and promote their client’s offerings in the social media. However, given the dynamic nature of social media, you cannot adopt a template-based approach for social media driven market influence. The strategy and approach for different influencers within the same category can vary.
A right influencer will be someone who can reach your target audience, build trust in your offering, and drive engagement with your brand. The higher the resonance a social media influencer is able to create for your brand, the higher are your chances of success.
How to Collaborate with Social Media Influencers?
Social media influencers are today more effective in marketing a brand to new audience. However, collaborating with them requires some strategic thinking. You can use the following checklist to evaluate if a social media influencer is ideal for you or not:
- Do they understand your target audience?
- What is their demographic reach?
- Are they attracting millennials and engaging with them?
- Is their content creation aligned to your brand values?
- What is the monetary compensation?
What differentiates brand ambassadors and social media influencers is that brand ambassadors play along the existing strategy built by your marketing team. But social media influencers are a whole another ball game! They have their own strategy and play by their own rules. They have their own set of engaged audience that you can capitalize on. They have pre-existing relationships that you can leverage.
As your market evolves, building a long-term relationship with a brand ambassador or a social media influencer may not be ideal. With time, their influence on your target market would change. Take the example of Tiger Woods, the ace golfer, who was one signed on by multiple brands to help them reach out to wider audience. However, when the news related to his personal life broke, the same brands immediately distanced themselves from him. His subsequent losses in multiple tournaments did not help either.
So how do you create a formidable strategy for identifying and engaging with social media influencers?
Social Media Influencers Strategy – The Infovision Social Way
At Infovision Social, we enable brands to identify, reach out, and collaborate with social media influencers and ambassadors. The strategies that we offer are customized to meet the unique business needs of each client.
We offer end-to-end support when it comes to influencer identification and outreach.
- Stage 1 Identify: We help identify the right influencers within each domain. For this, we perform detailed social media footprint analysis across all the popular platforms. We evaluate their followers base, the type of content they share, and their engagement metrics.
- Stage 2 Outreach: Once the influencers are identified, we design an outreach plan that is unique for each influencer.
- Stage 3 Engage: Once that initial connect is in place, we give you an engagement plan for each influencer. We help you identify what type of content needs to be planned and shared with each influencer to create an impact on your business.
We also have a process in place to evaluate the performance of each social media influencer compared to your objectives. This analysis will further help you add value to your marketing lifecycle and make it more effective.
To talk to our social media influencer strategists, contact us. We would be happy to give you an evaluation of your existing influencer engagement program and make recommendations on how to improve it.