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Using the Power of Social Media Stars to Your Advantage: The Basics of Influencer Marketing
Communications – PR, Social Media, Content Tools 22 June 2017

Using the Power of Social Media Stars to Your Advantage: The Basics of Influencer Marketing

Nowadays, hardly any company can avoid social influencers. Social media stars have a great impact on generation Y and therefore play an important role as a useful tool in today’s marketing. Their experiences, videos, product reviews and photos can be placed somewhere between journalism and advertising and one thing is certain: The web stars decide what is going to be trendy tomorrow.

The range of cooperation opportunities in influencer marketing is huge and by now the honoraria of an influencer can be compared to the price of a small car. This is why a company should already decide in advance what goals it wants to accomplish with an influencer cooperation. Here are the main basics of influencer marketing:

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#Target group analysis: The master of victory and defeat

Who believes that influencers with a big number of followers automatically increase sales figures or brand awareness is wrong. Not every blogger is the right one for a campaign. The desired target group of a company is the crucial factor. A pricy manufacturer of luxury cars won’t accomplish anything by working with a web starlet whose followers are mainly teenagers between the age of twelve and eighteen. These followers neither have enough money, nor are they especially interested in the product and therefore won’t recommend it.

This is why companies should always check whether the possible cooperation partner really fits in with their product. Can he or she identify him- or herself with the advertised object? Is the desired audience targeted? Only this way a collaboration can be authentic and satisfying for all parties concerned.

It should also be well considered which social media channels influencers should use to share their content. While Facebook is primarily being used by people between the age of 25 and 35, German teenagers can be found using especially platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Compared to this, Twitter is more used as a business channel. If an influencer has his or her own blog, it should be used for publishing a blog post. Normally, cross medial articles make the most sense: A contribution published on the blog, should in addition therefore also being shared in all social networks and accentuated with pictures.

Furthermore, companies who want to delve into the influencer world should focus on the following points:

  • What is the content-related focus of the influencer?
  • Does his or her visual language and quality fit in with the brand?
  • How active is he or she and his/her community?

By the way: most of the bigger bloggers nowadays are being managed by an agency. Their job should be to give their clients advice and check what test objects fits in with which influencer. Besides, famous social media stars with millions of followers are not always the right choice. So-called micro influencers enjoy a high level of authenticity and their followers are often more eager to buy things than the big players.

#Cooperation possibilities: How do I effectively draw attention to my brand?

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Product introduction

If an influencer shall support a product launch, a good briefing is essential. What is it about? What does the brand stand for? What’s the price? When is the launch? Which social media platforms shall be used? Here it is especially important to find cooperation partners who really want to get in touch with the product and bring along their expertise and authenticity. Let’s be honest: If a food blogger suddenly praises a new lipstick of a brand it doesn’t seem very trustworthy. Again, the selection of the right person for the campaign is therefore very important.

Many companies fear that their product is being advertised in the wrong way or being rated as unsatisfying or bad. It’s important to know that influencers – despite their fee – are no pure advertising characters. Their success is based on their honest opinion – it’s the reason why their fans love them. Of course there is always going to be the risk of someone not liking an article – that’s why companies should constantly keep in touch with the blogger and assist him or her in case of problems or questions.

Campaigns for brand awareness and image

Making a brand more famous is THE goal of influencer marketing. Here we have to get back to authenticity. If an actor or famous singer praises a certain brand in a TV commercial, it indeed has a wide range – at the same time everyone is aware of the fact that it is a paid advertising measure. If a social media star recommends and tests a product, it’s way more authentic due to his or her closeness to the target audience. Followers don’t question their idol’s judgment.

For companies the following is good to know: The more a post or article seems like an advertisement the less trustworthy it appears. Worst case scenario: It all ends in a shitstorm. Therefore, the influencer shouldn’t be given prewritten content, even if he or she gets paid for it. This way, they have the chance to praise the product in their own words and express an honest opinion. By the way: It’s obligatory to make a cooperation transparently visible. The article or post must be marked as a sponsored post/ advertorial.

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Live event

Inviting influencers to an event can be interesting for a company in many ways. This form of cooperation can for example be used to create attention.  Of course the blogger should make his or her attendance in advance public via social media. Furthermore, it’s recommended that parts of the event are being streamed live via Instagram and Facebook. The web stars on site can provide tips, sign autographs, give interviews and of course shine for the brand.

Companies should always make sure that the booked person feels welcome on site. A contact person, who is available for questions, a good briefing as well as catering should be provided self-evidently. Of course it’s important that the key message – the product – is not being forgotten.

To sum it up, it can be said that a thorough choice of influencers, a good communication as well as a defined goal are important. Due to the high costs of such partnerships all arrangements should be verified and written down in a contract. Also, a reporting should be made afterwards in order to oversee the campaign’s success for the company. The impact of social media heroes will further rise which is why companies and brands should not ignore this kind of marketing but instead check how to effectively use it for themselves.

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