Influencer marketing is big business for luxury brands. In recent years, businesses have seen a significant shift in how their advertising funds are directed and 57% of fashion and beauty brands have updated their marketing strategies to include influencers. In fact, influencers have replaced celebrities in driving product recommendations, with 70% of teenagers on YouTube favouring influencer views.
With a potential social media audience well in excess of 40 million active users in the UK, premium brands would be wise to harness influencer marketing in their online arsenal. However, it’s not as easy as picking the latest trending superstar to promote your brand; influencer marketing should take a strategic approach, especially for new or emerging brands.
Review your target audience
With any influencer marketing campaign, your brand’s target audience should be your starting point, and this should be as specific as possible.
Understand their demographics, likes and dislikes and views on society. Check this profile against your sales data and review your objectives. Are you trying to encourage repeat sales form existing customers or break into a new consumer bracket? These objectives may give rise to differing audience profiles.
Looking into your Google Analytics data can also help you understand who is your audience. Check for referrals and sources to understand where your traffic is coming from.
Likewise, using each channels own analytics can be very useful. On Instagram, you can see a split of your audience and their key interests.
Identify an influencer shortlist
With your target audience defined, you can move on to identifying potential influencers to engage with.
Look at the websites and social media accounts that your target audience interact with most frequently. What is the content that draws most participation?
It may be that the most appropriate influencers are not the ‘faces’ of a product but may be bloggers or popular users, who actually attract more attention.
There are a few tools that can help you shortlist the right influencer. Here are a few examples:
Draw up a shortlist of potential candidates and research them all on a fair basis. Whilst you might favour the person with the biggest following, they may not be the best fit for your brand.
There are a number of aspects that you should look into in as much detail as possible:
- Research into the history of your possible influencers, looking at which brands they have been aligned to in the past.
- Look at any other collaborations that the influencer may have, and ask yourself whether these other brands sit well with yours? Consider, too, the amount of effort the influencer is putting into other brands, compared to the requirements of your campaign.
- Check their social channels for any incidents or events in their past which may be at odds with your brand. Also review any opinions or strong views about divisive or controversial topics.
It’s important to review these factors at the start of the process and throughout your marketing campaign. There have been many high-profile instances of influencers being caught out posting an inappropriate message or taking part in something that is against your brands’ values.
Whilst publicity is good for brands, it needs to be the right kind!
Depending on your chosen influencer, reaching out to them may take place through direct contact or through a third-party platform or agency. It is important to build a real relationship with your influencer from the start. They can provide more than just promotional aspects for your brand; their insight and knowledge of your target audience can be invaluable.Influencer marketing is not a quick fix option for businesses and can have many pitfalls. However, when it is executed using a strategic approach, it can serve as a major competitive advantage for brands.
If you would like to learn more about how to set up a successful influencer marketing strategy, please get in touch with us.
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