If you are a business owner worrying about what your post-COVID business future looks like, you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, a study carried out by the influencer marketing hub found that as many as 69% of businesses have reduced their ad spend for 2020. Many are predicting a downturn. But as with any crisis, a problem can become an opportunity if you know where to look. One of the growth areas in marketing in the last few years has shown strength and resilience throughout the pandemic. This area might be your answer to growing your business in the next twelve months. What is this marketing strategy? Well, it’s using influencer marketing.
I’ll explain what influencer marketing is, what it really means in terms of 2020 and beyond for your business. I’ll also show you the exact steps you need to follow to get started.
Please note this is a sponsored post. For more information, visit my disclosure page here.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Maybe you haven’t heard of the term before. Influencer marketing is essentially paying online influencers to promote and market your brand. Think of these influencers as similar to celebrities. Unlike celebrities, you might not read about them in the news. They may not walk the red carpet. But in the online world, many of these influencers have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, people who love and respect them and are ready to listen to what they have to say.
In marketing terms, this has huge power. If a top yoga influencer chooses to use your yoga mat brand in their online videos and they mention online about how much they love it, your online sales are going to rocket, and fast. The beauty of this is that marketing feels much more natural and effortless. A more overt online ad campaign that over the years, people have managed to filter out as they browse the internet.
Influencers can typically be found on social media such as Instagram, Youtube and Tiktok. But popular bloggers with high traffic websites are also great as influencers too, especially if they have an email list and social media accounts.
Will Using Influencer Marketing Really Help You Right Now?
During a time of crisis when many brands have dropped ad budgets in more traditional ad mediums, influencer marketing is growing. The reason for that comes down to online behaviour. Many people have spent the past few months under lockdown, reaching out to online communities for inspiration. That inspiration often comes from following influencers on social media. So as these influencers have grown, so has the potential to reach out and form a partnership between your brand and their online audience. Educating an influencer’s audience is just one example of a smart marketing tactic a brand can use to boost sales in their business.
Where Can You Find Influencers?
If you haven’t used influencers before to promote your brand, here’s my advice. Start with an established influencer network. A good influencer network will be able to connect you with the right influencers for your niche. Here’s a useful case study about a top influencer and how they work with brands online.
Top Tips For Influencer Marketing
There are a few helpful tips before you start your first influencer marketing campaign:
- Go for quality over quantity. You’ll find that small influencers with extremely loyal audiences will often get your brand better results than those with larger audiences. That’s because they tend to work much harder with their audience to keep them engaged. They will often have a high trust level with their followers.
- Keep focused on your niche. It’s easy to see the appeal of an influencer who has demonstrated fantastic results when working with another brand, but if they aren’t fully aligned with your niche then your marketing campaign just won’t have the same appeal to the influencer’s followers.
- Use data to form your influencer campaigns, and get smart at viewing the results from your campaigns to see what works well and what doesn’t. If you find a great influencer who brings you fantastic results, you then have a great opportunity to form a long term relationship with them.
So if you feel disheartened by the downturn, do not let yourself be overcome with fear for your business. Embrace this alternative form of marketing. Build strong online relationships with growing influencers, and watch your business flourish over the next 12-18 months.