In today's ad saturated market, consumers long for organic information that is trusted and reliable. This kind of information is often received from word-of-mouth and their social feeds from the people they know and relate to. Many times, the most trusted content is presented to them by an individual known as a social thought leader or an influencer. Brands are already effectively leveraging this trend in what is known as influencer marketing.
How to identify the Influencer?
An influencer is an individual or brand that is influential enough to help push conversations about your brand to a broader audience. Often times this type of influence is quantified and referred to as a klout score. The more influential the individual or brand, the higher their klout score and potential ability to drive social engagement to your brand.
Celebrities, brands, organizations, journalists and industry leaders are most commonly referred to as influencers, but social media platforms, such as Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Pinterest have provided a channel for a new kind of visual brand ambassadors. These type of influencers have an extremely large impact on their followers because they carefully curate their posts in a way that is visually appealing to their audience and easy to relate to. Bloggers are one of the most popular examples of the modern influencer. Some of the most widely followed bloggers now serve as brand ambassadors for large and small brands due to their large impact and social reach.
Effective Influencer Marketing Strategies
Although some may find it beneficial to engage with any individual or brand with a large klout, it is best when your brand's influencer marketing tactics are targeted strategically to your industry. For example, nonprofits can do this effectively by targeting the individuals and experts who speak to and often support their causes. One organization that does influencer marketing well is the Enough Project through their Celebrity Upstander program. The program engages with celebrities as influencers to host events, appear in videos and YouTube campaigns, and to travel to Africa for volunteer work -- all in support of efforts to fight human rights crimes in Africa.
Brands can use similar tactics as the Enough Project with social influencers to increase the reach of their marketing efforts. Guest blogs are a simple and powerful way to add an influencer's voice to your marketing strategy. This content marketing tactic is successful because it helps link a reputable voice to your brand and can be cross-promoted through the influencer's social channels to their followers.
Another fun and useful tactic is the influencer takeover strategy. This is where a brand allows an influencer (blogger, celebrity or industry leader) with a large audience to takeover and share post on the brand's social media platforms. This tactic is generally the most successful on Instagram and Twitter, and can help a brand extend its reach to the influencer's followers and their own. A good example of this was Vogue's #MetByTestino takeover. During this campaign, the legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino took over Vogue's Instagram account at the Met Gala, capturing stunning images of celebrities like Beyoncé, Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Campbell, and more.
Which Influencer has the Largest Klout?
Sites like twitalyzer and crowdfire can be used to help brands and individuals determine which influencers will have the best impact on their reach, but this can also be determined by researching those who are the most engaged in the conversations of your industry. Influencer marketing works differently for every brand and organization, so it is important to utilize the tactic that works best for your brand. And always remember, in today's "organic-trending" market consumers are being impacted the most by consumers, so if your brand is leveraging that you'll make a lasting impact.
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