Influencers play an important role in the way people find information online. Users of social media are increasingly relying on the credibility of people in their network to decide if a product or service is worthwhile. Partnering with an influencer can be a great way to get yourself in front of your audience but only if done in the right way.
Airguides, one of our teams at Lightning Lab Tourism, is a marketplace where travellers can book unique trips created by passionate storytellers.
Last week Airguides’ co-founders Paul and Bibi held a workshop for the cohort about all things Influencer Marketing. If you are keen to give influencer marketing a go for your startup, here are some of the things you should consider before you get started:
Followers aren’t it, it’s about engagement
The best way to identify the real from the fake influencers is to look at the amount of engagement posts get in comparison to the number of people that follow the account.
With a crowded market, brands and businesses looking at working with influencers need to be careful. There are a lot of inauthentic profiles out there and to get the most impact out of influencers, you need to weed out the negative types.
While engagement can fluctuate, if the number of followers outweighs the number consistently liking or commenting on each post, then you should start to worry.
Choose an influencer that suits your brand
Influencer marketing is all about trust so you need to be careful to only work with influencers that are engaging with your audience in an authentic way.
There are so many different verticals and styles of content creators out there. It’s important for brands to carefully select influencers they choose to work with. Brands need to be focusing on the ones with an authentic niche, authoritative voice and loyal fans within their space.
As above, follower count does not necessarily mean an influencer has a good following within your target audience. Someone with a small but loyal following who regularly engages with your customers may be more valuable than a more generic influencer with a larger following. Work out who has your audience’s attention and partner with them.
Everyone’s an influencer
Everyone that interacts with your brand has some influence and following. Professional influencers have a hype reach and an active community base, however even friends and family have circles of influence, over their colleagues and friends.
Word-of-mouth recommendations have been around since before marketing was a formalised concept, and these personal recommendations are recognized as one of the most credible and powerful forms of advertising or marketing today.
The very nature of this tactic is the human element. Stories are fundamental to the human experience. We are an ultrasocial species, and stories help us understand the world, solve problems, and remember information. People and relationships are at the core here—we’re talking about people, not ad units. Do whatever you can to create a real human connection and you can’t go too far wrong.
Influencers can’t hide a bad product
Social media is designed to help people share their experiences with the world, and like any medium the negative has a way of drowning out the positive. If you aren’t providing a positive experience for your customers the endorsement of an influencer won’t hide this in the long run. It’s all in the name – they can influence your customers to think about your brand, but they can’t tell them what to think.
Going above and beyond to create an extraordinary experience for your customers is one of the best ways to get people talking about your brand. Performing a few small but thoughtful gestures can improve your customer’s stay and give them something notable to share on social media and mention in conversation.
The key to creating these moments is to focus on creating something that makes your guests feel special and is easy for them to share. This will create a compelling story of your brand online that will make your audience want to find out more.
Influencer marketing is just one of many viable marketing strategies. It can be a fantastic way to boost engagement with your brand and to create long-term relationships with your audience. As with any strategy, you need to do your homework first. Be sure to work through the above factors before you embark on your influencer journey and always be monitoring, measuring and refining your approach to get the most out of this great tool.
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