Influencer marketing is a popular digital marketing and social media marketing strategy that is being used by many businesses to promote their products or services online.
Essentially, influencer marketing involves partnering with influencers or celebrities to promote your product or business to their following.
Typically, influencer marketing strategies involve the influencer being paid or receiving a free sample in exchange for a sponsored Instagram post, or post on another platform. Although Instagram is one of the most commonly used influencer marketing platforms, this may also be done on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Broadly speaking, there are four different types of influencers:
- Mega influencers (those with more than 1M followers – e.g. celebrity influencers)
- Macro influencers (those with between 100k and 1M followers – e.g. established social media influencers)
- Micro influencers (those with between 1k and 100k followers – e.g. smaller Instagram influencers)
- Nano influencers (those with less than 1k followers)
The type of influencer that is best for your influencer campaigns will be determined based on a number of factors. For example, if you are working on a limited budget, macro and micro influencers may be a more affordable alternative to mega influencers (some of whom charge six and seven figure sums for a single post).
Similarly, if you are wanting to target a broader audience, mega influencers might be a good choice. By comparison, if you’re wanting to target smaller niches, choosing a macro, micro, or nano influencer whose following aligns with your target audience might be a better approach.
Like all marketing strategies, influencer marketing can come with plenty of benefits that will bring you closer to achieving your business’s goals. For example, it:
- Allows you to engage with large numbers of potential customers in your target audience by taking advantage of the influencer’s engagement rates
- Offers a good return on investment, with an average $5.78 return on investment received for every $1 spend on influencer marketing
- Quickly builds trust in your brand, given the authority that influencers have with their followers
- Provides you with the opportunity to supplement your own content (as you can share the posts created for you by the influencers you partner with)
- Can potentially lead to productive long-term relationships, as you might continue to work with the same influencer for future campaigns if they deliver on the first one
- Can be a more cost-effective alternative to other marketing techniques, whilst still allowing you to reach a large audience
However, influencer marketing can also come with a few drawbacks. For example, it:
- Can seem inauthentic to some (as people may question how legitimate the content is if they know the influencer has been paid or incentivised for it)
- Can be difficult to find influencers with genuine engagement (as it is so easy to buy likes and follows, so anyone can appear to have a strong following and engagement)
- Can be difficult to track performance and results
- Can cost your brand if you make a mistake (e.g. if you fall on the wrong side of influencer marketing regulations)
This last point is particularly important. If you are going to be using influencer marketing, it is also important that you understand and remain up to date with the advertising regulations that govern influencer posts.
For example, in Australia, amendments to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code have recently made it illegal for influencers to be paid for personal reviews or testimonials of health and skincare products. The ban will also extend to incentivisation with gifted samples.
This crackdown will apply to all healthcare and skincare products, ranging from sunscreens and acne products to protein powders, vitamins, supplements, medical devices, and medications.
Once this ban comes into force, if you are a skincare or healthcare brand and pay an influencer to promote your products on their social media profiles, both you and them could face penalties. This could also cost your brand from a reputation perspective, if you are found to have been engaging in illegal practices (whether this is knowingly or unknowingly!)
If you are new to influencer marketing, it can be worth consulting with an expert who has some experience in this type of marketing already. An influencer marketing expert will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to finding relevant influencers for your target audience and niche. They will also be able to help you avoid some of the pitfalls associated with this type of marketing.
Influencer marketing is just one of the services we offer at Tomedia under our content marketing, digital marketing, and social media marketing portfolio. To find out more about Content Marketing, click here.