Is influencer marketing right for your brand?

Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends to watch in 2019 and it is growing month on month. There are a number of big companies who are currently dominating the influencer marketing industry, but it also works well for smaller, local businesses too. Over 93% of professionals say influencer marketing is effective for building brand awareness. If you’re looking to get into influencer marketing and not sure where to start or if it’s even right for your company. UK Car Finance are here to breakdown the basics of what influencer marketing is, the benefits and disadvantages and how to decide whether it’s right for you.

What is influencer marketing?

The original form of influencer marketing started with celebrity endorsements, but it has grown to be much more than this in the digital world. Influencer marketing is when a business or company collaborates with an influential person to promote a product service or campaign. Instead of targeting a whole market, you target an individual who has a valued status in your industry and have them promote your products or services. Brands form partnerships with key individuals who promise to expose their audience to a brands’ message or content. The main benefit of influencer marketing is the exposure that companies can gain. It is not about choosing influencers with the biggest audience, but the influences that are right for your niche and making new connections.

For the brand, influencer marketing is about finding a brand advocate who will promote their products or services to their following. Brands want to find an influencer who is engaging, active, well respected and connected to their brand. For the influencer, they have probably put a lot of time and effort into building their online presence and their following. People will naturally follow people they like, can engage with and look up to. So, it’s important for an influencer marketing relationship to be beneficial and right for both parties.

Influencer marketing has come a long way and there are many different forms of influencer marketing. The most common misconception is that influencer marketing is mainly z-list celebrities promoting teeth whitening products on Instagram. The majority of influencers tend to be celebrities, industry experts and thought leaders, bloggers and content creators and micro influencers. There are effectively around 8 different types of influencer marketing, but there can be more. Each one can be more suited to different brands and audiences.

Types of influencer marketing can include:

– Host giveaways. Competitions and giveaways are one of the easiest ways to get comments and shares. Influencers share competitions or giveaways to win a brands’ products.  

– Social media takeovers. This type of influencer marketing gives your dedicated influencer full control over your social media platforms for an hour, day, few days or week depending on what you want. This method can be used to talk about a product and answer fans questions.
– Affiliate marketing. This is a great way to create online partnerships with other brands. Affiliate marketing is when an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales.

– Sponsored social media content. One of the most commonly known influencer marketing strategies is when companies pay influencers to promote their business through specific posts and guidelines to their social media following.

– Gifts. Some companies will give away their products for free to influencers in exchange for a specific post written about the product and shared on the influencer’s social media.

– Sponsored blog posts. You can pay influencer blogs to post about your company on their blog. Well respected and popular blogs can have a massive impact and paying for links or mentions on these sites can get you lots of traffic back to your site.

Benefits of influencer marketing:
Due to the fan base that influencers have already built, the audience for your product is already there. Through influencer marketing you can quickly build your brand and raise awareness but there are also many other benefits of use influencer marketing in your marketing strategy.

  1. Builds trust
  2. Increase brand awareness
  3. Provides content for your social and marketing strategy
  4. Reach your target audience
  5. Build partnerships
  6. Become an industry expert

Drawbacks of influencer marketing:

Influencer marketing is massive and the return on investment can be really impressive. But are there any drawbacks to influencer marketing?

  1. It takes time and effort

Before you start an influencer marketing campaign, it does take a lot of research. You should outline our marketing goals and what you want from your influencer marketing. Finding the right influencer for your brand can be time consuming. You will need a proposal for your chosen influencer that states the terms and conditions of your partnership, create content and proof it and also decide how you want to measure your results.

  • Results are not guaranteed

Influencer marketing does work well for a lot of brands but when you’re just getting started, there’s no guarantee that your campaign will take off. You could have amazing content, but your influencer lacks enthusiasm which can be detrimental to your campaign.

  • Hard to track results
    Influencer marketing is trackable, but it can be harder to track than other marketing and will depend on what your influencer marketing goals are. It’s quite hard to track results manually but many influencer marketing platforms provide analytics on your campaigns.
  • Mistakes can be detrimental

There are a few common mistakes that could end up costing you your brand reputation. To meet advertising standards, the influencer must disclose that the post is an advert, especially on platforms like Instagram. Failing to do so can damage your reputation and cost you money.

Is influencer marketing right for you?

It can be tricky knowing whether influencer marketing will work for your brand or not. There are some industries such as fashion, travel & lifestyle and healthcare that really thrive with influencer marketing. But it doesn’t mean that influencer marketing is for everyone. Influencer marketing is all about perception and status. People like to invest in a lifestyle so promoting products that appear to have a high-end status can thrive in the influencer marketing industry. You should also think about your service or product that you want to promote and the appeal that it has. Influencer marketing may come easier for industries that have mass appeal. It’s also easier for your influencer marketing to take off when you already have a strong social media presence. It’s not the be all and end all but it might be a good idea to build your social presence organically first before adopting influencer marketing into your strategy. Influencer marketing is about trust and reputation and trust is also a crucial factor in the buying process. New products or companies can struggle with influencer marketing as they have no or little reviews from customers. When consumers aren’t sure about a company or service, they tend to read reviews or feedback to get advice from other customers. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to build your brand and gain positive reviews before you dive head first into influencer marketing.

About the author: UK Car Finance are a car finance provider who help drivers take back control of their car finance deal. Using intelligent tools such as their car finance checker you can check your credit online for free without harming your credit score. They also provide many thought leadership pieces on all things finance, motoring and business related.