In recent years, we’ve seen the phrase influencer marketing thrown around a lot. Thanks to the growth of social media and blogging platforms, influencer marketing has become a fundamental aspect of many business's marketing strategies. But what exactly is influencer marketing and what should you be looking for in a potential influencer for your brand? Read on to discover our basic guide to influencer marketing. 

So what exactly is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is the term given when a brand collaborates with an influential person, in order to promote a product or service. An influencer could be a celebrity, an industry leader, or a blogger/social media content creator.

Although influencer marketing is a term often associated with millennials and the rise of social media, influencer marketing actually dates back way further than the 2000s! The original influencer, and arguably still the most influential person in any marketing campaign, is actually Santa Claus. Yes, really.

From the 1920s, Santa Claus has been reprising his role as the star of Coca-Cola advertisements. By Coca-Cola choosing Santa Claus as their influencer of choice, this not only catapulted the man with rosy cheeks, a white beard and red suit into world wide fame. But thanks to Mr Claus’s influence, Coca-Cola would go on to carefully construct their image as the family friendly brand, we all know and love.  

As time went on, more and more celebrities began to feature in marketing campaigns. Celebrities popularity and their huge fan bases proved to have a huge impact on sales. But the rise of social media and blogging platforms, allowed ‘normal’ users to grow significant followers too. These non-celebrities would often deliver the same, if not better results than celebrities had done previously. And their fees were significantly smaller too!

More and more brands quickly began to realise the significance, and relatively low cost, of this new wave of influencer marketing. And fast forward to 2019, you’d now struggle to scroll for less than a minute before you encounter an #AD.

What to look for in a potential influencer

What you’re looking for in a potential influencer, completely depends on which platform they’ve curated their following on. For example, a blogger’s followers to following ratio isn’t a metric that would really get taken into consideration. Whereas the follower ratio on Instagram is much more important, as it’s a reflection of the popularity of the account.  

However, most influencers are active on multiple platforms. So you’ll need to select their platform(s) which are most appropriate for your marketing campaign. Here’s the basics of what to look out for in a blogger and a social media influencer:

What to look for in a Blogger:
  • High quality images
  • A website with a professional appearance 
  • An excellent level of spelling and grammar.  
  • A strong Domain Authority
  • An basic understanding of SEO...if they’re going to talk about your brand, you want their content to be visible in Google! 
  • A strong local presence 

What to look for in a Social Media Influencer:
  • An organic following (that doesn’t include bots/fake followers)
  • High quality images
  • Engaging captions
  • Strong levels of engagement
  • A good follower to following ratio
  • A strong local presence 

You may also want to ask the influencer for their media pack and rate card. This would give you an idea of the influencers’ insights/analytics. As well as any results the influencer has achieved with other brands in past collaborations. It will also flag up any conflicting brands that may not have been obvious at first!

For an influencer marketing campaign to deliver the best possible ROI, it’s important to carefully select your messaging and position it through influencers who are passionate about your product/service and represent your brand values.

If you’d like to find out how influencer marketing agencies like Ascensor can help you get the most out of your influencer marketing, please get in touch.

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