With 30% of consumers likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger, according to a study by Collective Bias, investing in influencer marketing just makes sense. It can be the push in taking you to a new level of awareness with your customers.

Now more than ever, consumers are turning to influencers to learn how a product performs and decide whether it’s something worth investing in. Having an influencer help leverage the exposure of your company’s product can increase revenue as you’ll see a spike with consumers who lean on these reviews to make their purchasing decisions.

Below, 15 members of the Forbes Agency Council share one piece of advice to business owners who are considering implementing influencer marketing. Here is what they had to say:

Images courtesy of FAC members.

Members of the Forbes Agency Council provide their best professional insights.

1. Focus On Engagement Over Follower Count

Learn how to research and identify influencers that can not only get in front of your target audience but who also have solid engagement metrics. An influencer with fewer followers that gets more likes, shares and comments is usually a better value for your business than someone with little to no engagement (or mostly spammy followers). –Vinny La Barbera,imFORZA

2. Remember Influencers Are A Commodity

Vanity metrics like number of followers or even engagement can be misleading. Demand to know audience demographics and to include tracking links. Every influencer today has hundreds of twins. If they aren’t cooperating, go after another one. –Gil Eyal,HYPR

3. Treat It As Part Of Your Ad Budget

The most common misconception for influencer marketing is that it can be done at a low cost or in trade for a product or service. However, in the past year, as influencer marketing has significantly grown, so have the associated rates. It’s important to have a dedicated budget set aside for this kind of marketing. –Leila Lewis,Be Inspired PR

4. Keep An Eye On The Truth In Advertising Act

Influencers have been gaining some negative attention for deceptive practices. It’s essential to monitor the integrity and honesty of the messages created by the influencers — they’re representing your brand. Allow them plenty of opportunities to interact with your products and/or services to give them a chance to represent you with an authentic voice. –Ahmad Kareh,Twistlab Marketing

5. Do Your Homework

Influencer marketing could be a great addition to a campaign when executed properly. My biggest piece of advice is to properly vet your influencer(s). You want to make sure that the influencer will not only align with the brand but that their followers are also a part of your target market so you can be sure they will benefit the campaign. –Megan Bedera,Amplify Relations

6. Think Long-Term

If you expect to see a spike in sales results from an influencer in the first month, you’re thinking about it the wrong way. Brands engaged with influencers need to view them as compounding benefits, not salespeople who will produce short-term results. Make sure you have tracking in place to measure downstream effects in organic search and social reach. –Dan Golden,Be Found Online

7. Consider Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers can be the best way to engage with influencers. In many cases, these influencers have a strong, engaged following who can influence consumers. If they are aligned with your business, the results can be better than larger influencers. Micro-influencers often don’t require large payments for sponsorship. The return is better, and you can build a solid partnership with them. –Gina Michnowicz,Union+Webster

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With 30% of consumers likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger, according to a study by Collective Bias, investing in influencer marketing just makes sense. It can be the push in taking you to a new level of awareness with your customers.

Now more than ever, consumers are turning to influencers to learn how a product performs and decide whether it’s something worth investing in. Having an influencer help leverage the exposure of your company’s product can increase revenue as you’ll see a spike with consumers who lean on these reviews to make their purchasing decisions.

Below, 15 members of the Forbes Agency Council share one piece of advice to business owners who are considering implementing influencer marketing. Here is what they had to say:

Images courtesy of FAC members.

Members of the Forbes Agency Council provide their best professional insights.

1. Focus On Engagement Over Follower Count

Learn how to research and identify influencers that can not only get in front of your target audience but who also have solid engagement metrics. An influencer with fewer followers that gets more likes, shares and comments is usually a better value for your business than someone with little to no engagement (or mostly spammy followers). –Vinny La Barbera,imFORZA

2. Remember Influencers Are A Commodity

Vanity metrics like number of followers or even engagement can be misleading. Demand to know audience demographics and to include tracking links. Every influencer today has hundreds of twins. If they aren’t cooperating, go after another one. –Gil Eyal,HYPR

3. Treat It As Part Of Your Ad Budget

The most common misconception for influencer marketing is that it can be done at a low cost or in trade for a product or service. However, in the past year, as influencer marketing has significantly grown, so have the associated rates. It’s important to have a dedicated budget set aside for this kind of marketing. –Leila Lewis,Be Inspired PR

4. Keep An Eye On The Truth In Advertising Act

Influencers have been gaining some negative attention for deceptive practices. It’s essential to monitor the integrity and honesty of the messages created by the influencers — they’re representing your brand. Allow them plenty of opportunities to interact with your products and/or services to give them a chance to represent you with an authentic voice. –Ahmad Kareh,Twistlab Marketing

5. Do Your Homework

Influencer marketing could be a great addition to a campaign when executed properly. My biggest piece of advice is to properly vet your influencer(s). You want to make sure that the influencer will not only align with the brand but that their followers are also a part of your target market so you can be sure they will benefit the campaign. –Megan Bedera,Amplify Relations

6. Think Long-Term

If you expect to see a spike in sales results from an influencer in the first month, you’re thinking about it the wrong way. Brands engaged with influencers need to view them as compounding benefits, not salespeople who will produce short-term results. Make sure you have tracking in place to measure downstream effects in organic search and social reach. –Dan Golden,Be Found Online

7. Consider Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers can be the best way to engage with influencers. In many cases, these influencers have a strong, engaged following who can influence consumers. If they are aligned with your business, the results can be better than larger influencers. Micro-influencers often don’t require large payments for sponsorship. The return is better, and you can build a solid partnership with them. –Gina Michnowicz,Union+Webster

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