How To Connect Your Brand With The Right Digital Influencers
7 min read
If you want to get your brand seen, heard, and talked about, influencer marketing is the way forward in today’s digital world. Over the past few years, digital influencers have become a powerful force within marketing, with brands using influencers to drive brand awareness, reach new audiences, and increase sales.
However, developing the right strategy for influencer marketing is essential, as choosing the wrong influencer can actually harm your brand’s reputation and lead to wasted opportunities. To guide you, in this blog, we will look at influencer marketing, and discuss how to connect your brand with the right digital influencers.
The Power of Digital Influencers
Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth, the digital influencer landscape has been rapidly expanding, and its widespread popularity has seen digital influencers interacting with thousands, if not millions, of people regularly. Working hard to gain viewers’ trust, digital influencers have fast become the middleman between brands and their target audiences, working as a much more persuasive and effective advertising asset.
Most notably, 50% of millennials trust product recommendations from influencers, representing the opportunity that influencer marketing has for increasing the visibility, reach, and trustworthiness of brands. This is because customers are far more likely to trust a recommendation from someone they know, as opposed to a brand advertising itself.
As one of the fastest-growing online marketing channels, digital influencers are now a critical asset in any social media strategy, and choosing the right influencer is vital to getting your brand in front of the right audiences.
Types of Digital Influencers
Using digital influencers can put your brand in front of a huge audience, with the potential to leverage the power of social media platforms to reach millions of people and heighten audience engagement with your brand and its social media activity.
Choosing the right influencer can lead to brands not only getting increased exposure to consumers already interested and likely to buy, but it also increases the perceived trustworthiness and authenticity of your brand. That is why it is important to make the right decision when it comes to choosing which digital influencer to go with.
Digital influencers can be identified among three types; Micro, Macro, and Mega, all of which will have varying impacts on your budget, audience reach, and overall engagement.
Micro-influencers are individuals with smaller followings on social media, typically between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Their content is typically around a specific topic, passion, or niche, where they are viewed as a respected expert within their field. This means they usually have higher engagement rates with much more targeted audiences, with an average engagement rate of 3.86% which is significantly higher than the 1.21% received by mega-influencers.
Based on personal experience with a brand, this type of influencer has the highest brand relevance and the greatest ability to drive a desired action from their audience, making them the best choice for engagement and conversions. They are also more affordable than celebrities, and are viewed as posting much more authentic and real content that followers relate to.
Image credit: @miettedierckx Instagram
For example, Coca-Cola partnered with food and travel digital influencer @miettedierckx, to show her 35,000 followers how the brand fits perfectly into the aspirational life that she leads. As part of its heritage ‘#Cokeambassador’ campaign, Coca-Cola used Miette’s dedicated following to its advantage to expand its reach over a long period of time.
The next tier is macro-influencers, who have a prominent online presence, commanding anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million followers. Regarded as thought leaders, they are very well-known in their respective topics, covering a broader range of topics.
These influencers are best used for brand awareness and engagement, as their higher follower rates can help brands to achieve significant results on a shorter timescale. However, more followers can also equate to higher costs for working with these influencers.
Image credit: nogood
For example, Gymshark has consistently utilised influencer marketing throughout its campaigns. Most notably, its ‘66 Days: Change Your Life Challenge’ partnered with influencers that had a strong social media presence on TikTok, leaning into generating video content, where #gymshark66 achieved 241.3 million views on TikTok.
For brands, working with macro-influencers who align with your brand’s niche and values, particularly on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, is a great way to tap into their huge following and generate heightened brand awareness.
Then there are mega-influencers, who are viewed as social media celebrities with over a million followers. These digital influencers have the highest reach levels and engagements per post, and are best used for driving brand awareness and impressions.
However, mega-influencers are not always that influential, as they have the lowest ability to drive desired action from audiences, particularly when it comes to conversions. Also, due to their popularity, it can mean that they have a much higher price tag, so it is important to ensure that working with mega-influencers aligns with your specific goals and intentions.
Mega influencers can include famous celebrities like Beyonce and footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, to incredibly popular social media influencers like Mrs Hinch, and KSI.
Image credit: @iamhalsey Instagram
For example, popular ice-cream brand Magnum partnered with international music sensation and activist Halsey, to launch their campaign ‘True to Pleasure’ and promote the Magnum Ruby ice cream on Instagram and TikTok, raising awareness of the product and its ethos of inspiring and encouraging everyone to be true to themselves.
How to Find the Right Digital Influencer for your Brand
There are several ways to run an influencer campaign depending on your brand’s unique KPIs, goals, and budget. You can choose to go with a gifted campaign, where you offer digital influencers products or services in return for coverage, or a paid campaign, where you offer the product or services as well as a rate in return for coverage.
With your goals and campaign type identified, you can begin the process of choosing the right digital influencer by considering the following factors.
Demographics and Engagement
Social media engagement very simply comes down to followers and their specific needs and wants, including how likely they are to interact and engage with a social media post. The more engaged the audience is, the stronger the relationship between the digital influencer and their followers is.
For brands, it comes down to recognising which influencers will have the most opportunity to interact and engage with your specific audience. This is why you need to consider the demographical data of your audience, as well as taking into consideration the social media platforms they use and the types of influencers they are following. Once you have a clear idea of your typical consumer, you can use that persona to determine the influencer that matches.
Similarly, you need to conduct thorough research into the digital influencer you are planning to use, looking at how closely the content they are publishing aligns with your brand and its values and ethos. Otherwise, choosing a niche influencer to push an unrelated product/service will be disastrous for your brand’s awareness and ability to convert consumers.
Using audience personas, build up an idea of the type of content they are likely to be interested in, and research which influencers within your niche space best engage with your audience, or who is positively trending within relevant social media circles.
Importantly, any digital influencer you choose must have authenticity and trust with your audience. For a brand, authenticity is needed to build brand loyalty and trust, which is the same for working with a digital influencer. To have an effective outcome, your digital influencer must promote the value of your brand and quality from a platform that aligns with their own values and character, so that audiences know to trust the recommendations.
Doing so will create meaning for your audience, and using a reputable and relatable influencer will create trust signals for your brand and offerings. Alongside that is ensuring that the content the digital influencer is creating similarly comes across as authentic and genuine, avoiding posts that come across as too promotional or tone-deaf. Listen and respond to your customer’s needs and wants through your digital influencer delivering relatable and meaningful content that reflects their personality and expertise.
It’s also important to consider your expectations for the campaign and collaboration, and its overall longevity. The influencer market is heavily saturated, with millions of different niches and influencers to choose from. To help narrow it down, weigh up your choices by thinking ahead, including whether you are likely to revisit the partnership and the type of audience you are aiming to connect with.
For example, if you decide on a digital influencer with a smaller, more dedicated following but with high expertise in your shared relevant field, you can look to create a causal collaboration. In return for your partnership, you can use their platform to build steady and relevant trust signals, establish brand loyalty, and attract potential customers.
In the same way, you can look to have ‘brand ambassadors’, where you send trusted digital influencers to events and opportunities on your behalf. The more networking events they are sent to on your behalf, the more likely that people will begin to associate them with your brand and trust your brand all the more.
Connect your Brand with the Right Agency
With iconic brands investing more of their marketing budget into influencer marketing (versus traditional advertising), it’s no wonder why working with influencers and bloggers is the go-to tactic.
If you’re looking to get started with influencer marketing or want to capture and bolster your organisation with a loyal community, get in touch with our social media specialists today!