Updated: Jun 22, 2019
What is influencer marketing?
With new forms of media, comes new ways for marketing. One of the most commonly heard marketing in social media currently is influencer marketing. You may have seen some of these influencers on Instagram or Facebook, you know the ones where you see couples travel all over the world and people follow them to see all the gorgeous places they have travelled to or a trend-setter that has a bunch of people following them because they like her fashion sense or design sensibilities. When social media users have gained a certain amount of followers they start becoming what is called a social media influencer.
Influencer marketing (also called influence marketing or social media influencer), is a form of marketing in which you market your products or servies through these social media influencers. Influencers have a certain vibe or a certain 'influence' on the followers that's constantly observing, admiring or may even be obsessing over the influencers lifestyle, what they promote online or what opinion they broadcast.
Types of influencers
1. The Celebrity - you probably know this type of influencer the best, they are the celebrities with huge following as they are in the media spotlight most of the times. Locally in Malaysia, they are social media influencers like Neelofa , Mira Filzah or any well known Hollywood celebrities globally which I'm sure you guys can name more than a few names :)
2. The 'Personal Brand' - This are social media users who have built a following over time, some of them can have quite a huge following that may even rival certain celebrities. Locally, they are like Vivy Yusof , or can also cover smaller micro-influencers (50K to 100K followers) like Yatie Kitchen and Khairul Aming
These 2 influencers are probably the most well known types that you know of in the social media sphere, but there are also other types like
3. The Analyst - They have specialized knowledge or an inside source within certain industries. Some examples are like Malaysia Finance and Economics Malaysia - the analyst works in EPF so you know he knows what he's talking about :)
4. The Journalist - They report on general news, they grow their influence by giving their opinions or is through delivering trusted content and or opinions. You can find the more popular influencers on Twitter. The best example is Paul Tan, delivering automotive related news since 2004.
5. The Industry Expert - They are experts in their industries and can cover people like CEO's , marketing experts etc. like Tony Fernandez from AirAsia is one of the more well known influencer.
Some influencers can fall under 2 or more types, like an influencer who is also an expert and has become a celebrity in their own right like Tony Fernandez.
So, should you or should you not do influencer marketing?
As with most things you should do your research beforehand and establish your goal before going into influencer marketing. Some of the main things you should consider before doing influencer marketing -
- The main main main question is, do the influencers followers meet your target audience, do they fit in with who you want to target, does their content matches with your industry or business? If the answer is no, perhaps you should try another profile. For example, if they are mostly updating posts on cooking and you are selling Muslimah fashion, perhaps it might not be a good fit and you should explore other influencers. You should also ask the influencers some reports and insights on who their followers are, this data is easily available on their social media insights, and they should at least be able to share some of this data with you so you can determine whether their followers are the right fit for your business.
- Do they have engaged followers? There's a lot of automation tools out there that can help inflate and artificially increase follower numbers of certain profiles. You should do your research and check in on their social media profiles especially the comment section to get an idea if they have mostly genuine followers or not genuine.
- What's your goal? Is it to increase sales, is it to increase your followers, is it to get them to visit your website etc.? This will give you a starting point how you can work with the influencer to help with your marketing, whether is it for getting more followers, to get more sales, to build awareness about your brand etc.
- It's not just about the followers numbers. One of the things you should not be too focused on is the follower count. The main consideration should always be the audience fit with your target segment and the influencers content should be the things you look out for. Some micro-influencers (followers between 50K to 100K) can sometimes give you better return and they might even cost a lot cheaper (some may even consider free products as payment for their services), allowing you to get more micro-influencers and do more with your limited budget. Influencers that have a huge following can be costly, we've heard some can costs from a few thousand to nearly reaching 5 digits.
From our experience and observation from seeing some of our clients influencer marketing, it can give you a great return, provided that you do your research and ensure that you are aware of what your goals are.
Hope this article gives you some ideas on influencer marketing and how you should manage your social media marketing.
If you are an entrepreneur or a company that needs help with your social media content creation, whether it's for your Instagram or social media page or writing articles for your website, please buzz the team at Heysocially , we create content for you so you can focus on building your business!
*Picture credit: https://www.instagram.com/raziorazi/