By: Giannina Santiago
Influencer marketing is an old concept with a new name; for many years, it was the core of marketing campaigns. The use of an influencer or celebrity has proven to be an impactful way to educate consumers about products and services, deflate brand’s negative reviews and increase sales. When using an influencer to present a branded or unbranded message, your campaign is expressed in a way that feels natural and approachable from consumer’s perspective.
But, what is influencer marketing? Simply put, it’s someone with a large following, who has established credibility in a specific industry and can persuade others by their authenticity and reach.
The evolution of technology and social media has transformed the traditional influencer marketing into a more sophisticated influencer. Yes, I am referring to the social media influencer. The increased media exposure and mass content has made consumers more savvy about brands pushing their agenda. Therefore, social media influencers have become a filter to build credibility and trust among the audience the marketers want to engage. They have established a relationships with their audience and have built a reputation as being a credible source of information online.
The Good Influence Survey 2017 (1,022 consumers surveyed) found that 57% of the consumers bought something recommended by a social media influencer and 56% consider the influencer as a relevant source for brand opinion and purchasing decisions.
Who is the ideal influencer for your strategy campaign?
Before you decide that you need influencer marketing, you should strategically define how and for what the influencer is going to be used. Marketers should have a defined and strategic influencer program, which will guide them to an influencer that fits the brand’s message and engages with the targeted audience in order to achieve the brand’s goals.
But, do you know who is your target? When you clearly know who you want to reach, you can deliberately assert the type of influencer and the ideal media that will connect better with your audience. Once you have the program designed, identifying the best candidate for the campaign becomes more organic. These elements together should be the best suited for your brand. Here are some of the categories for influencer marketing (these can change based on your brand’s goals):
You need to think in terms of a bilateral relationship. You also need commitment from your influencer, understand and be clear about both parties expect out of the partnership. Once the influencer is chosen, there are some Engagement models that need to be identified and considered that involve the relationship between marketer and influencer. These models help determine how and where the content can be shared:
- Community engagement: Follow and engage with their content
- Employee advocacy: Match and connect your internal SMEs, evangelists or advocates to influencers
- Invite influencer: To attend, host or participate in an event
- Create influencer generated content: Involve them in content creation or co- creation
- Invite them to your program: Agree a formal value exchange as part of a program
- Gifting / benefits: Offer free samples or access and/ or other benefits for reviews
- Financial compensation: Pay influencers to promote your products/services
Now it’s time to apply this expertise across all stages of campaign strategy development. Team up with marketing, communications, digital content and other areas that could help you with influencer relationship management, and engage with you target audience naturally thanks to your secret weapon: the Influencer.
In the next blog post, we will talk about the role of the influencer marketing in the healthcare and pharma industry. How different could it be? How challenging it could be in this regulatory industry?
Giannina Santiago, Marketing Coordinator of PharMaHealth Group in Weston, FL