Influencer marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword these days. This is not surprising as it has already produced great results for many brands and businesses who use it -- in many cases achieving effective returns of between $3 and $20 on the marketing dollar.
But does this mean that your business is ready for it? Can your business benefit from using this powerful marketing medium? As is so often the case, it depends. But before we jump into that, let’s quickly clarify a few things about influencer marketing:
It is not a get rich quick marketing scheme. It will produce results based on the investments of money, time, and effort that are put into the campaign.
It can get you great results if you find the right influencers to distribute your brand’s message and get the word out.
It can create rabid, even loyal, engagement for brands as well as trigger an influx of leads and prospects from targeted demographics.
You must have the necessary structure in place to ensure that you can properly interpret and handle the results when they start coming.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the crux of this article: is your business ready for the kind of results and exposure that influencer marketing can bring? Can you combine it with your current marketing strategies?
First, you should know that influencer marketing isn’t cheap. It can require considerable upfront investment; we’re talking four to six figures per campaign. Influencers aren’t cheap -- they understand the value of their audience. So, if you are asking them to “expose” their audience to your brand, you’d better be ready to pay a tidy sum for your new marketing channel.
Before you do that though, ensure that the following are in place:
An attractive and functional website. This should go without saying, but we'll go ahead and say it: the customers may not come just because you build it, but they have nowhere to go if you don't. Creating a healthy blog with high-value content can also add value to your visitors and connect a sense of thought leadership with your brand in the eyes of your audience.
An active social media account. While your influencer is bridging a gap between your business and its target market, your business is the entity that, in the end, you want your audience to interact with. You should also use your social media account to connect with and support the rest of your marketing endeavours.
A campaign to build a list of customer email addresses. In fact, we recommend that you create a separate campaign for this -- think of it as keeping a digital foot in the door. You can market to these people directly, as well as support and track the activities and engagement related to your influencer campaign.
The reality is most small businesses will benefit from exposure on that level, they need only find social influencers with decent followings in relevant demographics and engage with them. Of course, this will take time and effort. With this opportunity in mind, however, businesses like NeoReach have produced influencer marketing platforms that can simplify the process of connecting with the right influencers and running campaigns through them. So if the necessary marketing spend isn't a barrier, these methods and channels are ready to support businesses in most any industry, and will only continue to be more powerful over time.
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