Social Influencers :The Kitchen to Table Product Endorsers
We're accustomed to celebrity endorsements. No matter how old you are, Hollywood stars have told you what to buy, what to wear and where to go. Few of us are old enough to remember Babe Ruth's early endorsement career, but as early as 1922 fans were treated to promotional "Babe Ruth Home Run Baseball" ice cream postcards.
Today's celebrity influencers are drawn from sports, entertainment and celebrity for celebrity's sake (a domain dominated, inexplicably, by heiress and style icon Paris Hilton). Celebrities are paid big money to endorse products and be seen in everything from sunglasses to designer gowns, and consumers know it.
Recently, however, celebrities have been losing ground to usurpers from a surprising arena: real life. It's not a new concept — word of mouth is a tried-and-true concept. Consumers have always turned to friends and family for opinions they trust. Social media amplifies personal endorsements from the kitchen table to the entire world.
What defines influencers?
Popular influencers might be anyone in any country from any walk of life. They might be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, personal blogs or any other social media channel that connects people and builds audience.
The most defining characteristic of effective influencers is not number of followers — it's quality of engagement. Unlike most celebrities, influencers respond to questions, give detailed opinions and participate in conversations. They create valuable content: personal stories about the products they use, photos, reviews and videos. Their readers respond and share, and good influencers keep the conversation going.
The Appeal Of Real
While we like to pretend celebrities are just like us, we know they aren't. Kim Kardashian rented a private island for Kanye's 40thbirthday. The vast majority of consumers would most likely blow their budgets on the sandals Kim wore to the beach.
Influencers are often the polar opposite of celebrities. They are overwrought parents sharing everyday trials and triumphs. They are millennial outdoor adventurers sharing stories of kayaking and mountain biking. They are teenage fashionistas setting trends with bold style choices. They are real, accessible and credible.
Five Tips For Working With Influencers
Interested in starting your own influencer campaign? It might be easier than you think. Start by making a list of influencers who regularly post about interests in your industry. Start with your own followers, people who post using industry-related hashtags, and search keywords.
1. Decide how you will compensate influencers. Options include a fee per post, free goods for influencers or for influencers plus giveaway products for their readers, or an affiliate link or promo code program.
2. Micro-influencers are worth consideration. While some influencers with huge audiences are highly paid per post, many with smaller audiences will post in exchange for goods. Micro-influencers have audiences of up to 30,000, and their engagement rates are higher.
3. Targeting is key. Choose influencers based on the reputation and audience they already have. Don't hire a food blogger to represent a makeup line. Her followers tune in to find out about food.
4. Choose influencers who post regularly and interact in a meaningful way with followers. Do followers repost, tag friends and ask questions about the products?
5. Don't be afraid to follow the law. When they are compensated by a brand, influencers must disclose the relationship.
How effective are influencer campaigns?
A June 2017 Instagram influencers analysis study by NewsWhipshowed that influencer posts generated thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands, more engagements than the brand's own posts. Comparable gaps existed for small and large brands.
Deloitte reports that shoppers who consult social media when making buying decisions are 29% more likely to make a purchase the same day and 4x more likely to spend more or significantly more on purchases.
Influencer marketing is a growing trend and it works. Followers find inspiration from people who are much like them. Ordinary, personable people who they can imagine as a neighbor or a friend. People with scars and tattoos and stretch marks who offer honest, unfiltered opinions.
Original article: www.Forbes.com
Written by: Zain Dhanani