Many brand managers are shying away from the concept of influencer marketing. They’ve read so much negative press about YouTube celebrities positioning themselves as influencers when they have no real power over a brand’s performance in the marketplace. They’ve given the whole idea of influencers an undeserved black eye.
But when influencer marketing is conducted by a skilled and socially connected digital marketing agency, using the right influencers for a specific brand and their products and services can have a definite impact on driving traffic and increasing conversion rates.
Extremes of Influencers
Influencers generally fall somewhere between two extremes. At one end of the influencer spectrum, you have people who are celebrities or who have developed a social media presence. These influencers are well-known across many demographics, and some of them are so well-known that they have become household names. But their popularity isn’t necessarily based on a specific skill or talent, although it can be. They’ve become popular because of their attractiveness, likability and their talent at selling products.
At the other end of the spectrum, are bona fide experts in specialised fields that command respect and admiration of their peers and the general public because of the depth of their knowledge and their accomplishments. These influencers are also known as Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs.
In the middle of the spectrum, you have people like professional athletes who are accomplished and admired but don’t necessarily qualify as ‘expert’ influencers.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Influencer for Your Brand
Lifestyle brands like soft drink manufacturers, clothing and shoe brands, and leisure equipment manufacturers have the greatest latitude in choosing a representative for their influencer marketing campaign. No one has to be an expert in soft drinks to be effective in reaching a soft drink manufacturer’s target audience because the audience is so wide. They just have to appeal to the audience’s lifestyle.
In an effective influencer marketing campaign, the agency can use them across all social media, website banner ads, and videos to tout the brand’s variety of soft drink flavours. They know that as long as the influencer doesn’t have a skeleton in their closet that would tarnish the brand name if it became known, the well-conceived and written campaign they launch is likely to increase the brand’s revenues.
The need to vet the influencer’s past is something that should be part of every hiring process. It’s the agency’s responsibility to ensure they only recommend influencers appropriate for the brand.
Hiring a Qualified KOL
For brands that don’t produce lifestyle products, it’s much more important to match the influencer to the product, service or corporate message of the brand. This is where hiring an expert KOL will cause the target audience of the brand to sit up and take notice.
These influencer marketing campaigns can be just as effective because the target markets are smaller and can be more knowledgeable about the products as well. The KOLs past accomplishments and reputation in their fields become the catalyst that drives the success of the marketing campaign.