Forbes Top Influencer global list covering 30 of the most powerful social media influencers across industries including fashion, parenting, and pet supplies has just been announced. One thing that really stands out about this list is it tells something about a newly developing influencer marketing trend. The top influencers don’t work exclusively with big and well-established brands. In most of the cases, as mentioned by Forbes staff writer Clare O’Connor, brand new companies are also working with these influencers and finding a lot of success in doing so.
However, Forbes Top Influencer global list and its findings aren’t surprising. Research from Bloglovin has already found that influencer campaigns helped 67% of surveyed marketing professionals reach targeted audiences and 41% of those professionals said they have seen more success in influencer campaigns than in more traditional advertising efforts. It’s clear that embracing this influencer marketing trend is quickly becoming a necessity for brands across a wide variety of industries.
Meaning Of Social Media Influencers:
Whether they are bloggers, YouTubers, or Instagram celebrities, social media influencers are experts in their respective fields. Most influencers find success and garner huge followings by creating content that they are deeply passionate about. In fact, the influencer community and influencer marketing industry seems to separate itself by bringing a level of authenticity that is otherwise lacking in a lot of advertising channels.
Influencers have loyal audiences who look to them for everything from fashion inspiration to travel reviews and even just a daily dose of cute pet pictures. Their audiences relate closely to them, trust them like a friend, and even sometimes aspire to lead a life like them.
Why Do You Need Social Media Influencers?
Remember that by nature, customers are skeptical. They’re always looking for resources and opinions to justify their purchase decisions. If an influencer they follow shares a product or brand, it sends the signal that the product is worthwhile and if executed well, and influencer relationship can make a huge impact on sales. After all, 90% of customers put their faith in peer recommendations and influencers are seen as peers by their audiences.
There are eight primary roles influencers can play to help brands reduce the time between product discovery and purchase.
1. The Megaphone: Spread the Word to Their Audience
2. The Reporter: Cover Your Event Like a Journalist
3. The Face: Be a Spokesperson for Your Brand
4. The Connector: Introduce Your Brand on a New Social Platform
5. The Creative: Produce Creative Content for Your Brand
6. The Designer: Help Create New Product/Services for Your Brand
7. The Neighbor: Spark and Facilitate Conversations in Your Brand’s Online Community
8. The Defender: Support Your Brand in Times of Crisis
As you can see, the impact of the newly developing influencer marketing trend is multi-pronged. It ensures product reach, product awareness, customer engagement, and reputation management. Note that 84% of consumers make purchases after reading about a product or service on a blog and influencers are most active on blogs, with 86% running blogs as part of their overall strategy.
Influencers can also be instrumental in increasing SEO value. According to Moz, some of the most prominent ways Google determines ranking in its algorithm is with domain and page-level links. When influencers with well-trusted and established sites link back to a brand they offer trust indicators to Google to help boost SEO.
Read on below for more about influencer marketing trend
Measuring an Influencers’ Influence:
A whopping 75% of marketers believe that identifying the right influencers is the most challenging step in moving as per the new influencer marketing trend. But, there are some simple metrics that can be used to rank influencers.
Review the type of content the influencer already shares and make sure that it aligns with your brand in a meaningful way. This is by far the most important factor for a number of reasons. Many successful influencers won’t work with brands that don’t align with their brand, even if they’re offered a big payout. But, if on the off chance you can get an influencer who doesn’t match up on board it doesn’t mean their audience will be. Influencer’s audiences can be extremely fickle and won’t buy into everything they sell and a misaligned relationship leaves a negative association for both the influencer and your brand.
B) Engagement /Reach:
Take a close look at an influencer’s profile. Measure the kind of real engagement their posts are generating and map the reach as well. Make sure their posts are reaching your desired audience. And the most important thing is to see how often and well they communicate with their followers.
Get a feel for how often influencers post and what kind of content they are promoting. The best criterion to judge content’s quality is to see influencers’ site ranking in search. A high-ranking for specific keywords indicates that their blogs have been deemed influential in that category by Google.
Using these metrics to evaluate your influencers helps keep everything in perspective.
Places To Find Right Influencers:
After deciding various criteria for influencer selection, the next phase is to connect with micro-influencers who can promote your business.
A) Find Micro-Influencers Among Your Fans:
It’s possible that your social media following already has micro-influencers who are interested in your business or brand. Using them for your brand’s promotion is profitable for two main reasons-
Finding micro-influencers can take a little bit of legwork but all you have to do is evaluate your current follower’s audience size. Reviewing followers who are highly engaged with your brand is a good place to start. Below is an example of the brand Grange.
Now, all you have to do is find people who have somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. In this example, one such follower is @boozehoundcc. The username is intriguing and relevant because it relates to alcohol, which is part of Grange’s business. His profile suggests that he is a bartender with more than 7,000 followers. You can also see that he regularly posts about food and drinks from different bars and restaurants. This is a sign that he might be interested in partnering with the restaurant and promoting its menu items.
B) Using Hashtags:
It’s quite possible that influencers may have never heard of your business. In this situation, hashtag research can help you identify influential users. You will have to use a very specific hashtag to meet the most relevant influencer. Google search will provide you with results from both Instagram and Twitter. You can conduct your research on either of these platforms, but Instagram is preferable because its results are simpler.
You will get a list of top photos using the hashtag #organicfood. Generally, these are the posts with most likes. Choose any one and see who has posted it. The idea is to find out if that user would make an ideal micro-influencer for your business.
Though it’s very powerful, social media isn’t the only way to find influencers. There are platforms like LittleBird that locate influencers based on topical authority, geography or other circumstances and give a chance to connect with them. Such databases are a great way to find influencers, and probably give you the broadest possible selection of online influencers. You just need to approach those influencers, once you have identified them.
It’s very important to note that research from Twitter shows that 49% of consumers seek a purchase guidance from social media influencers, and 20% said that a Tweet from an influencer inspired them to share their own product recommendation. Even more important for marketers, nearly 40% of Twitter users said they had made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer’s Tweet. Indeed, aforementioned ways of identifying right influencers are in alignment with the way modern world moves and modern shopper lives!