A note before starting: I don't give a sh** about Google's "rule" that one should write at 1,000 words to be found by their algorithm/SEO. I write short and to the point for YOU - my heroes - so that you can understand more about influence on social media. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now I’ve been writing about influence on social media everyday for the last few years. The topic is way beyond intriguing, fascinating, and mind blowing! It’s time for some conclusions about the most important benefits that brands can get from serious influencers.
In simple English, brands should work with Influencers for three reasons:
Here we go:
The word “influence” is right there in “influencer” and “influencer marketing” for a reason: it is what brands want most of all!
As a brand owner or marketer you want influencers to convince people that:
- your brand is awesome!
- your event/launch/news is relevant to them!
- your logo is great!
- your team is diverse and has 12 orange people!
- your intention is relevant/truthful/sincere!
- your product does what you claim!
- etc. — or shld I say “etc!”?
So, YES, influencers can help with those goals. However…
Influence vs Reach
Many brands seek influence and yet end up with audience (what we call “reach”), which is NOT the same. I’ve found out that most big influencer accounts don’t lead to big results in terms of influence. Mega influencers can bring brand awareness but – alas – many of them they don’t change people’s behavior toward the brands they were hired to influence about.
What influencers are good at is story-telling, and the ability to tell a good story for your brand and share it with the community they’ve built. They do this through hard work, every day and often through the night. Why? Because their followers come to their accounts to listen to what they have to say voluntarily — not because of intrusive ads that force them to do so!
One of the most amazing deliveries that you can expect from the influencers you hire is the content they provide. It can be beautiful! Why? Because influencers can create original, native, not sales-y, non superficial, content with great attention to detail, from a unique point of view, that is intriguing and super impactful — nothing less than that.
Such content gets attention, and attention is – as we all know – a scarce commodity.
Not many brands take advantage of the opportunity, maybe you should. Once the influencer shares the content they’ve created with you, you should repost, re-use it on:
Brands can reuse the content received from the hired influencers not only on their social media accounts and websites, but also in storefronts, catalogs, posters, conferences, TV ads, and what not. Now that’s great value for the investment on its own!
Admittedly, not all 98 million influencers have strengths in content creation, but many do. You can find them, and you can hire them (and when you do, make sure to have a brand-influencer contract so you can reserve the legal right to re-use the content):
It takes tons of time and sweat for influencers to build a community that they can lead/influence. It’s a hard journey, one that you can’t learn by reading a book (influencer marketing is so raw, so new!), and there aren’t enough gurus with the right experience that you can just duplicate their success.
The thing is – those influencers have done so much A/B testing, and tried so many methods in marketing, publishing, UX, human behavior, emotional triggering, and unbelievable creative out-of-the-box of CTAs (Call-to-Actions), that you’d be a fool not to take advantage of their experience.
Their knowledge of your target audience is priceless and… real. If you choose an influencer whose account is related to what you do, they’ll know what to do to help you reach your goals.
As a result, you’d be smart to treat influencers as consultants when you hire them: ask them to share experience, to advise, and to consult. You’ll be surprised — their advice can help to turn around your whole business.
To sum up, you can hire influencers for influence, content, and knowledge.
Some can contribute all three. Some only content, some only influence. Investigate seriously when you’re thinking of hiring influencers, so your investment will bring the results of your dreams. Nail it!
SMI* = Social Media Influencers