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Influencer Marketing 101
September 6, 2019
By Sarah Chapin

 

Sometimes you need someone to explain it plain and simple… what is an influencer and what do they have to do with marketing?

Influencer marketing is a relatively new marketing strategy that feels more organic and less intrusive than traditional advertising. Most brands are using it to promote their brand image with the intention of boosting sales of their product/service and increasing brand credibility; so many so that 78% of brands implemented influencer marketing campaigns in 2017. This trend will only grow as 65% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer marketing budgets this year in 2019.

Influencer marketing takes place on social media platforms such as personal blogs, Instagram and YouTube.  Anyone that has an account on these networks can qualify to be an influencer by building their content, following, and own personal brand.

In most cases, a brand may contact a potential influencer through direct message or email after seeing their social page. Once a business concludes that the influencer’s content aligns with the product or service they are marketing, they will reach out to propose a partnership.

While a brand can reach out and offer a partnership to the influencer, the influencer must choose them back. It is important that the brand also aligns with the content and lifestyle of the influencer – after all, they are their own brand! If it doesn’t, the post may feel inauthentic and a user will instantly know they are looking at an ad, then most credibility and the success of the campaign can be lost.

Once an influencer agrees to promote the brand, a formal process takes place. There are work negotiations and compensation agreements. Then the product/service is sent to the influencer. The influencer creates the ad copy and content and then sends to the brand for approval before posting. After posting about the product, the influencer is compensated.  While this may seem straightforward and streamlined, it is a delicate dance to ensure everyone involved in the contract is happy and all needs are met.

So, next time you see a #ad or #sponsored, hopefully you won’t just scroll by, but appreciate the process involved with an influencer campaign.

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