Social media celebrities are helping brands connect with consumers. But successful influencer marketing can be hard to achieve for all partners.
Three years ago no-one had heard of Joe Wicks. That was until the personal trainer set up an account on Instagram and started sharing videos of healthy recipes. Now he has 1.1 million instagram followers and a best selling book. Fitness First has partnered with him on a successful brand campaign. Using social media celebrities to help brands connect with consumers is influencer marketing and it’s creating great ROI when done properly. Research by Sony found that people are much more likely to make a purchase when it is based on a recommendation by a social peer than not. But influencers are independent and not necessarily brand advocates. So it can be hard to achieve successful partnerships with them. Influencers have high social media profiles but aren’t necessarily fans of the brand and may be motivated by other factors.
Picking the right influencer is key. Some social media celebrities may have a million or more followers but engagement might be disappointing. Many micro-influencers have much higher engagement and reach a more appropriate, ready-made audience for your brand. Remember too, says CIPR, that influencers are humans and have a hinterland that might not be positive for the brand. So whilst selection and management of the influencer is important, they still need to be seen as independent. So they will want to retain their own tone of voice and style that their followers love. So scripts and pre-packaged brand messages will be counter-productive. Relinquishing control is the key to a successful influencer marketing partnership.
Taken from Influence magazine, Q3 2016, CIPR