Whether we want to or not most of us will have come face to face, or face to phone, with a piece of influencer marketing today. If you’re an avid social media user you’ll have become accustomed to picking out sponsored content, but if you’re not so influencer savvy you might need some guidance on what exactly influencer marketing is and how to spot it.
Influencer marketing takes the age-old celebrity endorsement and brings it into the 21st century. Influencers aren’t limited to simply the rich and the famous, they can be anyone, anywhere who has an established following. In simple terms, it’s getting an advocate to shout about your brand rather than doing so yourself. In a content driven world, brands will approach influencers and ask them to collaborate on promoting anything from a campaign, competition or product. This collaboration will include a variety of content on one or all of the influencer’s social media channels.

How can you make sure your influencers audience is right for your brand?

After 65% of marketers increased their influencer marketing budget in 2019, this year it will be almost unheard of for brands not to be dedicating a portion of their budget to this form of marketing. Choosing an influencer with a relevant audience to the product you’re selling is essential; Greggs wouldn’t choose a health and fitness influencer to promote their newest menu item. Just Eat, recently collaborated with Amber Gill and Ovie Soko from 2019’s Love Island, which makes sense and is likely due to their huge millennial and gen z following. One of the reasons influencer marketing works so well is because of the trust influencers have built with their followers. As influencer marketing has become more sophisticated, it’s no longer just a large following that matters. Brands have become aware of social media users buying followers and influencers are now often required to provide their engagement stats to prove their audience is interested in their content and is genuine.

How do you know if you should be paying influencers or not?

Before the influencer market became so saturated and every brand was willing to throw budget at it, influencers would often post content in return for freebies such as clothes or trips. But as more and more influencers opt to do this full time, many will be due payment for their work on top of products and experiences. It’s therefore important to be realistic and understand that top tier influencers with millions of followers are unlikely to promote your brand for free – unless you’re offering them an all expenses trip to the Maldives for two weeks, which we doubt anyone would turn down! If you don’t have thousands to spend on a single sponsored post, micro influencers with between 3,000 and 50,000 followers can be a great option. Their audiences can often be just as engaged, if not more than those with a few hundred thousand followers meaning your reach will likely be just as high for a fraction of the price.

How can you ensure you’re following best practice?

Whilst influencer marketing isn’t new, there are more and more rules to be aware of. The regulatory body ASA regularly updates its guidelines and closely monitors social channels to ensure the regulations are being adhered to. In recent years, posts by Louise Thompson, Millie Macintosh and Marnie Simpson have been banned by the ASA for failing to disclose that they were sponsored by using #ad. Ensuring the influencer you’re working with follows best practice is just as much your responsibility as theirs, this will help to avoid the post being forcibly removed or gaining unwanted attention.

Do I need an influencer marketing strategy?

Like every aspect of marketing, a strategy will keep your goals in sight and ensure you don’t spend unnecessary budget. Research is key to establishing which tier of influencers you want to work with, decide who your audience is and map out what you want the sponsored content to achieve. Not all campaigns will be successful, therefore tracking the success through influencers stats will help you assess the ROI and make suitable changes moving forward in other campaigns.
Influencer marketing has changed the way we work and has developed quickly over the last few years and will likely continue to do so. It’s not too late to start and there’s plenty of different options dependent on your budget. At Prohibition we’ve worked with many brands to deliver successful influencer marketing campaigns. Get in touch to find out how we could help you.

About Sinead Morrissey