Increasing Your Brand Recognition with the Help of Bloggers and Influencers
Marina Korobova / 05.14.2018176
Are you a fan of YouTube pre-roll ads or would you rather skip them the second you see them? Not that we want to imply anything here but chances are that yet another celebrity-endorsed pair of sneakers doesn’t really get your day going.
Still, there are some people most of us don’t mind trusting even though they clearly have their own agenda - we are talking about influencers. Influencer is a person (usually a blogger) who runs his/her own channel, blog, or website dedicated to a certain topic and who has a sizable audience.
When an influencer is being used to promote (subtly or blatantly) a product, it is called influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is still fresh, but certainly powerful marketing tool. If your goal is to increase your brand awareness via social media, influencer marketing is right up your alley.
Influencer Marketing: How Does It Work?
A good ad is when the target audience don’t even realize they’re being advertised to. If you would like your audience to be truly interested in your product, you have got to abandon the old formats and switch to something that is relevant and hot now.
The key difference between a classic «Buy this!» ad and influencer marketing is that the latter suggests a more subtle, organic approach. The premise is still the same - «hey, I’m a popular guy and I suggest you buy product X». What’s different is the context and the way that message is being delivered - it is usually disguised as a piece of regular content produced by the influencer.
See how we have gone from a patronizing, at times imperative delivery to something that feels more like a helpful tip from a good friend of yours? That’s the way influencer marketing should be.
How Influential Are Influencers?
You might be thinking that influencer marketing is nothing but a nice bonus to a well-rounded marketing campaign, an icing on the cake.
However, there are cases when influencer marketing is not supplementary - it is a must. Here are these cases:
- Your product has just recently been introduced on the market and hasn’t earned the customer trust yet
This is where influencer marketing comes in - in order to break the «ice» between you and your target audience, you need help from someone who has already established himself/herself as a go-to guy and an expert in that particular field. This person will present your product like you could never do - break it all down to key features and advantages while maintaining the promotional appeal.
- Your product is rather multi-faceted and complex
If your product is a cool, sophisticated gadget, it might not be unwise to let another person - who is an expert in that sort of things - explain all of its benefits to the target audience to help them make their choice.
Besides this, influencer marketing has some other features that make it a really effective promotion tool:
- Bloggers = Modern Celebrities
No need to spring for an endorsement from a burn-out celebrity whose heyday had passed a long time ago. Modern celebrities are bloggers - if you can get a few million people to subscribe to your channel, you have got to be influential. The media have also noticed this trend and now you can see a lot of prominent bloggers guesting on various TV shows and programs. By entrusting an influencer with your product, you get all the authority and power this person has over his/her audience. That authority has to be reckoned with.
- Targeted Appeal
It’s not always easy to choose the right blogger for your particular product. The number of subscribers/followers isn’t everything - you should also pay attention to the channel that blogger is using to communicate with his/her audience. If you’re selling cosmetics, then you are going to need a beauty blogger. If you’re selling smartphones, then a YouTube blogger/reviewer would do nicely.
- Unique Delivery
Every successful blogger has got his/her own thing - something that makes them special. Obviously, if you’re selling vintage wristwatches, a tongue-tied teenage blogger with frenetic clip montage video reviews is not your best choice.
- Loyalty that You Can’t Buy for Money
Arguably, the greatest thing about influencers is that they are not perceived by their audience as advertisers. They are more like buddies - you can message them and get an actual reply. This allows for a very intimate relationship that is usually not possible between a seller and a buyer.
If you are still not yet convinced, here are some stats for you (courtesy of DigitalExaminer com):
Get this: according to medium.com, 70% of millennial consumers are more likely to listen to recommendations from their peers when buying something - and not those of some ad.
Online reviews have become number two most important factor that influences the consumer decisions (guess what’s on the number one spot - right, peer recommendations).
New Influencers: Where to Look for Them
How to find an influencer that is right for you and your business? First of all, you have got to be aware of all the different types of bloggers that are out there.
Here are the most common ones:
- Beauty bloggers - a great choice if you sell cosmetics or other beauty products
- Fashion bloggers - would fit nicely if your products are clothes, shoes, jewelry, and other fashion accessories
- Food bloggers - obviously, a natural match for restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, etc.
- Fitness and lifestyle bloggers - for companies that offer athletic apparel or equipment, dietary supplements, or simply gyms and fitness centers
- Travel and tourism bloggers - for travel agencies and bureaus.
- Vine bloggers - they specialize in short, often funny and humorous, videos. If you think your product is hip enough and could use some of that humor, you should definitely try vine bloggers.
- Mommy bloggers - their niche is baby food, clothes, accessories, etc.
Of course, there are more categories and types but these are the ones you are most likely to meet and use.
Please note: finding, contacting and then negotiating with a blogger is not as simple as it seems. You won’t get a second chance if you miss the first time so it has to be right all the way. That’s why it is not unreasonable to get some professionals to help you out and ensure the desired results.
Influencers: How to Pick the Right Format of Collaboration
After you have found the influencer that’s right for you, it’s time to figure out the format you two are going to be cooperating on the project. Influencers aren’t exactly marketers so don’t try to bug them with stats, data, and analytics. Give them some room for improvisation but never forget to check on the posts BEFORE they are posted to the social media.
A few things you might want to agree on before you start your collaboration:
- Post format
It could be photos with a narration or video reviews or a hilarious vine blog.
The choice boils down to this: it’s either standard advertising or native (organic) advertising. The latter is obviously more difficult but often more effective.
- Time of posting
When exactly (date, day, and time) and where your posts are going to go live
- Who is responsible for the text content
It could be either blogger him/herself or you, the marketer. In most cases, it’s wiser to assign the task of creating the content (texts included) solely to the influencer you’re working with so that you could make a consistent impression.
Is it money or your products? Will be there an advance payment? These things need to be agreed on before you proceed to the actual work.
Bloggers are modern celebrities. People trust them enough to go and buy whatever they mention in a positive light in their blog.
Popular bloggers can also be influencers, which means they can influence their subscribers’/followers’ opinion on some products or services.
We, marketers, can, should, and must utilize influencers and put their skills and influence to a better use - promoting our own products.
Working with an influencer is not a walk in the park and requires a lot of patience, knowledge, and experience to get it done right.
Find a professional web studio to handle your influencer marketing needs, and you won’t believe the great results they will deliver.