Influencer marketing is the current cool kid on the block. Brands are clamoring to leverage its popularity with their consumers in order to reach and inspire them to purchase. And it is working. The reason why? Authenticity. Authenticity is the crux of influencer marketing and must be the central theme running throughout all influencer marketing strategies.

Depending on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), the most valuable type of influencers may vary from brand to brand. But we can all agree that truly valuable influencers will prove their validity in your media plan by influencing purchase decisions. With this and the foundational cornerstone of authenticity, brand managers need to ask themselves a few questions to ensure they are matching their products with the most valuable type of influencers for their brand and consumers.

· Who is your target audience?
· What are you consumers expecting? What is relevant for them?
· What are your KPIs? Content? Reach? Sales?
· What kind of impact are you trying to make? Aspirational or trustworthy?
· How do you want an influencer to share your brand story with their followers?
· How much control of your brand are you willing to give up to the influencer?
· What is your budget?

The answers to these questions will guide you to find the type of influencer that will work the best for your brand and consumers. Influencers are broken up into four different types: celebrity, category or online personalities, micro, and everyday influencers.

Celebrity influencers are just that, celebrities and sports figures who are aspirational with highly stylized content and have an enormous reach. Celebrity influencers are paid, and paid well, to post about products.

Category, or online personality, influencers are experts in their field, whether it be beauty, fashion, food or gaming. Their content is stylized, informative, and depending on the person have a strong reach. Oftentimes these influencers are paid, but many care about their personal brand as much as being paid, and will only work with brands they support.

Micro-influencers are category experts with smaller followings, less than 100,000, are relatable and have a built in targeted audience. These influencers are similar to category influencers with stylized content and a robust reach. They are also paid or given a product for free but do care about their brand leading them to only work with brands they would use without an incentive.

Everyday influencers are everyday consumers, friends, and people within your consumer’s social networks. These everyday people only care to post about products they actually believe in or find worthwhile. Therefore, the content created is the most organic and authentic. When engaged through a managed community the reach with everyday influencer can be very strong.

Celebrity and online personalities are the most aspirational influencers but the least authentic. Micro-influencers are more trustworthy but the everyday influencer is the most authentic of all because people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising.

Influencer marketing has had explosive growth this past year and is steadily growing. Besides growing, it is also evolving. Therefore you may work with an influencer today that might not be the best one to work with tomorrow. Continue to go back to the root of influencer marketing, authenticity. Keep this at the center of your marketing strategy and you will ensure authentic content that drives purchases.


By Rebecca Hall, global marketing manager at BzzAgent

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