Imagine creating an Instagram account at the age of 13 years old, posting your first picture straight from the camera roll of your iPhone 4S, maybe with a standard black and white filter to make things a bit more artsy, not knowing that in the years to come your follower count will be well into 200k and brands are paying you £1,000 to post a picture holding and gushing about their latest product. Trying to explain your career to your grandparents must be painful.

It really is mind blowing how much social media has taken charge of both our personal and professional lives. If you’re not working as the influencer, you’re the one being influenced. It is the modern-day form of word-of-mouth marketing. As strange as it may be, followers trust these people and what they say, their opinions are valued – which makes them a perfect tool for businesses to use to connect further with their target audience. Simply figure out who is popular with your desired customers and get collaborating.

The upside

Influencer marketing is perfect if you want to reach a niche audience as many of these influencers have a specific focus on their socials. If you’re a company looking to advertise your new protein shake powder, you’ll want to seek out someone whose posts revolve around health and fitness, as the chances that their followers are going to be interested in your product are considerably higher than if you were to collaborate with someone whose focus online is makeup and beauty. It’s a simple yet effective strategy and can seem less ‘pushy’ than other paid advertising methods. Influencers know their audiences and what kind of content gets the best response, meaning the pressure of creating new content is taken away from your company. As well as being a time-efficient method of advertising, it’s easy to track the performance of campaigns by using hashtags to estimate the amount of positive and negative interactions/responses, including pinpointing the most active locations of your audience.

The downside

These people aren’t cheap. The more followers, the more you’ll have to pay for a post. Not to mention you may need to have an employee or company manage your influencer marketing. There’s research to be done, products to be sent out, terms and conditions to be prepared and content to be looked at and approved before it is posted. Like everything, there’s not always a guarantee that the campaign is going to work. Equally, some people may be sceptical and assume that the influencer is advertising for the financial benefit and isn’t a real fan of your product; it just might end up not being the right audience for your brand.

If you’re looking at different ways to use social media to promote your brand and advertise your products, influencer marketing is a route to consider, especially if you want to reach younger audiences. Just be mindful of those buying fake followers, or your #ad may not be as successful as you hoped.

For more information on creating your own social media strategy, get in contact with the KAT team on 01206 765544 or email contactus@katmarketing.co.uk.