By Ishan Jindal
In this new social paradigm, TV commercials and billboards are increasingly becoming obsolete marketing strategies. The 21st century way of marketing is influencer marketing and it is here to stay. Owing to an ever-increasing content consumption and growing popularity of social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, the influencer marketing industry is moving on an exponential growth trajectory. The influencer marketing industry is projected to surpass $16.4 billion in 2022.
At a time like this, influencers can be a brand’s greatest asset if picked wisely and used skilfully. Influencers are socially savvy individuals who can create brand awareness on a massive scale and influence the purchase decision of consumers. Unlike conventional marketing strategies, influencer marketing is cost-effective and offers entertaining ways to deliver brand message and captivate the audience. Despite a myriad of benefits, influencer marketing can be a vain attempt if not done with the right influencers. Which raises the question of how to find the right social media influencers?
Identify brand nicheto shortlist influencers
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to influencer marketing campaigns. Marketers need to identify brand specialisation and objectives to create the right pool of influencers. A brand niche is a specialised or target area that the brand serves in a broad market such as beauty, fitness, fashion and food. By identifying the brand niche and goals, marketers can shortlist influencers working in that niche and towards those goals. For instance, a brand in the beauty niche working towards sustainability should shortlist influencers in the same niche who align with sustainability.
Establish criteria to vet influencers
While brand niche and goals aid in shortlisting influencers, it is pivotal to assess the influencers based on their niche, type of content and audience support. A misalignment between the brand and influencers can prove to be a costly mistake. Brands must pick influencers based on specific criteria such as the kind and genre of content they create, the engagement rates of the influencers, their following etc. Additionally, it is important to check their engagement with the audience to ensure they can influence the audience’s purchase decision. Influencer metrics will help brands shortlist influencers that add value to their campaign.
Explore relevant hashtags
Social media can seem like a daunting and ever-expanding pool of influencers and creators when it comes to creaming off the best of them.Before diving right into the influencer pool, marketers should conduct extensive research on the hashtags and keywords relevant to their brand niche and objectives. A hashtag or keyword search on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can help marketers identify which influencers are using them and if their profiles match the selection criteria. Accordingly, marketers can evaluate their profile data with the pre-established criteria to shortlist the influencers.
Try an influencer marketing platform
But if all this grunt work seems laborious and time-consuming for brand owners who don’t have dedicated marketing teams, they can always try an influencer marketing platform. Several influencer platforms like Wobb, Upfluence, Creator.co, CreatorIQ have emerged in recent years that bridge the gap between brands and influencers and add value to the brand campaigns. Brand owners can post their campaign requirements on the platform, shortlist and hire influencers from a large pool of applicants and track the real-time progress and performance of the brand campaign. Such tech-enabled platforms have access to a wealth of data, advanced technologies and resources that simplify the influencer marketing journey and take the burden off of brands.
Finding the right social media influencers can be the most challenging aspect of a brand campaign. But with the right resources at their disposal, brand owners and marketers can make the right selection of influencers and unlock their true potential by reaching out to a large audience. Instead of trying one set of influencers after another, brands should try to nurture long-lasting relationships with their influencers.
The author is the founder of Wobb. Views expressed are personal.