Influencer marketing is an effective way to reach and engage a target audience. Marketing is actioned through the social media accounts of ‘individuals’ or ‘influencers’ who convey messages and promote goods and services on behalf of brands. Influencer marketing is primarily used in the wellness, travel, fashion and beauty industries, although it can work well for other niches.

An influencer does not have to be famous in real life, although their social media follower count will be higher-than-average. What is important is that an influencer can engage with and influence the lifestyle choices and purchasing decisions of their social media followers.

Choosing an Influencer

Partnering with the right influencer is important for your overall brand strategy. You should consider:

  • The nature of the industry you are in
  • Your target market
  • Your brand values
  • The tone and style of your brand voice
  • Your marketing objectives

By ensuring that your choice of influencer aligns with your brand values and target demographic, the influencer’s posts will appear genuine to their audience. In turn, the audience are more likely to trust and remember your brand.

You can also work with both macro and micro influencers to achieve a variety of marketing objectives. There is no ‘one box ticks all’ approach.

The Difference Between Macro and Micro Influencers

Micro influencers are ‘everyday’ people sharing aspects of their life on their social media profiles. They can have anywhere from around 2,000 to 10,000 followers. A higher engagement rate with their audience in comparison to macro influencers helps to drive brand awareness and product purchases among a targeted demographic.

Abbylee Bonny is a great example of a micro influencer in New Zealand. Her account showcases her genuine love for conscious living, travel and nature. This makes her the perfect individual to showcase natural and eco-friendly lifestyle and beauty products to similarly focused women.  

On the other hand, macro influencers have tens of thousands to millions of followers. They are often household names in their communities which contributes to their high follower count. Therefore, macro influencers can increase a brand’s awareness at a higher rate than micro influencers.

Art Green is one prolific macro influencer, having won The Bachelor New Zealand in 2015. Having a passion for health and fitness, as well as a diverse base of followers across the country, he is able to promote food and beverage products to the wider public in an authentic manner.

Forming an Influencer Relationship

It’s important to ensure your expectations of an influencer are clear, and are agreed to in writing. You’ll want to consider everything from the brief, to the number of posts the influencer is to publish. Some brands like their influencers to adhere to a script, although this can diminish the authenticity of the influencer’s posts.  

If you want to track your return on investment, a great tip to track influencer-generated website visits and purchases is to give the influencer a unique discount code or URL with a trackable tag to share with their followers.

You should also note that advertising laws vary from country to country, and often include rules around when and how influencers should disclose gifts and paid endorsements. Influencers often hashtag or use particular keywords like #ad, #promoted, #collab or ‘brought to you by…’ to indicate that a commercial agreement between a brand and the influencer has taken place. The influencer’s audience can then differentiate between independent posts and collaborations with brands.

All in all, influencer marketing is an established and credible way to market a brand. It may take time to discover and use influencers that are the right fit for your brand and you may need to experiment with a mix of both micro and macro influencers. If you want your brand to stand out on social media, influencer marketing can be the key to its success.

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