Influencer campaigns – a complete guide for brands

Written by Louise Sansom

Influencer marketing – what does it mean? 

Influencer marketing is the method of collaborating with individuals who have a high social media following to promote or raise awareness of a brand, among a dedicated, wide-reaching, or targeted audience. 

Part of the social media bracket of marketing, this method has become hugely popular, valued for its effectiveness for getting brands straight to the heart of a chosen audience.

What exactly is an influencer? 

An influencer is someone on social media who has cultivated a large audience of followers. They might be a celebrity, famous in their own right, or they may have carefully built their following by working on their own personal brand and sharing insights into their area of expertise or their lifestyle.

They will likely have crafted a clear visual identity and way of speaking that has helped them to stand out and attract interest, and that their audience aligns with.

Social media influencers might have a huge following –  in the thousands, tens or hundreds of thousands, or even more, with an audience based all around the world. Or, they might have a smaller but more targeted, niche following. They may be very well-known and have specialist knowledge within their area of expertise – for instance; food, fashion, beauty, health, wellness, interiors… Or they may be someone with a varied range of interests – for example, a celebrity who may well talk about all of the above.

Why should you work with influencers? 

Collaborating with influencers as part of your overall marketing plan can be a great way to get the word out about your brand, getting your product straight into the minds and hands of an engaged audience.

This type of social media marketing can be highly effective and partnering with the right people means that influencers can help to foster deeper brand relationships.

It’s an authentic way to tell your brand story through the words and unique content of highly influential social media stars. If done correctly, it achieves long-term brand advocacy as well as boost in audience engagement.

What are the benefits of using influencer campaigns? 

The two key benefits of using influencer campaigns are:

  1. Raising brand awareness
  2. Increasing sales and revenue

But there are other benefits too. Because social media influencers are usually highly engaged with their following and are often consistent in the level of quality of their recommendations, they will have built up a strong sense of trust within their following.

A recommendation by an influencer to their following can gain a lot of attention, and as the audience sees they trust advocating for the product, this social proof can quickly encourage purchasing decisions.

As well as a sense of trust, the high levels of engagement between the influencer and their following can be a good way to reach new audiences, tap into a wider community, or target a specific demographic, ultimately building more of a brand community who are interested and engaged with your product.

Are there any drawbacks or watch outs? 

Part of the reason why influencer campaigns are so effective all comes down to the trust that has been built between the influencer and their following. This means that influencers, or content creators, might understandably be protective of their personal brand, and will have their own set of rules about how they will and won’t communicate.

Brands may need to allow for a certain level of autonomy and creativity from their chosen content marketing partner. It is highly important to choose the right partner before starting.

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