Christian Brown is the 30 Under 30 cofounder & CMO of Glewee, an all-in-one platform to execute influencer marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing generates a three-way engagement between the brand, the influencer and the influencer’s followers. Brand manager success is becoming increasingly dependent on influencer marketing, and while there is still a place for the one-way communication that advertisements deliver (for example, quickly alerting consumers to a new feature or a sale), consumers also want to be part of the “conversation” with brands today.
Why? According to Statista, the percentage of the U.S. population who use social media has risen to more than 80% in 2022. While other factors have influenced consumers’ interest in being part of the conversation with the brand, I posit that this single statistic can largely explain the changing consumer communication dynamic.
The challenge for consumers is that there is just too much information and too many platforms for them to engage with regularly. Enter the influencer: Many influencers curate brand content and explore it on behalf of their followers. This process not only simplifies the product- and service-exploration process for the consumer, but the trust involved also allows the influencer to introduce new products that are likely to be of interest to the follower.
How do influencers know that their followers will be attracted to a particular product? Because influencers know their followers very well! In fact, they catch up with them every day.
The great news for brand marketers is that influencers generate a whole host of insights about their followers, which makes it easier for brands to find and partner with influencers whose followers align with the brand’s target audiences.
Utilizing Social Media Audience Insights
Every social media platform generates a wide variety of data points for each page on the platform. Typically, page insights are only available to the page owner and include data points such as follower counts, reach, engagement, growth, sentiment and demographic information, which help measure the page’s performance. From identifying the most engaging content formats to understanding the peak times when followers are active, audience insights empower businesses to make data-driven decisions and optimize the performance of their social content on each platform.
How Audience Insights Can Make Campaigns More Effective
Influencers are successful because they know their audience’s likes, dislikes, interests and how they are likely to respond to different content at different times of the day. This constant data feedback loop informs the types of content that influencers create specifically for each set of followers. The ability to partner with influencers whose followers match your brand’s target audience and fit your brand’s voice is a formula for success.
I have witnessed a number of benefits that can come from aligning brand and influencer data points. Marketers have:
• Generated higher engagement and conversion rates.
• Segmented messages more effectively.
• Designed tailored experiences for a particular demographic.
• Reinforced their brand’s unique voice.
• Addressed specific demographic pain points.
• Co-created content that resonates.
• Provided seamless integration opportunities between the brand and the influencer.
• Created authentic connections and built lasting relationships with consumers.
• Ensured brand messages are reaching their target audience.
Finding The Right Influencers And Asking For Follower Data
Typically, one of the most time-consuming parts of working with influencers is finding the ones that 1) are brand-appropriate and 2) reach the target audiences that are key to a campaign’s success. There are several ways you can research the vast array of potential influencers to find the most appropriate ones, and accessing follower data is an important part of the process.
• Search social media platforms. Businesses can search social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter to find influencers who are relevant to their brand. Hashtags, keywords and mentions will often lead to influencers who are already talking about the brand or industry.
• Get recommendations. It is often productive to ask for recommendations from customers and employees, especially if employees are similar to the target audience definition.
• Work with influencer agents. Many influencers, particularly those with larger followings, may be represented by agents, much as actors are. If you think about it, actors and influencers both offer their personas and their ability to reach large audiences, so being represented by an agent makes perfect sense.
• Use influencer marketing management tools. There are several influencer discovery tools available that can help businesses find influencers based on their niche, audience size and so forth. Some popular influencer discovery tools include BuzzSumo, Hootsuite and Upfluence.
Once appropriate influencers have been sourced for a campaign, the next step is reaching out to them to get more information. Start by explaining your campaign’s strategies, tactics and messages to each of them, as well as the role you’d like them to play. Then, it is perfectly appropriate to ask them to provide information about their follower statistics.
Influencer Data: Going Beyond Audience Alignment
The nuances of customer purchasing decisions are based on many factors, some of which are not always obvious. For example, think of your engagement behavior when you are at work or scrolling social media before bedtime. When hanging out with one of your favorite influencers before bed, you might be much more likely to buy a recommended product impulsively than you would during the day at the office.
With only seconds to capture prospective customers’ attention online, knowing what they want to see is critical. An influencer’s data can help brands maximize campaign ROI, and knowing the age, location, gender and interests of an influencer’s followers provides marketers with a competitive edge in pinpointing the potential of a creator.
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