Why mid-market companies may want to tap influencers to grow their following and social presence.
There was a time when brands would garner attention of an audience by having celebrities wear, eat or drink their products or mention the use of a product during an interview. Today, the need to have someone in Hollywood tout a product to increase sales is not necessarily the best way to convince an audience they should buy what you are selling.
More and more, people are influenced by their own peers, people who they feel a kinship to or people they feel have an expertise in something. Whether it be fitness, fashion, food, pets, parenting, tech, or beauty, audiences are looking for guidance, advice or just to be entertained. Thanks to the increase in mobile devices, everyday people are sharing their lives with influencers they respect. These influencers are not only gaining traction through their social media posts on Instagram and Twitter, but they are leading the way in Original Digital Video (ODV) programming on YouTube.
Most influencers started out by simply giving advice and sharing thoughts on what they found interesting or helpful, then a new avenue of advertising sprouted. Popular influencers with tens of thousands of followers realized they had a loyal audience that could be marketed to. There became an opportunity for brands to have them honestly review their wares and speak directly to relevant consumers on their behalf.
For mid-market regional companies, influencer marketing is something to seriously consider. Influencers offer a highly targeted audience and the better ones will not only show a product, they will use it and share the experience with their followers, often doing several segments on the product. It makes the product endorsements real. These specialized “gurus” give a full overview of things they use, much like an infomercial but one that audiences choose to watch.
There are influencers at every level. National influencers with millions of followers, regional influencers with tens of thousands of followers and local influencers with thousands of followers. Most will charge a fee to speak about a product. But be aware, these influencers are more loyal to their audience than their sponsors and the smartest ones only review products they truly believe in. Lying to their audience will surely make their printing press dry up. Once their audience doesn’t trust them they will lose followers, clout and eventually their income.
If interested, the best thing a regional company can do is contact an influencer talent agency or reach out to them directly. Some have agents, while others represent themselves. Look for local or regional talent. Follow them for a time to determine if they are the right face for your product. If you believe they are then contact them and begin to negotiate but make sure not to over pay. You might consider a one-time deal verses a multi promotional deal based on the results of their first endorsement. This gives them more incentive to really kick it out for you.