Influencer marketing is a recent development in social media, where users that have large follower bases can be leveraged by companies to promote their product or service. This is a new form of online marketing that has exploded in parallel to the growth of social media.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
For example, if you’re a fitness orientated person, that produces health content for a large following, companies may approach you to promote health and wellbeing goods. Similarly, this individual could also choose to promote their own products, such as personal apparel or health supplements.
How to Get Started as an Influencer Marketer
If you’d like to become an influencer, and grow a social media following, then it’s important to set some goals and understand your path to getting there. Here’s some core tips that’ll help get you running.
Picking a Niche
Picking a Niche in the social media spaces is one of the most important decisions of your influencer marketing career. Your focus should be on something you either enjoy, something you’re really good at, or your looking to improve. It could even be a combination of the three. It’s important to pick your Niche and stick to it, as you’ll grow your community from there and become an authority.
Building a community
Once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s now time to build your community. Having a core following, and growing that, will take you towards becoming an effective influencer. To grow your community, it will depend on which platform you select to build your audience.
Picture and post sharing social media sites like Twitter or Instagram, will commonly have influencers posting about their daily lives, asking their community questions, and sharing photos relating to their content or real-life development.
If your niche was fitness, you could be posting polls asking people what’s their favorite supplement, or you could post progress photos of your fitness goals and share that to your audience. Consistency is key, and experimenting with different posts will show you which engage your audience the best!
Networking with others
Surrounding yourself in your community, you will find other aspiring content creators and influencers that share the same passion as you. One of the best ways to grow, is to get yourself out there with other influencers in your niche. Exchanging ideas, growing your brands together, and providing value to one another is a great way to not only grow but build contacts and friendships for the future.
If you’re looking to find connections, check out other influencers with a similar user size, or if you know you could provide value to a larger creator, reach out to them and explain how you could both work together to benefit!
Understanding each platform
Every platform is different, and you should be consistently researching how your Niche fits into each platform. For example, progress photos and posts do really well on Twitter and Instagram, however they don’t have a place on Tiktok. Instead creating videos about tips for fitness, or progress videos would be great content on Tiktok and would resonate with the people on that platform much better. Make sure to check out your Niche on each individual platform to see how other creators are leveraging the userbase for their growth!
What You Shouldn’t Do as an Influencer
Making dishonest connections
Although networking is a great tool, networking for the sake of purely growing your following can be seen as self-centered and selfish. It will deter other creators away from you, and you wont make meaningful connections in your niche. When approaching other creators, it’s important to think about value you bring to them, as well as yourself, so that you’ll both benefit from working together. This will ultimately build positive rapport with that creator, and you’ll likely find more connections!
An an influencer, your brand image and brand identity is everything. Being honest with your fanbase is crucial, and standing for what you believe is in ultimately what builds trust with your followers. There are a few different ways you could trip yourself up and damage your brand, let’s take a look at a few.
If you’re approached by a company to promote a good or service, you have to get into the mindset of promoting goods that you’re willing to put your brand behind. Many creators take a short-term gain when promoting a product, and if that product is demonstrated to be misleading or otherwise, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Ask the company questions about the product, make sure to research before locking down an opportunity, as it could hurt you in the long run.
Only looking at your follower count. It’s true that engagement metrics, and follower counts numerically show how your profile is doing. However influencer marketing is about providing value to your followers, to keep them around for the long-haul. This cannot be done by simply looking at your users as a number, and you have to treat them like people. Answering their questions, providing value, and making them feel a part of your community goes a tremendously long way to building a content following.