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Leveraging Digital Marketing and Influencer Marketing

Discover how to leverage digital marketing and influencer marketing.

Digital marketing, especially in the form of highly engaged social media communication with consumers, is an increasingly powerful two-way channel with your potential customers. It allows you, as we saw in the previous step, to create a brand that communicates its values and mission in an honest and transparent way.

Influencer marketing, which is a relatively new approach to marketing, is a powerful strategy that leverages the audiences and reputation of influential personalities in the social media realm. Within the wellness industry, there are a host of leading personalities. Some of these leaders share their expertise and others simply share their own wellness experiences. Many have garnered considerable influence over their audiences and can therefore impact purchasing decisions.

Using influencer marketing as part of your strategy usually takes the form of paying an ‘influencer’ in your associated industry sector to mention or endorse your product or service. They might do this in line with their own messaging or as guided by you and your brand objectives, and it might be an overt promotion, or a more subtle promotion (i.e. integrating the use of your product or service into their everyday life).

According to Mediakix [1], who surveyed digital marketers at the end of 2018, influencer marketing delivers an ROI eleven times higher than that of paid media (like AdWords), so it is definitely worthwhile considering as part of a broader strategy.

In brief, when planning an influencer marketing strategy, you need to be deliberate and clear on your objectives, with the following to consider:

  • Choose the right influencers: Who you work with depends mainly on the alignment between your brand values and those of the influencer. Ensure that the influencers you choose to work with are the types of people you want your customers to associate with your product or service. For example, an influencer who promotes body confidence and values positivity and an anti-diet mentality could be a good fit for a product or service-based business that celebrates these values. You might also consider that a return is not always directly correlated to the number of followers that an influencer has. The ‘micro-influencer’ has garnered substantial attention in recent years and refers to an individual who may have fewer followers (say, less than 5000) but has an extremely engaged audience.
  • Decide what to pay them: Your budget will influence the type of influencers you’re able to work with. Compensation does vary quite dramatically so looking at common rates and doing some research (asking other brands in forums or in business networking communities) is critical. Some influencers work with agents which means their fees will include commissions. Having an agency support you with strategy might be a good approach early on.
  • Set clear objectives and messaging: Your goals are primarily going to be to elevate brand awareness and increase sales, but this should be underpinned by a clear understanding of your target audience and how you can best reach them. Are you wanting to tap into a new audience, expand your existing audience, or shift the perception of your brand? Messaging will be a collaborative effort between your brand, and the influencer you work with. It should feel genuine and authentic to the influencer, but help you to achieve your objectives, too.
  • Contacting influencers: Legitimise your ideal influencers by researching their engagement numbers and looking at their previous brand partnerships. Consider whether they’ve worked with similar brands to yours and analyse the posts/content that were created. To connect, message them directly on the platform of choice. Or, look for a point of contact on the social media profile itself, or an associated website. Try a multi-pronged approach to speed up the process.
  • Review and refine: As with any marketing strategy, it’s critical to review the plan, establish a clear ROI and think about how and why the outcomes met (or didn’t meet) your objectives. Start small with one to two partnerships and build up from their approach, bearing in mind that not all campaigns are a success. It’s a learning game and you’ll become more proficient at it over time.

What do you think?

What makes an authentic partnership between a brand and an influential person, that could genuinely influence the decision-making of consumers? You might think about this in the context of your own experience.

References

[1] Mediakix (2018) Influencer Marketing Effectiveness: Key Survey Finds, Facts & Figures [Infographic]. Available at: https://mediakix.com/blog/influencer-marketing-effectiveness/ (Accessed 1 February 2021).

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