The pandemic pushed more eyes to phones than ever before, with those seeking guidance and entertainment turning to social media in their masses. This shift has undeniably changed the way we market, and resulted in an acceleration in the ways brands use influencer marketing to reach their target audience.  

Authenticity is key

Without the ability to shoot in a curated studio setting, work with make-up artists and hair stylists, and visit awe-inspiring locations, the pandemic made it necessary for influencers to shoot content in a microcosm from their very own homes. Intimate and authentic content were on trend like never before, and this even became the standard which influencers were held to by social media users, as critical eyes increasingly called out inauthentic, edited or ‘false’ content. 

The rise of unfiltered content from ‘everyday influencers’ triggered an ever-increasing appetite for an online world which is real, relatable and reliable. As influencers have ever-more sway over their followers’ shopping habits, influencing how and where shoppers spend their money, influencer marketing is often an effective addition to a brand’s social media strategy.  

In order to keep up with this developing landscape, brands need to consider their brand values, what it is that connects their brand to their audience on a human level, and as a result which influencers can authentically elevate their brand voice to achieve this. 

To harness this authenticity, influencers that brands work with must be targeted and considered. A great way to do this is for brands to conceptually condense their audience into the idea of a single person – What do they like? Who do they like? What do they engage with? Are they male, female, young, old? How much do they earn? Where do they live? Having a deep and multifaceted understanding of who is buying your product or service, and who you want to be buying it in the future, is essential to getting the most out of influencer marketing. 

Know what you want

Another important factor when working with influencers is to establish what you want to achieve from the partnership. Are you trying to increase traffic to your website? Boost your own social following? Create brand awareness? All this will need to be considered prior to the partnership so you can measure the success of working with them and evaluate the partnership effectively. Testing and learning is all part of the process!

Engagement is a key factor when assessing the profile of an influencer. Do not assume that more followers equates to a better quality influencer to work with. What use is it speaking to a large number of people if they don’t want to hear your message and will never buy into your product or service? Instead, look at comments, look at likes – how many people are reacting and responding to the content? It is this that will give you an idea on whether the partnership will be effective in converting these eyeballs into sales, follows, clicks to website etc. 

Build your relationships

Long term partnerships are also a great way to achieve authenticity. Work on building a relationship with your chosen influencer, ensure that they buy into your brand, they authentically like and use your product or service, and understand what your brand is trying to achieve. All of this will strengthen over time, and the more their followers see them working with the same brand again and again, the more they will recognise the authenticity of the endorsement.

If you want a consultancy about your influencer marketing strategy, feel free to get in touch