Image of computer and phone belonging to a bloggerSocial media influencers are individuals who have large and engaged online followings. You’ll find them blogging, Youtubeing, and Instagramming about products and brands, and in some cases making a living doing it.

As social media has grown, so has the ways marketers utilise them as a way to reach their target market. It’s not just big brands doing this, small businesses are getting in on the action too.

Why does it work?

According to a 2015 Tomoson study, around 70% of marketers are earning $2 or more from $1 in influencer spend. The same study found influencer marketing to be the fastest growing online customer-acquisition channel.

There’s a few reasons why it works so well:

  • Influencers are active: Successful influencers often have an active online presence. They are posting and blogging consistently and frequently which means they can keep and grow there followings while promoting your product.
  • Influencers are engaging: Social media gives your target market a chance to engage with influencers and vice versa. This kind of communication with ambassadors and target markets rarely happens through other forms of marketing.
  • Influencers are authentic: Influencers are often genuinely interested and passionate about the products they promote, this can be communicated more clearly through social media over other forms of advertising and PR.

Finding the right influencer on the right channel is the key to making it work for your product.

Why it sometimes doesn’t work …

Influencer marketing isn’t always transparent. In Australia there are no laws for influencers to abide by when it comes to promoting products. In other words, they don’t have to tell their audience that they’ve been paid to promote the product they are effectively selling.

Even some of the leaders in the industry are asking for changes to be made. Influencer technology platform Tribe has been calling on a code of conduct to be implemented industry-wide to improve transparency.

For the time being, consumers won’t always be able to tell if their favourite blogger has been paid to post about a product, but it is in the influencer’s best interest to disclose this information. Bloggers and alike can often face harsh criticism when promotions aren’t disclosed, this can be harmful for both the influencer and the product.

How do you find influencers?

Remember, a huge following doesn’t always mean high ROI. Influencer curator Hypetap has even developed an algorithm to judge an Instagram user’s influence. Visit the website and put in any Instagram username and it will tell you if the account is influential, or not!

Alternatively, using an agency like Threesides can take out some of the leg work. We work extensively to get to know local influencers, and know who could provide the best coverage for your brand, in the most transparent way possible.

Image source: Shutterstock

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