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How To Use Four Different Social Media Influencers for SMB

“Influencer marketing” crawled its way onto the business landscape in 2006 with the first wave of paid posts from well-known bloggers. By 2010, influencer marketing was the hottest trend in digital marketing strategies and an important avenue of exposure for SMB. Now, at the start of a new decade, influencer marketing has grown to become a cornerstone of modern advertising.

This trend towards influencer marketing comes at a time when consumers are wary of disingenuous advertising techniques. Consumers want to do business with brands they can trust, and social media influencers are the bridge to that trust.

As you consider adding an influencer marketing strategy to your digital campaign, you need to understand four key categories of influencers.

Bloggers/Vloggers

The first generation of influencers still has a powerful presence in the marketplace. This group tends to present themselves as “experts” in a given field/topic, so their audiences place a high degree of trust on their opinions. Mommy bloggers are the most famous example of the power of influencers who live in this niche.

Why Use Them?

This type of influencer already has a loyal following of like-minded people who trust the advice and opinion of the influencer. Find the right fit for your campaign, and you will tap into your target audience.

What’s the Catch?

The niche focus of these influencers can make it difficult to expand your brand to attract new types of customers.

Verdict

As long as you do your research and find the right blogger/vlogger, you should see a profound and immediate impact.

Lifestyle

Influencers who use this approach simply post about their lives, capitalizing on feelings of envy and wishful thinking. Lottoland’s Passport to Paradise worked with travel influencers in a successful promotional campaign when lifestyle influencers helped fuel a desire to visit exotic locations.

Why Use Them?

Unlike other social media influencers, lifestyle accounts aren’t pigeonholed into promoting just one type of product or service. This makes it much easier to find the right fit for your company.

What’s the Catch?

Many influencers of this type will promote any company that pays them, so there can be a credibility issue.

Verdict

The more important lifestyle and brand image are to your campaign, the more attractive this type of influencer will be.

Brand Ambassadors

The most coveted social media influencers are brand ambassadors. A brand ambassador is someone who cares deeply about your company and promotes your brand naturally. Their recommendations come across as more genuine than any other influencers.

Why Use Them?

Brand ambassadors are like spokespeople for your business, and they organically build a connection between their followers and your business.

What’s the Catch?

There is an assumption in the mind of the consumer that your brand ambassadors represent the core values of your company. The danger occurs when one of those ambassadors does something that harms your company’s image, and not just their own. Brand ambassadors are human and make human mistakes, so buyer beware.

Verdict

This is a high-risk, high-reward play. Turning an energetic and influential social media personality into an ongoing ambassador for your brand yields consistent returns; however, all of that can be undone by a single bad decision by the influencer. Only reach out with this type of influencer arrangement if the personality has a long history of successfully representing other brands.

The Referral

“After this video, please click the link to my sponsor.” Turn on YouTube today and a significant percentage of the videos have this request. The influencer gives factual information about the company/product/service, but they do not actively try to sell on behalf of their sponsor.

Why Use Them?

Though they are not the most aggressive promoters of your brand, this is a fast way to get your company’s name out to a large number of people in a short period of time.

What’s the Catch?

The referral lacks the expertise that comes from a blogger/vlogger review, as well as the passion that comes with a brand ambassador.

Verdict

Referral content is a great first step to building a social media influencer campaign. You can build a relationship with multiple influencers at once, and after your company’s name becomes more well known, you can transition to a more focused campaign with one or two personalities.

Influencer marketing will continue to affect the marketing strategies of SMB. By knowing your options with social media influencers, you will be better able to match the right type of influencer to your company’s needs.

Marketme

Marketme

Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.

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