Influencers: who they are and how to work with them

Not only new tools, but also new terms appear regularly in the digital sphere. A few years ago, few people had an idea of ​​what omnichannel is. Now you will not hear this word unless from a student who is in his first year of the faculty of Advertising and Public Relations.

At the end of last year, PR people and marketers began using the new term in conference reports and articles, and a little later it was picked up by the media. This term is influencers.

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In this material, you will learn what this word means, who are influencers, where to find them and how to work with them in order to bring profit and moral satisfaction to your customers. Go.

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Who are influencers

The term “influencers” came to domestic PR and marketing from the West. It comes from the verb influence, which translated from English means “to influence, to influence.” When pronouncing, the emphasis is on the first “E” – influencers.

If you read not only articles from VC at your leisure, watched not only webinars of any integrated marketing agencies and training centers, but read books on PR and marketing, you will be disappointed. Yes, influencers are the fashionable definition of LOMs (opinion leaders) today. A couple of years ago, such people were called bloggers, and this year the term “influencers” began to popularize in the digital sphere. No magic again.

If you are already successfully working with opinion leaders, ordering advertising from them that pays off, then it is better to immediately proceed to reading the article about advertising exchanges for bloggers on Instagram… Well, if you are looking for new ways to promote the brand, goods and services of the company, then the material will still be useful to you.

The main difference between influencers and well-known media personalities is the relationship with the audience. They are in close contact with her, respond to comments and messages, honestly express their own opinions and never recommend a bad product. If they don’t like the product of any company, then they will never offer it to their subscribers. At stake is a reputation that influencers value.

Bloggers and celebrities push information in one direction, influencers are engaged in two-way communication.

Moreover, if you try to play with them, offering more money, bartering, or anything else in an attempt to shove the product by any means, get ready for the negative. Such people can post a negative review of your company on their page in social networks, and publish screenshots of correspondence with spelling / punctuation preserved. Subscribers will support them, as they trust influencers, and your target audience will thin out.

There are influencers in every field of activity. They can be found among journalists, analysts, video bloggers, etc. Surely, without thinking too much, you can name several people whom you trust, whom you follow in social networks or real life, whose opinion you listen to. For you, they are the very same influencers.

What are influencers

Marketers categorize influencers by type, audience size, and niche. Some also add “habitat” sites to this list. Let’s understand in more detail.

A type… Influencers are either real or digital (virtual). With the first, everything is more or less clear – these are real people who have gathered an audience that listens to their opinion. Digital influencers are fictional characters for whom designers create 3D models, and professional PR people write texts and work with the audience. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the profile of a virtual influencer from a page of a real person.

KAROLIN XS is one of the youngest and most extravagant virtual influencers created in Russia.

Audience size. According to this criterion, influencers are divided into macro and micro. The numbers are very subjective: macroinfluencers boast an audience of 100K subscribers, microinfluencers – up to 100K subscribers. Advertising for the former will give more reach, and for the latter, it will generate more brand credibility.

Niche. Every niche has influencers. You will find them in the beauty and fashion sphere, among fans of healthy lifestyle and people who have linked their lives with marketing or electronics. There are no restrictions.

Playgrounds. Most often, influencers choose one platform where it is more convenient for them to work with the audience. Some create a YouTube channel, others promote on Instagram, and still others actively work with blog traffic on their own website. Multichannel is rare, since communicating with the audience at the same time on several sites is quite laborious and time-consuming.

Working with influencers

Finding an influencer in your niche and agreeing with him on mutually beneficial cooperation is like finding a gold mine in an abandoned mine. Through this channel, warm customers who have almost no doubts about the quality of your company’s products will come to you. The only thing you can do to push these leads away is an openly bad service.

Let’s go through the stages of working with influencers step by step so that you have an idea of ​​where to start and how to proceed.

The goals of the advertising campaign

Before looking for influencers and negotiating cooperation with them, determine the goals of the advertising campaign. What do you want to get – maximum reach to increase brand awareness or a specific product, or leads and sales “here and now”.

In addition, you need to choose a site for advertising. Knowledge of your target audience and features of the promoted product will come in handy here. If you know that potential consumers are actively using Instagram, and the advertised product is better to show than to convince of the benefits by text, feel free to go to this social network.

Sometimes – more often due to ignorance of the target audience, the product and the market as a whole – the most unexpected options are fired. Do not be lazy to conduct detailed analyzes and test different options in order to find the most effective advertising platforms.

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Selection

Choose an influencer depending on the goals of your advertising campaign. For example, if you need a hot audience, find an influencer who interacts closely with your followers and has already built friendships with them. His audience may be small, but the level of trust is prohibitive.

If you need maximum reach, for example, to bring a new product to market or increase brand influence, go for influencers with large audiences. Advertising with them often costs more, but the coverage will be greater.

Related article: Blogger exchanges on Instagram

Filtration

A large audience is not an indicator of the degree of influence that an influencer has on subscribers. Many marketers were convinced of this, who ordered advertising from “thousand” or “millionaires” on Instagram and received a ridiculous exhaust. It is necessary to evaluate not only the quantity, but also the quality of the audience.

For example, subscribers on Instagram or any other social network can be boosted using services. That’s just such an audience – a bunch of dead souls. They do not buy anything and do not show activity – they just hang in subscribers until they get tired of seeing uninteresting posts in their feed. Advertising with such “influencers” will not bring the effect you expected.

When choosing an influencer, consider the number of likes, comments, reposts, views of posts and stories. Be sure to look at what the influencer’s subscribers write – it may turn out that half of the comments were left by bots of profile promotion services. Weed out accounts with increased activity and select those where real people discuss and like something. This can be easily traced by the content of the comments.

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Discussion of conditions

Influencers are often easy to get in touch with. Contact them through the channel that they promote in their profile – for example, write a message on social networks or instant messengers. Do not be too much in praise and start from afar. It is better to immediately clearly outline the task – to say that you need advertising and ask under what conditions it can be ordered from an influencer. Remember that some opinion leaders are more comfortable paying with money, others are willing to consider bartering.

It is not worth asking for a discount harshly and rudely. From the idea of ​​pushing ads for free, because “we have a well-known company” and “you can get new subscribers by mentioning our brand”, you better give up right away. The influencer already has an audience and knows how to monetize this resource. Moreover, it may well be that every day he receives dozens of such offers. You are more interested in the influencer than he is in your advertising campaign.

Be sure to ask the influencer for account statistics, study them, and then thoroughly discuss the format of the ad, its content, the date and time of the release of the promotional material.

Publication and analysis of the result

Recheck your ad for consistency before publishing and ask for changes if necessary. Don’t forget to include links with UTM tags so you can measure the effectiveness of your ad.

Check if a post, article, or story came out at the agreed time, and then see what kind of reaction it caused from the audience. Examine the data in web and end-to-end analytics systems, make sure that the goals of the advertising campaign are being achieved or not.

If the result doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t rush to blame the influencer. You yourself could make a mistake – you chose the wrong format of the promotional material, made the wrong portrait of the target audience, copied the UTM tag with errors, so there is no data in the reports on transitions from this channel. Find a reason, hypothesize and test it.

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Services for working with influencers

You don’t have to manually search for influencers. The services will help you find accounts of interest to you, which you can further study and filter in detail. These tools are worth taking on board:

  • Influence.co, LabelUp– services for finding influencers with the ability to filter by niche;
  • Social blade, LiveDune – services for collecting statistics and analytics of influencer accounts;
  • LM.SAPE.RU, GetBlogger – exchange and service for ordering advertising from opinion leaders.

And to assess the effectiveness of advertising from bloggers, you can use the good old Yandex.Metrica or Google Analytics – to track transitions to the site by links with UTM tags. If the ad clicks are only within the social network – from the blogger’s profile to your account, then you can use promotional codes. The main thing – do not forget to enter in the table information about which promotional codes will be indicated in the posts of different influencers if you plan to launch a large-scale campaign.

Do you use other services and applications when working with influencers? Share names and links in the comments.

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