Huda Kattan @hudabeauty. Cameron Dallas @camerondallas. Zach King @zachking. They may not be celebrities in the traditional (aka old school) sense like Mick Jagger or Oprah Winfrey. But in the world of social media, they’re superstars.
They’re 3 of the biggest online “influencers.” With tens of millions of viewers following their every move on social media, they draw huge audiences and command big money for product endorsements. As more and more people spend countless hours online, influencer marketing has hit an inflection point. But what are the benefits of influencer marketing? is hiring a social media superstar a good investment for your brand?
Influence marketing: Is it worth the cost?
Businesses are spending a lot of money trying to get people with large social followings to share information about their product or service. But can influencer marketing really have a major impact on your company? Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency, recently discussed the benefits of influencer marketing on MSNBC’s Your Business with host JJ Ramberg.
As Denise says, hiring an influence marketer is different than hiring a traditional product spokesperson. The one-to-one nature of social media gives influencers real sway over their viewer’s tastes—and by extension, purchases. Their viewers see them as experts in their area specialty. Beauty and cosmetics have a particularly deep roster of online influencers. This is why a single Instagram endorsement by a superstar like Huda Kattan can fetch in upwards of $18,000.
But brands expecting their sales to skyrocket after one influencer post may have unrealistic expectations. As Denise explained, “It’s reach and frequency. You’ve got to have the right reach in the right market. It can’t be a one-off. That’s the mistake. People think, we’ll hire them and suddenly our sales will triple. That’s very unusual.”
Best practices for influencer marketing
Simply hiring a popular influencer and hoping for the best is not the best way to ensure your influencer marketing campaign gets a strong ROI. During her interview, Denise laid out some best practices to get the most out of an infuencer marketing campaign.
- Let them be themselves. “You give a spokesperson a script. You give an influencer parameters, because it’s their audience that you want to infiltrate.” Making an influencer read someone else’s words from a script will sound inauthentic. They’re not actors. Let them describe your product in their own voice.
- Make sure it’s a good fit. Before hiring an influencer, make sure they are relevant to your brand, and your audience. It certainly helps that they’re a fan of your brand. “If the influencer isn’t a fan of what you have to offer, you’ll need to rethink it.”
- How do they interact with other brands? If you’re hiring an influencer, it’s important to carefully review their prior endorsement work. Does it seem authentic? Or are they just collecting a payday? “What kind of brands have they had good success with? If it’s just a post, something that’s completely meaningless, they’re not really caring about what they do, it’s not important to them.”