Influencer Marketing Isn’t Just for Big Brands Anymore
Big brands have realized this for a while and have been leveraging influencers across the web via blogs and social media to share authentic and relevant content about their product or service. From this has emerged a very important and effective means of marketing and communication- influencer marketing.
This innovative and effective marketing tactic is on the rise and the brands that have employed influencers are thrilled with the honest messaging their new brand ambassadors communicate to their loyal followings. Many of the bloggers create content that is incredibly engaging and unique and brands benefit from new ideas, slogans, recipes, images, videos and more!
Moms are incredibly engaged readers of mom blogs and have a trust relationship with the influencers they follow. They also account for over $2.5 trillion in spending in the US each year, so it should be no surprise that influencer marketing is exploding in the Mom category. Brands like Disney, LEGO, Nintendo, and Britax are just a few who’ve successfully incorporated blogger promotions into their overall marketing plan.
Smaller brands can also incorporate influencer marketing into their overall marketing strategy. Partnering with key influencers to reach a specific targeted audience is effective whether you’re using 250, 100, or even 25 bloggers.
In addition to reaching their target audience the brands are receiving high-quality content that has been created by the influencers. Marketers need to remember that each blog post is a one-of-a-kind piece of content that they own (if the campaign is executed correctly and the blogger is agrees to these terms). Photos, quotes, even blog comments can be used on brand collateral. It’s content marketing at its most compelling.
How do marketers get started? It is important to work with a marketing team that understands the influencer space and how to identify the right bloggers for your brand and target audience. A well-managed and executed campaign will identify bloggers and/or social media influencers and manage the program from blogger solicitation to end-of-program reporting.
There is now technology in place that allows for marketers to track the Google Analytics on the blog post as well as connect to the Facebook and Twitter APIs for real social media analytics. This real-time data and tracking allows for a Total Media Value calculation. The reporting is incredibly robust- showing post engagement numbers, post page views, campaign comment totals, social media stats, and much more.
As brands and marketers finalize 2014 budgets, remember to include influencer marketing in the plan. It’s an omission brands can’t afford to make.
"Influencer" image credit: Blackbaud.com
Guest post by Christine Wilson, Founder & CEO of MtoM Consulting: Christine has spent more than 15 years working with thought leaders and industry influencers in information technology, entertainment, market research and digital content, and was the former Marketing Manager for the women's cable network, Oxygen. MtoM Consulting was created to help brands engage with moms in the digital space. Her talent for speaking to moms has helped grow MtoM into a highly successful full-service digital marketing firm.