Influencer Marketing is a hot topic these days and that might sound intimidating, but fear not because it cannot replace Social or Content Marketing because it cannot exist without them. In this article we will look at Influencer Marketing and all the do’s and don’ts that go with it.

What is Influencer Marketing or IM really?
To get to the root of it, it is basically, taking the idea of celebrity endorsement and putting it in the modern, social media-driven content marketing plan. An Influencer is either a celebrity as we know them or someone who is celebrated and known in the social media circles. Unlike celebs, influencers can be anywhere and anyone. A large group of followers is what makes someone influential on social platforms. It can be anyone from a well-read blogger to a popular fashion model or a respected marketing executive on LinkedIn. In most industries or markets there are influential people – the trick is to find them. You can find them by looking at individual people who have a lot of followers. Those followers are who you want and need to target.

What IM is not
Influencers are not interested in a quick pay-out; they are simply people who have worked hard on their own brand. They are people who had the skills and patience to succeed on the different social media platforms. They worked hard to get where they are and are therefore naturally protective of their followers and reputation. They are not just going to say nice things about you and your product or service just for quick money, that is what viral celebs do.
It is also not about a quick pay out. It is just like Social Media and Content Marketing, slow and steady. It is not about selling your products out right but building a foundation of trust and integrating your brand as a part of yourself.

What doesn’t work in Influencer Marketing
1. Generalizing your approach to finding & making use of different influencers. One size doesn’t fit all influencers: tailor your approach to the specific influencer.
2. Simply looking at the popularity of the influencer. Influence does not only mean popularity, remember that your goal is to elicit a specific action from your customers.

Choosing an Influencer that you would like to work with and gaining their trust is not easy but if you do your research and pick someone who you can relate to and who can relate to your product or service, it will be easier. Concentrate on doing research, making sure the person you want to work with is the right fit and have likes and dislikes that can be advantageous to your cause. Once you have that you cannot just jump in. In order to get the influencer and his/her audience or followers to give you and your brand or service a chance, you need to gain their trust. Interacting in a positive and constructive way on your influencers’ social pages is a first step. This way followers do not perceive you as a threat and sees you more as a member of the community so to speak. This will add to your credibility down the line.
Then when you eventually do propose some kind of IM plan, they already know you and trust you to some extent. Being an influencer is like a celeb but on online and social platforms it can make these people a bit skeptic. Remember, they get a lot of interruptions from people they don’t know, wanting to praise them or wanting a piece of their time. You want to be able to stand out in a crowd of hardcore followers, in order to get their attention in the sea of tweets and fan emails. So do your homework and take your time, this is the only way to see if they are a good fit for you and if you and your brand or service can be beneficial for them.