Alright, alright, alright… I’m going to bring them up again. The Fitstagrammers! We’ve all seen them invading our Instagram feed and either motivating us, or making us feel guilty for eating that ice cream after dinner last night. They have thousands, sometimes millions of followers. And you can leverage that to sell your brand.
So now you’re probably asking how. Influencer marketing. It’s the practice of paying people with a bunch of social followers to promote your biz. In an April 2017 study from ANA and PQ Media, brand spending on influencer marketing hit $81 billion in 2016 (let that sink in). Even more, we expect it to spike to $101 billion in 2020. So everybody is jumping on this ship, but are there enough life rafts? Let’s get into it.
With any new form of advertising, there are bound to be problems. Anyone with a social media account has experienced fake followers before and this can be the biggest problem you find with influencer marketing. Points North Group study found that the Ritz-Carlton’s influencers list is a whopping 78% of fake followers. Makes you want to rethink your hotel choice, eh? Even worse, imagine spending your marketing budget on this! Fraudulent behavior is not exclusive to this kind of marketing, but it’s still smart to know how to weed out the fakes.
Beware the influencer who’s actions and values do not align with your brand. Do a quick Google search for YouTubers who have fallen from grace because of inappropriate actions. It’s always good to do a little research on the person, talk with references and get to know the influencer themselves. And of course, don’t forget that there are FCC requirements that paid influencers need to follow. For example, an ad or advertorial relationship with a promoted brand has to be disclosed on the post.
One of my favorite brands is DIFF Eyewear. And not just because of their rad frames. They have a charitable one-for-one business model. Meaning when you purchase a pair of sunnies, they give a pair of reading glasses to a person in need. Do I own five pairs? Yes. And I felt great about purchasing them because I knew I was helping someone.
These guys increased their revenue more than 500% from 2016 to 2017 and expanded their team from 5 to 40. How did these guys get started and blow up so quickly in just a year? There’s a few things at work. The eyewear market is a more than $90 billion per year industry and the founders knew they were a small fish in a big ocean. These guys knew that social media was their best strategy and leveraged an aggressive influencer marketing strategy. They paired up with celebrities and reality TV stars from “The Bachelor” to attract audiences by promoting their charitable mission. Their target audience is millenials and millenials consider social responsibility as a primary factor in purchasing.
DIFF is a classic example of social entrepreneurship gone right and a great way to use influencer marketing. They have a great product, they appeal to their audiences values and they have a cheap marketing budget. It might seem complicated and require extra work, but in the long run it’s worth it.
Have any questions on influencer marketing? Let me know in the comments below!