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The focus of today’s article is your complete guide to influencer marketing, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about being a successful influencer. Let’s dive in!
What Is Influencer Marketing?
To start things off, let’s quickly recap what an influencer is. An influencer is described as a human being or an object that impacts the world around them. A common tool influencers use to cause an impact are social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and so on to market themselves and their brands to gain more traffic to their sites.
Influencer marketing is defined as an alliance between prevalent social media influencers and brands to grow and expand public knowledge of brands’ products and services, resulting in more followers for the respective parties. Unsure if influencer marketing will work for you? 80% of marketers are in agreement that the influencer marketing strategy is worth pursuing, while another 89% believe that it is just as, if not more, useful, than other marketing strategies.
How Do I Become an Influencer? Pick (And Know) Your Passion
When you’re starting, the first step in becoming an influencer is to choose something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. It’s always better to go with something you know and love rather than something you know and are not into because our passion for what we love shines through in our social media posts.
For example, if you’re passionate about fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle, you might choose to create pieces of content with the following topics:
- Exercise Routines: A great way to draw people in is to share what you do for workouts. Not only does this show that you practice what you preach, but it also inspires others to try something new if their current workout regimen is not bringing them the results they want to see. Instead of giving up, they will be encouraged to keep going when they see your content and can-do attitude!
- Share Your Favourite Recipes: Fitness and our relationship with food go hand-in-hand, and the great thing about sharing food recipes is that they connect us and bring us together online just as it would if we were at a table together. For instance, if one of your favourite recipes for a post-workout smoothie is a strawberry shake, share the recipe as well as a fun fact about one of the ingredients and the health benefits they offer. Case in point, strawberries, among other health benefits, have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which make them a great choice for part of your post-workout routine.
- Talk About the Connection Between Physical Fitness and Mental Health: Just as our nutrition plays a vital role in our fitness journey and our overall relationship with our bodies, our mental health and physical health are tied together.
This is a great talking point for a video or vlog because your followers aren’t just watching your workouts or trying one of your favourite recipes, you’re engaging with them on a more personal level.
Fitness influencer Lucy Lismore does this in her videos, and that’s why she’s so successful. In addition to being open about her fitness journey, she reminds us all that it is normal to have bad mental health days and bad body image days, and if you’re a fitness influencer, or looking to become one, it’s very important to show your followers that they are not alone. Your authenticity and vulnerability will not only draw people in but encourage them to come back and urge others to check out your site.
The three points above outline a few examples of the subjects that fitness influencers may choose to talk about, which leads us to our next point: being relevant and consistent.
Relevancy and Consistency: Know Your Focus, Stay on Target
In the third and final point of the above section, we talked about the importance of being authentic and vulnerable in your content, which also connects to being relevant. The traits of authenticity and vulnerability, combined with relatability, could make or break the success of your career and the future of your brand. Relevancy and consistency also go together but at the same time work on their own.
- Being Relevant: When we say “being relevant,” we mean sticking to your planned posts and not going off-topic with something completely unrelated. To continue with our fitness example, you wouldn’t post something related to exercise or any of its related subcategories one day, and then do a complete 180 and post a topic from a completely different niche. That will confuse your followers and make them wonder if this is a one-off or if you’re considering a change in career path.
- Consistency: If you’ve been in the influencer marketing game for a while and have established yourself online as a reputable business, congratulations! It can be tough to break out in a crowd of influencers who are there to do the same thing you are. If you’re a newcomer to the influencer world and have big dreams, keep those dreams alive with the passion that inspired you to start on this path and led you to the point where you are now.
However, every influencer in each industry that can be found in the influencer world will tell you this, there’s no magic wand you can wave before you go to bed and wake up with a significant increase in your followers by the hundreds or thousands. It doesn’t work that way. To be truly successful in your chosen niche, it takes time, energy and commitment to get to that point, and this is where consistency comes in. Post one to two times weekly to stay relevant and consistent. It may seem daunting at first, but before long it becomes a habitual routine and you’ll wonder why you were so intimidated by it in the first place.
Stay focused, consistent, and on target, and you will succeed.
Be Aware of the Dark Side of Influencer Marketing
As with all things in life, you can’t have a guide to influencer marketing with all the pros, we have to talk about the cons too. If you’re active on social media, then you’re aware of the negatives that come with sharing content online. Sadly, these carry over into influencer marketing as well, and it’s important to be aware of the dark side of influencer marketing from the get-go. The reason? If you walk into the world of influencer marketing fully aware of the malpractices that will inevitably pop up, you’re less likely to fall into these traps yourself. It’s a slippery, dangerous slope, and one that’s difficult to climb back when you’ve already slid so far down.
Part of the awareness of not engaging in the dark side of influencer marketing is allowing your morals, values, common sense and empathy to play a role in your online presence, particularly if you’re attached to brands that are connected with your interests, especially then.
If you’re an influencer who is also a brand ambassador, it is important to keep in mind that what you post reflects not only on you but also on the brand. Representation matters, and all it takes is one bad post where demeaning or derogatory (or both) language is used. Words can do a lot of damage, and the words you say can cost you your career.
The bottom line is, don’t say or do anything to someone, online or off, that you wouldn’t want done to you. Suppose you take a look at the headlines surrounding public figures who have been dropped from the partnerships they held with brands because of something they have said or done to other people. In that case, this is a prime example of what can happen when negative content that encourages bullying or harassment of any kind makes its way out of the murky waters.
Combat the Dark Side of Influencer Marketing with Light
When you’re an influencer, you’re a role model, and how you present yourself online plays a pretty big role in determining what your future success will be. You don’t know who is seeing your content, which is why it’s important to combat the dark side of influencer marketing which consists of language and ideas that have the potential to be hurtful to others with messages of kindness, inclusivity, and celebration of diversity. Empathy and compassion can go a long way, and those are two messages that influencers can easily share and that need to be heard more than ever.
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