Recently, Stacey Solomon (the X-Factor contestant and occasional Loose Women panellist) and her family (which includes Joe Swash of EastEnders and Dancing on Ice fame) had a short break at a Welsh holiday park. She happened to mention how much of a wonderful time she was having on her Instagram account, which has 3.8 million people following it.
What happened next was extraordinary. The holiday park received so many bookings from Stacey’s post that it filled its diary instantly, right up until February 2022.
If that isn’t an example of how influencer marketing can boost a business, we don’t know what is.
If someone has a platform or following and is a) a suitable ally/collaborator and b) is willing to promote/mention what you sell (this may be via free products or a monetary fee) then you could get your message to many people in one fell swoop.
Picking up on that first point—you need to research their audience.
Stacey’s audience is made up of young mums/families. If your product is aimed at young mums/families then she’d be an appropriate influencer to team up with. There would be no use asking Stacey Solomon to promote walking frames, for example. People within that audience may not know who she is, and they almost certainly will not be following her on Instagram—so how will they see her advert? It works both ways—Stacey is unlikely to endorse products that aren’t for her audience, as she could lose her credibility and followers.
Advertising guidelines insist that any influencer or promoter who receives money for promoting a product must make this clear on the advert/recommendation they post, so that it’s appropriately labelled as a ‘sponsored post’. The drawback with this, sometimes, is that the influencer’s audience might not engage with the post as much as an organic one, as it’s clear that the influencer is being paid to gush about a product. Sponsored posts tend not to be as powerful as a true, heartfelt recommendation.
This may be why the Welsh holiday park lucked out. Her images and posts appeared to equal a genuine recommendation from Stacey, rather than a business transaction.
Another point in the park’s favour is the product itself. The park is made up of glamping pods that mimic the little houses Hobbits live in (The Lord of the Rings), which is a quirky product with an absolute glut of USPs that will easily capture the attention of young families looking for somewhere to stay. A double whammy.
Considering that the Welsh government are planning to close their border to anyone outside the country in a bid to control outbreaks of Covid-19, there are plenty of odds stacked against the holiday park—and yet they still managed to fill their pods more than a year in advance. Proof that the right product just has to reach the right customer; when it does, obstacles can be overcome.
According to statistics, 60% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on recommendations across various social media profiles. They don’t always have to be from famous people, of course; if your friend happened to gush over a product on their social media feed, you’d definitely take a look at the product they’re so impressed with.
Influencers range in ‘size’, from a micro-influencer to a macro-influencer up to a mega-influencer, which is determined by the strength of their platform. The bigger their reach and number of followers, it typically follows that it will cost a business more (in products or influencer fees) to work with that person.
Micro-influencers shouldn’t be disregarded. Even someone with a few thousand followers could be a significant person to work with if these are the exact people you’re trying to reach. The micro-influencer’s terms are likely to be much more palatable, too.
Consider how much traditional advertising in a paper or magazine might cost, and yet you have no idea if the right people will see your advert. Reaching a few thousand people who are all in one place, and who would all be interested in what you have to offer, is much cheaper and easier than traditional marketing. You just have to win over the gatekeeper, i.e. the micro-influencer who has the key to these people.
Finding the right micro-influencer, if you’re a small or medium-sized business, is simply a case of research across social media. Think about your target audience: are they Facebook users, or are they Insta-addicts? Do they hang out on Twitter, Snapchat or TikTok instead?
Once you’ve narrowed down the most appropriate platform, do a hashtag search on the most appropriate keywords and phrases associated with your product. If a micro-influencer is already using this hashtag in their post, it’s likely they will be aiming at the same audience you’re hoping to penetrate.
Drop them a message and ask them for their terms. Don’t insult them by suggesting you’ll just send over a free sample of your product; for some of these influencers, this is their business, and a recommendation involves their time. Your time will undoubtedly be valuable and something you charge for, so why wouldn’t this apply to them? Don’t forget, they’ve got something you want.
Would you like some help determining a marketing strategy and/or influencer campaign? Contact 07983 575934 for more details.
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