The Who of Influencer Marketing

A version of this post was published on Masterclassing.

Many people think influencer marketing is a new trend thought up by marketers to get their message in front of the social media-savvy Millennial and Gen Z generations. While influencer marketing is definitely one of the hottest new trends, it is by no means new. Word-of-mouth marketing, which is what influencer marketing is at its core, has been around for years, but the science behind how we put together strategic campaigns has certainly changed and evolved.

There is no question that working with celebrities or internet stars is something that appeals to many marketers because of the talent’s name recognition or large fan base, but when planning out an influencer strategy, it’s important to get a mix of voices talking about your campaign. Leveraging a top-tier star to serve as spokesperson or anchor of the program is great, but then also enlist some smaller micro or mid-level influencers to amplify your messaging, provide it with validity, and help drive engagements with consumers.

The question we most often get asked is: How do you figure out who specifically to enlist as an influencer? When building out influencer programs, we often worry so greatly about what is being said that we forget to plan who is saying this message and why they are the right voice for the brand.

From a high level, the first thing you should do is pinpoint the goals of the campaign. For example, are you looking to drive clicks to a website? If so, I would not recommend leveraging Instagram influencers as they can’t include direct URLs in their Instagram captions—maybe Twitter is a better vehicle.

Or are you looking to educate the everyday consumer on how to use a product because there has been backlash due to people using it incorrectly? If so, then maybe you should enlist a blogger or YouTuber to show the right way to use this product in long-form video or editorial content.

Once you have an idea of what the goal is, you can work backwards to choose the channels you want to leverage, which will give you great direction on which influencers will work for your program.

Influencer marketing is a very useful tool when campaigns are thought through and set up for success. Remember, who you choose to relay your message is just as important as the message they are sending out. So be sure to spend some cycles figuring out the right mix of personalities for your programs based on the goals of your campaign.

Crystal Duncan is senior account supervisor, Influencer Marketing.

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