What Surprised Me Most About Influencer Marketing

I’m a newb in the influencer Marketing space; three weeks new to be precise. Therefore, I think it may be interesting and insightful for me to start sharing monthly updates of my learning curve with you. I’ll start with what I knew before joining Hawke Media’s Influencer Marketing team and lead into what I’ve learned and been surprised by since.

I joined Hawke Media simply knowing that the role of influencers is to create positive organic engagement for brands. Hawke Media has helped me further understand how they do this through a variety of means, but primarily through utilizing their credibility to lend credence to the work of an emerging brand or designer.  Being on the receiving end of influencer marketing, I also knew that this stuff works on me. I’m the first to admit that I look to my favorite bloggers and Instagrammers for help with my purchasing decisions. I trust them, as do all their other followers. Understanding that I knew that the Influencer space was an integral part of the digital marketing world. There was a recently published article by Deloitte claiming that up to 47% of millennial are influenced in their purchases by social media. This includes reading the reviewers of bloggers and other third party commentators when making their purchasing decision. As the purchasing power of millennials continue to grow influencer marketing will become an integral part of any good retailers marketing mix.

My first week at Hawke Media was a flood of new information. I learned how to use programs and platforms that make influencer marketing scalable. I also learned how to strategically and effectively approach and communicate with the diverse array of influencers. In a nutshell, I learned the most efficient way to find the right bloggers for the right brands.

Below, I have listed what has surprised me the most about influencer marketing in my first couple of weeks on the job.

It’s not about the audience size

In my initial search for influencers I was focused on finding the biggest names with biggest audiences. However, my supervisor pointed out that it is more important to analyze influencers’ engagement and following then simply choosing the influencer with the largest number of followers. Influencers with high engagement (measured by their likes and comments) are much more likely to impact their readers. Learning this alone has helped make me a much savvier marketer.

Don’t focus too much on unique reach

It’s not as important to expand your unique reach as it is for your message to ‘stick’ with your defined target demographic.  I believe that you should focus on a defined segment and own that segment in the best way possible. The best way to describe it would be: you need to create positive buzz or word of mouth.  This is best accomplished by targeting influencers with overlapping followers. As a rule, consumers who respond best to influencers are typically fast followers. These are people not on the cusp of the trends but are safely waiting on the sidelines. Once they see it is safe to support a product they are fast to join. When you have many of the top influencers in a category giving their approval, the more likely it is the the consumers are willing to act.
So there’s a summary of the key lessons I’ve learned in my first 3 weeks in the influencer marketing space. I’ll post an update on my learning curve soon 🙂

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