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In recent years, the practice of partnering with social media influencers to reach engaged audiences on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, or through brand-sponsored blog posts has become an effective and increasingly popular way for companies to accelerate growth, expand brand awareness, and generate more and highly-qualified leads. To illustrate the prevalence of this relatively new marketing strategy, one research firm found that approximately 84% of brands will develop an influencer marketing campaign in the next 12 months, and we estimate that influencer marketing could grow to a $10 billion industry in the next five years (for more influencer marketing statistics, see our article here).
While influencer marketing can be a great way for brands to reach new audiences and leverage the influence of social media stars to inspire consumer action, companies looking to collaborate with top YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, Snapchatters, and bloggers should first familiarize themselves with the industry and know how to ensure their initial influencer marketing campaign is a success.
Influencer marketing leverages the reach and social impact of the internet’s most-followed social media “influencers” (i.e. YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, bloggers, and Snapchat stars) to expose a brand’s product, service, or message to the influencer’s massive audience. The exponential growth of social media apps, networks, and channels coupled with plummeting TV viewership has made collaborating with this new class of social media celebrities an efficacious way for brands to overcome the challenges inherent in tradition advertising avenues and target the ever-growing number of consumers who spend hours a day on social media platforms.
Influencer marketing campaigns generally take the form of product placements, product endorsements, branded content, branded advertising, native advertising partnerships, sponsored content creation and promotion, event appearances, or some combination of these different strategies.
If you have not launched an influencer marketing campaign or are familiar with influencer marketing campaigns, it’s beneficial to realize that working with influencers for marketing or advertising purposes can be intricate and nuanced—to ensure campaign success, brands should enlist the help of an experienced influencer marketing agency/YouTube influencer agency or, if attempting to develop a relationship with a social media influencer on their own, take the time to read through the following resources:
Adhering to the following points will help a company’s first influencer marketing campaign go smoothly. Before implementing an influencer marketing strategy, brands should:
For a more in-depth, step-by-step look at influencer marketing strategy, download our whitepaper guide here.
The best influencer marketing campaigns integrate a brand’s product, service, or message seamlessly into a social media star’s content in a way that feels natural and creates high levels of engagement. Some of the best influencer marketing campaigns include: