Is influencer marketing right for you?

Social Media Strategies

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As C-suite and marketing executives begin their 2017 planning, a new term is increasingly being discussed. For those who are unfamiliar, “influencer marketing” involves establishing relationships with popular online content generators to (hopefully) drive a brand’s message well beyond its core customer base. In fact, around 40 percent of respondents to a study by Twitter indicated they’ve purchased an item online after seeing influencer content on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. There is a catch, however; this content is typically “sponsored” by the brand for fees that can be surprisingly large.

So how do you determine if influencer marketing warrants a spot in your 2017 plan?

Because of their non-traditional nature, analyzing these media entities (like blogs) is not always as straightforward as a cost per thousand calculation or other standard ad buying metric. Obviously, the starting point is to determine the size of the influencer’s audience, including its website traffic and social media reach.

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Beyond that, marketers should also look at where those numbers are coming from. If they are regional, does that geography match with your distribution? Which social platform is the influencer’s strongest and does that match your customers?

It’s equally important to do a deep dive into the broad themes of the influencer’s content. Make sure your brand beliefs and identity sync with those of the influencer and his or her followers.

A final point to consider is what other potential media exposure the influencer can bring to your brand. Some have a national presence or media platform. Occasionally these “bonus” exposure opportunities are a specified part of the agreement, but often they aren’t and simply happen spontaneously.

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My advice? Segment out all the various aspects of the potential relationship and analyze them one by one. After that, a cumulative value will start to take shape and the decision on whether or not to engage will become clear.

-Katie Klein-Murphy is social media marketing manager at Milwaukee-based Boelter + Lincoln.

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