Here, we will take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of these two options and what you can do to get the best results from both.
Why the Top Influencers are Successful
These days, it can seem like everyone is planning to become an influencer, but to be a successful one requires time, effort and strategy – it’s not something that just anyone can do on a whim. Even for those with an existing audience or that come from a social media-savvy background, successfully navigating this field is no easy feat. Influencers become well-known for a reason; they have put in countless hours of hard work to get their name out there.
Emma Chamberlain, deemed “the most popular girl in the world” by Cosmopolitan on her 2020 cover issue, had already amassed 8.5 million followers by age 18, and has continued to grow since. She has launched her own coffee company, Chamberlain Coffee, and been sponsored by some of the most major fashion brands in the world, namely Louis Vuitton and Cartier.
Just a few decades ago, it may have seemed surprising that everyday people would be able to achieve such levels of success and fame through the internet. Back then, however, consumers were not bombarded with competing ads and were not using ad blockers; this highlights another reason that influencer marketing is an important string to add to one’s bow – it helps marketers stand out among the competition.
So, if you are wondering about the ins and outs of this growing marketing trend and how your business can develop the best influencer partnerships, let’s dive into what the top influencers’ success entails.
The Practises of Successful Influencers
They Have a Defined Audience and Niche
Influencers aspiring for success will be targeting users interested in a specific niche, such as sports, health and fitness, nutrition, music, travel, children’s entertainment, and so on. They may also target a narrower demographic within this niche, based on certain demographic attributes such as age, gender, and location.
They may pinpoint a highly specific market, also known as a “micro niche”, where they can have a strong presence from the start by representing highly specific groups and interests. As the saying goes, it is best to be a big fish in a small pond. This approach is very specific for brands that are also highly specific in their products and services.
Their Content Gets High Quality Engagement
A good influencer will go beyond simply posting content and leaving their follows to their own devices. Instead, they will nurture ongoing audience engagement through genuine interactions which, in turn, strengthens their ability to influence purchase decisions.
When deciding to build a relationship with an influencer with a view to collaboration, make sure you have a good picture of their engagement on social media. You need to look beyond metrics that only indicate their reach, as these can be deceiving. Of course, take these metrics into account but don’t rush into any decisions based on these types of KPIs alone.
Instead, read their comments to get a picture of how their audience is engaging with them and the quality of the relationships that such interactions demonstrate.
They Produce High Quality Content that Resonates with Their Audience
The main job of an influencer is to produce consistent, high-quality content and to post frequently. This can be challenging for a lot of people, but the well-versed creators have some tactics in place to ensure the delivery of such content is uninterrupted.
Many will create in “batches”, where most of the content for the whole week or month is created ahead of time over the course of one or many days. They will often also recycle and repurpose existing content to get the most out of each piece and extend the lifespan of what they have already created. Engaging in organised practices like this demonstrates that they are always prepared and do not leave things until the last minute.
Popular influencers tap into what matters to their audience. By voicing certain social opinions and supporting specific individuals or causes, they can have an even wider reach and strengthen their relationship with their audience. Marketers can take advantage of these movements by choosing to partner up with creators who are giving a voice to important causes, displaying themselves as also supporting those causes through sponsoring the influencer.
They Are Authentic
Influencers are considered to be more trustworthy than celebrities by 70% of teens. There is a lot to be said about the appeal of authentic individuals whose humanity shines through their content. Top creators who are able to retain audiences for a long time offer a consistent presence in terms of both content and identity; they only work with brands that share their values and are not afraid to admit to mistakes, which shows their audience that they can be trusted. Since your brand will want to partner with creators whose audiences trust them, keep an eye out for any signs of inauthenticity and proceed with caution.
They Use the Right Platforms
Successful influencers publish the right content in the right place based on where their audience spends most of their time. While they can choose to publish content on any platform they wish to, some are simply more worthwhile for different purposes than others.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to work with influencers that are present on more platforms, as this simply gives you the opportunity to get your brand in front of more users. In other situations, your marketing goals may require you to heavily target a specific platform. What do each of the main platforms have to offer in terms of influencer marketing?
- Instagram: This is a great one for creating visual content. Sponsored creators can create a collection of images, or a short video featuring a brand’s product, but keep in mind that it is harder to share external links on this platform than it is on others. With that in mind, Instagram may be a great choice if increasing brand awareness is the goal of your collaboration.
- Twitter: Twitter is a great way to interact directly with followers and link up with other creators, but it’s not the best place to build a long-term following. This platform is best for pointing to longer form content on other platforms. For example, an influencer may use their tweets to link new content they have published on YouTube. A simple, useful way of using Twitter for marketing is to have an influencer retweet branded content.
- Facebook: While it once was one of the best platforms for aspiring influencers, recent changes in the newsfeed algorithm have made it more challenging for pages to reach their audience. A large number of online content creators, from the small creators to the ones with well-established audiences, have migrated away from this platform for the time being, and big brands and marketers have followed suit.
- YouTube: YouTube has reigned supreme for the longest time as the platform of choice for all sorts of creators to publish to. The platform offers a highly flexible format with very few rules to follow. YouTube influencers can easily share external links, as well as include fully sponsored segments to their videos. This makes YouTube a favorite for working with influencers for a range of marketing goals.
- TikTok: TikTok took the world by storm from the moment it hit the app markets across all mobile devices and interest in using it for influencer marketing rose by 325% in the span of one year. Tik Tok is Gen Z’s number one favorite social media platform, and second most-used platform, closely following YouTube, which makes it a platform of choice for marketers targeting this specific demographic. The original top influencers stemming from this platform were mostly dancers and lip-syncers, but the type of content shared has expanded infinitely since the app’s inception. Nowadays, you can find creators of all ages and all disciplines sharing a limitless array of content to ever-growing audiences.
They Commit to Consistency and Continual Improvement
Once a successful strategy has been established, it’s tempting to stay with it. It is, however, more advisable for creators to continuously tweak their strategies as they go. The top influencers will often have teams of people advising them on the current markets and how they can best shift their approach to remain relevant.
There are even firms and companies that specialise in offering influencers professional business and marketing assistance. When an influencer engages in this type of development, you can be sure that they take their profession seriously.
They Develop Strong Relationships with Brands
Partnering with brands is a strong way for an influencer’s career to reach new levels of success. Most companies will choose a creator based on their large and faithful following. However, at the core of partnerships between brands and influencers is the building of a genuine relationship. Interactions through social media, retweets and direct messaging are good ways for a business to let a creator know they are interested in building such a relationship.
They Network and Collaborate with Other Influencers
Influencers often network with others in their field, whether at the start of their career or once they are more established. There is also the possibility of forming a full group of influencers that regularly meet or video call to help each other out. Not only does this help them to hone their craft and learn from others’ experience, it is also beneficial for marketers who want to work with several creators who collaborate and distribute content to similar audiences.
The top influencers have not got to where they are due to luck. Those who are successful have shown tremendous consistency, flexibility, adaptability, and market-savviness.
Any business wishing to continue to grow and expand will want to take advantage of this marketing method and build long-term relationships with the best influencers out there, whose proven trustworthiness makes them a perfect advocate.
Essentially, a good influencer has the traits of a good marketer – they understand the importance of providing genuine value to their audience, they put across the right message on the right platform, and they are consistent in both the frequency and quality of their posting.
Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of what to look for if you’re intending to collaborate with an influencer. If you need any assistance in developing and executing your marketing strategy, please feel free to reach out to me here – my team and I would be happy to assist.