Influencers and your brand

We’ve been seeing a rise in influencer and user-generated content via social—and we’re convinced it will continue. Blogs are the third-most-consulted consumer decision tool for shoppers, and 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others (even people they don’t know) over branded content.

Influencer MarketingFrom blog posts to tweets, video, Instagram, native ad units and more, influencer marketing creates a full-circle communication strategy within the social space that consumers live in every day.

Seek a true leader in the social space who posts often and who has a strong follower base, a good website with a significant number of unique monthly views and a distinct voice when representing products.

You’ll find dozens of great reasons to try out influencer marketing. In fact, you probably already have. SocialTimes on Adweek reports that 75% of marketers already use influencers to get the word out.

Keep in mind that influencer marketing has some of the same risks as celebrity marketing: How many years has it been since Cosby advertised Jell-O pudding pops? Not long enough, if you’re Jell-O.

It’s also a lot of work, according to Ivy Exec:

Influencer marketing is a multi-step, multi-touch [sic] process. Finding someone who matches your audience demographic considerations. Contacting them. Discussing their potential interest. Negotiating prices. Building a marketing platform. Ending the campaign with a good relationship with the influencers.

You saw the part in there about “negotiating prices,” right? This is a media play, not public relations. This provides a new avenue for conversations with the consumer—and it still allows you to track response and sales via unique URLs on each blog, tweet, image and more. (Remember, this isn’t PR, so you can totally track results.)

Oh, and make sure the influencers you engage are in love with your brand. You need authenticity in this space—or things will backfire on you, and you don’t want to start a twitterstorm.

Via influencer marketing, your brand has the opportunity to speak with (not at) the consumer to drive awareness, credibility and, ultimately, action.