Ten years ago, the term ‘influencer’ was not in a person’s everyday vocabulary, but since the massive rise of social media, chances are you know an influencer, or maybe you are one yourself! 92% of companies believe influencer marketing to be an effective way to interact with their consumers. With so many consumers constantly on social media, marketers have taken advantage of the opportunity by partnering with social media users with large followings. Influencer marketing has allowed companies to interact with their consumers on a more personal level through people they already trust and have a connection with.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Taking a step back, influencer marketing is a hybrid of celebrity endorsements and content-driven marketing campaigns. It has gained traction in recent years as social media has become a major source of entertainment. Women are currently dominating the influencer marketing world, curating content and being able to make a living off of regularly updating their social media accounts. 

From the user perspective, influencer marketing has allowed the everyday person the opportunity to become a celebrity, no longer relying on traditional means of being discovered by agents and casting directors. On the flip side, hiring influencers forces brands to be more authentic and inclusive in their marketing, considering they are hiring real people as their spokespeople. 

Viral Influencer Marketing

As they continue to grow in popularity, influencers and influencer marketing campaigns can go viral on the internet for both good and bad reasons. Just looking at the news over the last few weeks, a few examples stand out:

  • Gun retailers have been using influencers to get around social media regulations. Gun retailers are not allowed to market their products, so they’re using influencers to do their marketing for them. These influencers, typically women, reach a larger and more diverse audience then the retailers.
  • Cuvee Coffee took advantage of influencer marketing in their media strategy by launching an influencer of their own. Omar the Construction Guy or @justaconstructionguy on Instagram rose to internet fame after a Tweet was released claiming that Omar was someone’s father trying to make it as an influencer. Consumers enjoyed the comedic aspect of his posts, and he went viral within days.
  • One influencer is coming under fire after it was discovered that her marriage proposal was one big marketing ploy. Marissa Fuchs is in the hot seat after people found out she had pitched her proposal to various brands in hopes of getting some sponsorships out of it. This scandal will potentially cost the influencer her job at lifestyle brand Goop due to all the backlash she is experiencing from the event. Looks like doing it #forthegram isn’t always worth it!

How to incorporate Influencers into your marketing strategy

While there are general best practices to follow when working with influencers, for brands in the healthcare industry, partnering with influencers can be more difficult. Healthcare influencers need to be reputable, vetted, trusted and willing to adhere to specific regulations that apply to health and wellness products. For specific regulations that apply to your company, it is best to consult each social media platform’s unique guidelines to ensure you’re not violating any of their policies. 

Regardless of your industry, here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Keep it personal — ensure that your influencers are posting tailored content to both your and their audience. 
  2. Establish a partnership — an influencer’s brand is their business, so monetary compensation, perks, and long term partnerships will increase the likelihood that an influencer will want to work with you.
  3. Make it authentic — reach out to influencers whose own platforms mirror your own, do not just go for the one with the most followers.

If you’re working on a smaller budget, try contacting microinfluencers, or influencers with smaller, niche followings. Gifting products to an influencer can increase the likelihood that they will want to share your content.

Influencers have built up a following, and their followers trust their opinions and recommendations. Building off of this organic momentum can empower companies looking for new ways to connect with their audience. 

To read more about influencer marketing, take a look at some of these articles:

What Is Influencer Marketing: An In Depth Look At Marketing’s Next Big Thing

The State of Influencer Marketing 2019: Benchmark Report [+Infographic]

4 Tips About Influencers in Healthcare Marketing