It’s no secret that social media is big business these days. Not only are companies like Facebook showing how lucrative their platform can be for advertisers.

Influencer Mk: What Brands Should Know About the Trend

Enter influencer marketing — one of the fastest-growing trends in brand promotion.

Influencer marketing differs from regular social media marketing in that, instead of your brand posting content from its own account, you partner with celebrities and other popular social users to help spread your message. This form of advertising has grown tremendously in recent years, with nearly half of businesses surveyed saying they planned to increase the amount of money spent on influencer marketing this year. More importantly, 88% of marketers say the practice has proven effective for raising awareness of a brand while 87% say it’s at least “somewhat effective” for driving sales.

Like with any type of marketing, influencer marketing is a vast subject with lots to know before jumping in. That said, let’s take a brief look at some of the basics, including how to find influencers to partner with, the concern over influencer fraud, and why the FTC is now paying special attention to this form of marketing.

Finding Influencers

There are many different ways to find influencers ranging from doing your own searches on various social platforms to working with third-party firms that can connect you with influencers that fit your brand. Additionally, there are now a number of free and paid tools that can help you find and evaluate potential influencer partners. In some cases, these tool will merely highlight basic details like follower count, which (as you’ll see in the next section) is far from the only factor you’ll want to consider.

The key is to find influencers that fit well with your brand. This means not only looking at the content they’re posting but also what else they might be posting that may prove problematic or in contrast with your brand’s values. You’ll also want to look at the followers that engage with each influencer and determine if they match the demographic you’re hoping to target.

Defining the type of content

Another aspect of influencer marketing you’ll want to consider is the type of content you want to share and how it’ll get your message across. For example, users often interact differently with YouTube stars than they do with Instagram influencers. As a result, you may want to start by determining your ideal platform before drilling down to finding the right influencers.

Speaking of content, it’s often a good idea to be collaborative with your selected influencer and let them offer feedback on what types of promotion you do together. After all, they’re more likely to truly understand their audience and know the best ways to reach them. These are the types of conversations you’ll want to have with potential influencers when determining if they’re really the right fit for your business.

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