The Biggest Challenge of Influencer Marketing? Finding Relevant Influencers

Google Trends searches for the term “influencer marketing” are increasing exponentially. The resulting hodgepodge of blog posts, videos, and news articles focuses on the many benefits of influencer marketing: promotion, sales, rebranding, brand awareness. Still, resources about influencer selection are few and far between—in particular, how to find influencers that provide the biggest return on your investment.

SocialTimes claims there’s a ‘disconnect’ between brands and influencers, and that marketers are finding it increasingly tough to connect with decent content creators. Here at Carusele, we draw on a pool of 7,500 influencers who are leaders in their respective niches. We developed that pool starting in 2008 and have built it one person at a time, with actually phone calls and emails to build a relationship. It wasn’t easy, but because of that effort, we know how to find a content creator already working in your industry who will resonate with your audience.

Why is Relevance so Important?

A killer marketing campaign needs to be relevant. It’s the same across all channels: relevant emails generate 18 times more revenue than regular broadcast emails, while 72 percent of marketers say relevant content creation is the most powerful SEO tactic. In short, brands that create specific, appropriate, highly-targeted content have a better chance of engaging with prospects. In an influencer marketing context, brands should choose content creators that understand the impact of social media capital and the value of social network connections.

Influencers with the largest number of social followers don’t always lead the pack, however. Onalytica ranked the top social media influencers and brands of 2016: content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi, marketing master Michael Brenner and digital business growth professional Steve Cartwright all made the top 10. These influencers might not have tens of millions of Facebook fans or Twitter followers like big-name celebrities, but they certainly pack a punch in their respective niches.

Free Guide: 6 Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing. Click here!

An endorsement from a respected authority figure, specialist or industry expert could showcase your products and services to a brand new audience and send your sales into the stratosphere. Remember, relevance trumps social reach: Swiss jewelry brand De Grisogono generated 19,000,000 page impressions from only 14 relevant influencers, for example.

Relevant influencers engage a community of prospects with similar interests. They support the goals of a marketing campaign. They initiate a conversation among targets. They reach the right people.

Actual images from Carusele client campaigns

Our network of relevant influencers already have a captive audience and can reach your target demographic with creative, compelling content. These content creators inspire, persuade, inform and entertain. The result? More targeted marketing that provides you with a better ROI.

Finding Relevant Influencers

Marketers, it seems, struggle to find relevant influencers that drive business growth. The Influencer Marketing Manifesto, published by SaaS platform TapInfluence and research firm Altimeter, surveyed 1,753 influencers and 102 marketers in various niches. The study revealed some interesting results: a huge 68 percent of marketers find it difficult to source relevant influencers, while 30 percent have issues when negotiating terms with these content creators.

“Influencer marketing is promising in its ability to drive community engagement and peer-to-peer action,” says Altimeter’s Brian Solis. “As marketers experiment with digital influence, naturally there will be many mistakes made and lessons learned. We all have something to learn. And, we can do that by understanding the world of influencer engagement through the perspective of influencers themselves.”

Challenges Facing Influencer Marketing

The Influencer Marketing Manifesto also addressed some of the other big issues that bother brands. Fifty-six percent of marketers had fears about influencer marketing being a new channel, while 42 percent didn’t even know what it was.

Also, more brands are spending cash on this type of marketing, with marketers measuring the success of an influencer campaign through customer engagement, sentiment, impressions and a boost in sales. However, with so much content out there—1,400 new blog posts and 72 hours of new YouTube videos are posted every day, for example—only relevant influencer marketers cut through the clutter and reach your audience. That’s because these creators already produce authentic content in your niche.

“The market is becoming a tad crowded with these new citizen ambassadors singing the praises of different products and services,” says Sabrina Lynch, vice president of consumer marketing at communication agency Zeno Group. “Savvy marketers know that the key ingredient to any successful influencer strategy is authenticity in content creation.”

 Takeaway

Just 13 percent of social media users create 80 percent of all influential social content, according to a study by Forrester Research. What’s more, a tiny 6 percent of web users are responsible for 80 percent of influential social media content. While they make up only a small slice of the online population, influencers have the power to revolutionize your brand, attracting more leads to your web pages and exposing your brand to a niche-specific demographic.

Not every influencer cuts the mustard, though. Only relevant content creators engage with your target market and produce marketing material that yields profitable results. These influencers boost engagement levels, increase sales and accelerate share of voice. Here at Carusele, we connect you with the best influencers in a range of industries, helping you generate more leads and conversions.

Actual images from Carusele client campaigns

Jim Tobin
jim@ignitesocialmedia.com


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