According to Hootsuite, more than half the people on Earth now use social media – that’s almost 4 billion people. It’s no surprise, then, that with social media’s ever-increasing popularity comes a rise in influencer marketing. In fact, with everyone from Kim K to Beyoncé creating sponsored posts, there’s no denying we’re living in the age of the influencer.
But what is influencer marketing? Well, influencers work to build brand awareness, generate sales (and bookings) and boost your reputation, and they’re an important part of any considered digital marketing strategy. Having said this, many still wonder how to use influencer marketing effectively. Here’s a step-by-step guide outlining just how.
Devise a strategy
Before you even begin to look into an influencer, it’s important to put together a strategy and work out what your goals and targets are. Are you aiming to reach a new or larger audience? Better engage with the clients you already have? Or convert traffic into bookings?
The right marketing strategy will help you gain more share of the market, beat your competition, and tap into new opportunities. Remember, a partnership with an influencer (or influencers) is just one element of your strategy.
Weigh your options
One of the questions we’re commonly asked is how to advertise with influencers – and the first consideration should always be who you choose. When it comes to influencers, it can be tempting to think that bigger is better – with the larger the following, the more exposure and leads you’ll generate. Sometimes, however, the opposite can be true, and you risk putting off your clients with what they may perceive as aspirational, yet unattainable goals. With a more glossy and glamorous approach to posting, it can also be easy to spot a sponsored post, putting off potential clients. In addition, their audience are also not as reactive.
At Cosmetic Digital, we tend to favour micro-influencers. With around 1000 followers, they’re seen as more honest and authentic than high-calibre influencers, which helps them seem more relatable (like a colleague or friend making a recommendation). This in turn helps build trust with your clients. Some micro-influencers may even be willing to do the odd post for free if they genuinely love your treatments and products.
There’s also another breed of influencer that’s ideal for the aesthetics industry: the niche expert. Through their experience and expertise, they add more kudos to your business and are ideal for B2B targeting and for launching new products and treatments.
Invest time in vetting
Once you’ve decided your influencer type, the vetting process can start. Here’s a quick checklist of things to look for:
Look into their location. Those in your area can appear more authentic to your clients and are more likely to come to your clinic and post photos.
Inspect their following. Do they match with your client base?
Check engagement. Identify how, and how often, they interact with their followers.
Ensure alignment. Your influencer needs to feel like a natural partnership and should share some of your values or your messaging.
Look at the data. It’s important to scope out their following, as some influencers have been known to use bots to grow their numbers or activity.
How to advertise with influencers is a delicate process. When signing up an influencer, it’s easy to go overboard with guidelines and restrictions – after all, you want to protect your brand. Similarly, they’ll want to grow their audience with genuine content, so they won’t want to risk that with content that’s not in sync with their brand. It’s therefore important to strike the balance between your business ethos and their style, to ensure their posts are seen as authentic. In other words, it’s a two-way street.
With impressive stats that show 45% would follow a brand after reading an influencer’s sponsored post, and 54% would purchase a product, it’s essential to get the fundamentals right.
Consider your content
The type of content your influencer posts will vary between social media platforms, but the main one is Instagram (data shows it has over 1 billion monthly active users). You can leverage different types of content here to your advantage:
– Instagram stories – these present an opportunity to reach your clients, to show you’re present and engaging with followers alongside your daily posts. It’s a more-personalised, less-polished approach to sharing news and trends.
– Instagram takeover – giving away the keys to your account can help with collaboration between your brand and the influencer, and can enable you to cross-promote content.
– Instagram live – real-time posts let your clients be part of the experience, and can work well for showcasing new treatments.
As a social media agency, we know one of the biggest advantages to using an influencer is having ownership of the unique video and photo content they create, and it can also be a more cost-effective way of doing so. In some cases, you may even get better quality images. You can then use this content across your site and other social accounts.
Social content is straightforward and easy to track. Tracking, reviewing and analysing through data are an essential part of any successful campaign:
– Track through bookings, clicks, sign-ups and skincare sales (if ecommerce).
– Monitor your performance and adapt when needed.
– Was your influencer a genuine brand ambassador?
All these elements can help you plan for future campaigns.
Influencer marketing is getting bigger and more central to digital marketing strategies with age. While many use it as a quick badge-on for their marketing, others recognise its worth in strategising long-term through influencer campaigns. We hope this post has given insight into those age-old questions of ‘what is influencer marketing’ and ‘how to advertise with influencers’.
As a social media agency, our expert team at Cosmetic Digital can put together a bespoke digital marketing package for your clinic to help you grow your business, increase your reach and bring in more bookings. Get in touch today to find out more.