What is the hole in the digital marketplace that you are best positioned to fill?
Doblas Gunderson. Vartika Kashyap. These names might not be immediately familiar to you, but to their multi-millions of social media followers, their word is golden. And so are their brands.
They are among the most successful types of social media influencers and they have parlayed their formidable social media presence into lucrative marketing power. Their followers look to them for their shared expertise, lifestyle tips and product recommendations. The most profitable brands in the world court the big social media influencers in order to win a stamp of approval, and their social media posts are eagerly viewed by those who, for one reason or another, follow these individuals on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
Top social media influencers nurture and grow a significant online audience. They are most often a celebrity or high profile person within a specific industry. However, it can also be the case that becoming a social media influencer makes someone a celebrity—or simply someone well known within a certain niche of interest.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility to put one’s best face forward. All it takes is one ill-considered social media post to risk controversy and cancellation. PT Barnum once said “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Tell that to Rawvana (real name: Yovana Mendoza Ayres). At her height, she was an influencer whose online identity and brand sponsorship were tied to veganism. So it was, to say the least, off-brand when she appeared in a fellow video blogger’s video with a plate of fish.
The backlash was swift, and her inevitable apology video spoke of the responsibility that an influencer has to their followers.
How to Become an Influencer
Still want to be a social media influencer? You’ve come to the right place. Main Event Digital’s expertise as a digital marketing agency includes helping people develop a unique omnichannel strategy that will establish credibility as an influencer. From developing content and choosing the right social media platforms to maintaining a laser-focus on defining your brand, our team can help maximize your social media presence and avoid the influencer pitfalls.
Why Influencer Marketing?
Chalk it up in large part to millennials, who have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation group (they comprise one-quarter of the population). Know what millennials hate? Traditional ads. According to a McCarthy Group study, a whopping 84 percent of millennials did not like or, more importantly, trust traditional marketing.
The same study found that millennials likewise view watching television as so 20th century. They prefer live streaming and video on demand.
But Forbes reported that, according to a study published by Adweek, almost 60 percent of millennials are willing to view a brand’s sponsored content “as long as it includes authentic personalities and is entertaining and useful.”
Before you can become a social media influencer, it is crucial for you to ask yourself this very important question: Why? A follow-up question is, what do you bring to the table? What is your expertise? What are you passionate about? What is the hole in the digital marketplace that you are best positioned to fill?
It can be daunting just starting out on the road to achieve the status of a Facebook influencer, TikTok influencer or YouTube influencer. The biggest success stories can boast of hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers. Yet, while these social media influencers have celebrity recognition and can reach massive audiences with a single post, that doesn’t necessarily mean their audiences are truly engaged, and engagement is the name of the game.
Brands are increasingly on the lookout for micro-influencers. What they may lack in follower counts is compensated for in actionable engagement. What makes micro-influencers attractive (besides perhaps their lower partnering costs) is that they are driven by the passion to build authentic relationships with their followers. So don’t let initial low follower numbers dissuade you. Be true to your values, present your authentic self, and if you post it…they will come.
Influencer Marketing Strategy
Demonstrating your knowledge and offering your opinions are key to building your audience. Creating high-quality, clickable content that promotes your advice, knowledge and opinions will establish you as the go-to personality for your particular topic. Disseminating this content is not simply a matter of posting it online. You need to strategize which platform is best for targeting your audience. Is it a blog, social media, videos, webinars, guest blogging, an infographic?
Main Event Digital can help you get the most out of your content. For example, a blog post can be the basis for an eye-catching infographic or its content re-purposed for a slideshow or a series of social media posts.
Another key to being an impactful social media influencer is networking with other influencers or bloggers who cover the same industry or area of interest as you. If someone has written something from which your audience might benefit, ask if you can share the content or offer to link to their site. In return, ask them to link to yours.
Being a social media influencer is an ongoing conversation, one you will want to maintain on a consistent basis. Some of the most impactful content you can create are posts about yourself and your daily life. This puts a relatable face to your posts. When your readers learn about you, they have a better sense of your values and opinions.
It is also important to remember that this is a two-way conversation. Engage your audience; thank them for responding to a particular post, even if they don’t agree with you. Solicit feedback, ask them questions. The better you know your audience, the better you can fine-tune your posts. That doesn’t mean pandering to your audience at the expense of your beliefs. Transparency and authenticity are the pillars of success for a social media influencer.
It’s also essential to stay current, not only on trends in your industry, but on social media best practices and emerging platforms. Determine how most effectively you can use them.