In the past years, influencers have become one of the most powerful tools in a digital marketer’s toolbox. Their reach and engagement were astonishing, so it became evident that marketing campaigns using influencers were ideal for various purposes. These purposes include expanding the target audience, attracting new people, increasing the loyalty of the existing audience, etc.
Today, influencer marketing strategies continue growing in popularity. Just in the US alone, the number of sponsored posts on Instagram increased by 26.7% in 2021. So, in this article, we will take a look at different variants of collaborations with influencers that will be relevant this year.
Experience of the Previous Years
Influencer marketing has been around for quite some time. Charity campaigns, product giveaways, and reviews are just a few of the most popular tactics that brands use to align themselves with influencers. Their aim is to create good will towards their company while also driving traffic back through social media posts or emails which increase brand awareness among potential customers.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Charity campaigns, as we know, make people want to help those who need it most. This is especially true for millennials and younger generations who want to change the world and look for brands that can help them to do it.
Product giveaways are high-impact tactics because they create a sense of urgency and encourage people to take action. When the winner is announced, it often leads to a boost in social media engagement and traffic. The relationship between your brand and your customers also increases because they feel appreciated. Plus, the brand affinity that is built through these giveaways can lead to long-term customers.
Reviews (of products, services, places, etc.) show the audience that an influencer is not just a random person who says whatever they want. Instead, it’s someone who honestly has found something worth promoting. Therefore, the audience will be more likely to trust them and follow their recommendations.
This is how marketing campaigns using influencers usually go. These tactics do bring results, and they will continue to be used in the future. However, we cannot just rely on these strategies forever. There needs to be something new brought into this genre of influencer marketing, so it can keep evolving with the times and remain efficient.
The reason we need to find innovative solutions is that the old ones no longer work as well as they used to. The world is changing faster than ever, and if we want to keep up, we need to be willing to try new things. Influencers have changed too. The platforms on which they operate have evolved, their audiences have grown, and their content has become more diverse.
Additionally, the way people interact with brands has changed, for example, due to the pandemic or the rise of social media. With the abundance of online content, consumers have become much more demanding of everything they read and watch. The recent survey by Magna showed that 67% of people feel bombarded with too much content and online ads. This is why we need to be careful about the strategies we use and make sure they are still relevant.
Thus, to keep the target audience interested, it is necessary to always look for new ways of interacting with influencers and attracting consumers’ attention to such collaborations.
How to Use Influencers in New Ways?
Now, let’s take a look at the ways marketers can use influencers in 2022 for the best results. These methods will keep attracting customers and allow you to reach your goals much faster than before.
1. Collaboration in Making Your Product
This is a great way to get people interested in your product before it even hits the shelves. You can team up with an influencer who will help you design it, test it, and promote it to their audience. This will create a lot of hype around your product and make people want to buy it as soon as it comes out.
Plus, this type of collaboration will give you valuable insights into what your target audience wants and how you can improve your product.
Creating your own influencer marketing campaign is not the only way to utilize this type of promotion. You can also collaborate with an already existing project and create a product or even a themed collection of products with an influencer.
This approach is excellent because it allows you to both expand your product range and run a promotional campaign supported by the influencer’s authority:
- Fashion brands often collaborate with celebrities or social media stars on clothing lines or capsule collections.
- Beauty companies work with YouTube personalities to create makeup palettes or launch new products.
- Tech brands cooperate with bloggers and vloggers to develop new gadgets and software.
Choose an influencer who aligns with your brand values and whose audience is interested in the same things as your target customers. This way, you’ll be sure that you’re reaching the right people.
2. Representation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
With the current social climate, it has become more important than ever for companies to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Many studies have shown that these values are becoming more and more significant for younger generations. So, it is not a surprise that between 65% to 71% of young people belonging to the Black or LGBTQ+ communities prefer purchasing from brands they consider inclusive and diverse.
Working with influencers who represent minorities will show your target audience that you’re an inclusive brand that cares about social issues. However, in no case should you just create an impression that you care, but actually share these values, and speak up when necessary.
Therefore, having an influencer campaign that promotes these values can be beneficial for brands as well as society in general. An example of such a collaboration is H&M’s ad with Winnie Harlow. The brand addressed the issue people with vitiligo face every day – and that is equating their skin to their personality. Winnie says her skin is a part of her, but it’s not who she is. In the ad, she talks about the importance of women supporting each other and not taking “no” for an answer. The message the #Ladylike campaign sends is that being a lady is different for everyone, and that’s what makes it so great.
Another example is Nike’s #Betrue campaign. The brand collaborated with a number of LGBTQ+ influencers to show that everyone can be true to themselves and pursue their passions, regardless of their sexual orientation.
As you can see, by teaming up with the right influencers, you can not only support a good cause but also make a powerful statement that will resonate with your target audience.
Remember that when working on such campaigns, it’s essential to be genuine and authentic. Don’t try to cash in on social issues – make sure you really care about them before starting any collaboration.
This is one of the most important new ways to use influencers – they can help brands send out the right message and support DEI initiatives.
3. Channel Branded Sections
Another type of content influencers can create is branded sections on their channels or vlogs. These sections can include product reviews, tutorials on using your products, life hacks, and more. The main feature of such sections is that they provide helpful information to the audience, which is combined with native advertising.
This actually works both ways. For example, Sephora has multiple themed playlists on its YouTube channel. There, influencers talk about different topics related to beauty, such as skin care routines, makeup trends, and hair tips.
The benefit of this type of content is that it doesn’t feel like an advert – viewers get useful information while also seeing the products in action. This approach can be very effective in raising brand awareness and increasing sales.
If you want to try this method, look for an influencer who creates helpful content that would be relevant to your target audience. For example, if you sell kitchen appliances, team up with a food blogger who does cooking tutorials.
Additionally, by placing influencer content onto your ecommerce PDP as well, you can provide information about the product that will help customers make a decision. This content could include videos of influencers using and reviewing the product, or tutorials on how to use it.
In any case, it is essential that these sections are not exaggerated and do not take up a significant part of an influencer’s content. The balance between authentic promotion and excessive selling should be optimal for everyone involved in the collaboration.
4. Entirely Influencer-Generated Content
One of the newer ways brands are using influencers is by having them create entire pieces of content – from start to finish – and post it on their social media profiles. We talk here about vloggers who know their way around content making tools (from in-built makers like TikTok to video editors and video collage makers) and filming equipment. Their content is usually very high quality and engaging, as it’s made by professional creators who know how to capture their audience’s attention.
An example of this is when Maybelline New York collaborated with influencer Katie Jane Hughes. Katie created an entire tutorial on how to do a smoky eye makeup look using only Maybelline products. The video was very well-received, as it provided useful information while also being entertaining. Moreover, it gave the brand great exposure and helped increase sales of its products.
The main advantage of this approach is that you get exclusive content that can be used across all your channels – from social media to your website and blog. Additionally, since the influencer is the one creating the content, they will naturally promote it to their audience, which will help increase reach and engagement.
If you’re thinking of working with influencers in this way, it’s important to remember that they should be given creative freedom. Don’t try to control everything – let them come up with ideas and produce content that they think will work best. After all, they are the experts in their field and know their audience better than anyone else.
5. Collecting Personalized Feedback
Sometimes, people are not ready to share their honest opinions on a product. There might be many reasons for this. For example, a person can think that their reviews are not valuable for a company or feel uncomfortable about communicating with a faceless official account.
Here, an influencer can make communication with your customers more personal. People are more likely to consider an influencer they respect their friend, so they can tell this person more than they would probably tell a company’s representative. This is where an account takeover works great.
An influencer takes over your company’s social media account – for a day or a week – and interacts with customers on your behalf. This way, they can collect feedback about your products and services and then share it with you. Additionally, this approach helps build trust between your brand and its audience – something that is very important in today’s business world.
6. Expert Opinions
An influencer’s opinion carries a lot of weight. Their followers trust them and value their recommendations, so if an influencer says they like a product, their audience is likely to believe them.
This is why many brands use influencers to give expert opinions on their products. This type of content usually takes the form of reviews, where the influencer discusses the pros and cons of a certain product or service. These reviews can be very helpful for potential customers who are trying to make a decision about whether to buy something.
Additionally, by having an influencer review your product, you can get valuable feedback that you can use to improve it. After all, no one knows better than an influencer what their audience wants and needs.
7. Breaking Stereotypical Views
There are still many people who hold outdated views about certain products. For example, those who believe that only women use makeup or that only men can be interested in cars.
These stereotypes can make it difficult for some people to feel comfortable using a product that they think does not fit their image. However, by working with an influencer who breaks these stereotypes, you can reach out to new audiences and show them that your product is for everyone.
For example, the beauty brand like MAC and Nars work with male influencers to promote their products. This helped the company reach out to a new audience and dispel the false belief that skincare and makeup products are only for women.
This approach also encourages influencers to act as social activists. As a result, they can raise awareness about important issues and encourage their followers to take responsibility for making this world a better place.
Marketers need to be always on the lookout for new ways to use influencers. The methods described above are just some of the many way – there are endless possibilities when it comes to working with influencers, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
Now that you have a unique insight into how influencers can help your brand, it’s time to start looking for the perfect influencer who will produce the content you need. After all, social media is a place where people go to meet their needs and become more successful; that is why many people wonder how to be an influencer. Thus, let the influencer’s life and success story become a part of your brand promotion and draw people closer to your products.