This article and expertise was originally published on Forbes.
Are you tired of hearing about influencer marketing yet? Well according to just about every year-end review, it’s among the top trends for 2017 so you’d better get moving if you want to keep up.
A study published in eMarketer showed that nearly 85% of marketing and communications professionals worldwide expected to launch at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next 12 months. If you look at Google’s keyword search for influencer marketing, it’s increased more than 90 times since 2013, according to Adweek.
With the rise of ad blockers, the decline in traditional TV viewership, and the steady rise of social media, marketers need to fully embrace influencers in order to get their message heard in 2017 and beyond.
So where do we start and how can we be successful?
Whether you’re using an agency, a multi channel network, or doing it yourself you need to do your homework first. Who is your target audience? What content do they respond to? What social channels do they use most frequently? Where do they live online?
There are a number of ways to pick an influencer. According to Marco Hansell II, CEO of Speakr, “The easiest default is to hire an influencer agency to help do the search for you. Your next best bet is using some of the tools out there to help you with your search. If you don’t have a lot of money to pay for any of the above then you can always search on your own. Some platforms are easier than others and have either top lists, top users, or suggested users to help the process.”
Spend some time building rapport to find out who they are and what motivates them. Surprisingly, money isn’t always the top motivator for influencers. Authenticity, brand fit, and good press often matter more than getting paid. Marco Hansell reminds us that, “Influencers are people too! You’re not buying a radio spot, you’re interfacing with a human being and you need to understand that all influencers aren’t made the same.”
How are you going to measure whether your campaign is successful or not? Measurement tools are readily available for Facebook and Twitter but are still in the infancy stages with newer platforms.