A Startup Guide To Influencer Marketing

By  |  October 8, 2018

If you haven’t heard of influencer marketing, then you need to brush up your knowledge on your digital marketing.

First, who is an influencer?

An influencer is someone who has a large and dedicated following and can help you favourably influence the purchase decisions of your target audience.

According to Hootsuite, “Influencer marketing is when a business collaborates with an influential person on social media to promote a product, service, or campaign.”

One of the significant reasons influencer marketing is appealing is because it is more natural for your target audience to read the message from an influencer concerning your product. Influencer messages are more natural to your target audience.

A Nielsen report found that “33% of consumers trust brand advertisements, whereas 90% trust peer recommendations.”

Most influencers wedge their influence on social media that is why they are termed ‘social media influencers’.

Credit: Giphy

Social media influencers are the in thing now, and most people make a lot of money from this online. If your profile meets the right criteria and you are a good fit for brands in your industry, you would make money from social media as an influencer.

A 2016 research from Twitter shows that “49% of users rely on social media influencers for recommendations.”

What makes a great influencer?

A great influencer is someone who has a large audience, the right content, loyalty from the audience, and a high rate of engagement. Any influencer you decide to choose for your startup must be able to meet these criteria.

If the influencer doesn’t have a large audience (except he or he is a micro influencer), your message won’t reach far. Also, if he or she doesn’t have the right content to make your products or services appealing to your audience and also build trust, it would be counterproductive. Likewise, the influencer’s audience must be loyal and engaging.

An ideal influencer must have relevance in his or her industry so that whenever he or she publishes a content, your target audience is ready to listen.

Most times it doesn’t matter the number of followers an influencer has because we also have people who can be classified as micro influencers. However, the most important thing is that the influencer must be able to help you reach your goals by being able to convince your target audience to take action. Making a move could be them signing up for your email list, buying your course, paying for your product, sharing your content, entering a giveaway, etc.

As an African business or an African startup, you can leverage influencer marketing to gain more visibility and increase leads.

Does influencer marketing work?

Once done right, influencer marketing works well. You need to create your influencer marketing strategy where you decide your influencer marketing goals, the content to be put out, your target audience, potential influencers, your budget, KPIs, etc.

How to reach out to an influencer

After careful research of who your potential influencers could be, then you reach out to them privately and personally to talk about your business and how they can help.

Ensure you set the right expectations so that you all can be on the same page. Likewise, make sure there is a contract you can work with that spells out the modalities.

In addition, set a feedback and monitoring system that both parties can regularly check in to ensure things are going on course or not so adjustments can be made if need be.

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