Identifying and recruiting people to represent and promote your brand to the public is just like hiring employees: not everyone who wants to represent your brand is the right fit for your business. Called influencer marketing, there are 3 similar types of marketing representatives to increase your brand's online visibility: brand ambassadors, influencer and micro-influencers. Influencers can be:
- paid employees
- compensated with product or SWAG
- loyal fans who volunteer to promote your brand
Influencer Marketing: developing relationships with influential people that can lead to their assisting you in creating visibility for your product or service
Which type of influencer marketing program is right for your small business? All 3 types of influencers can be right for your brand, and all have pros and cons.
Brand ambassadors are people who want to promote and support your product or service. They're your biggest fans: and they want to promote your product or business on their social media networks. A brand ambassador can be a fan, a customer or an employee. A business may have one or many brand ambassadors who represent their typical or ideal client.
Influencers are people with a large - think hundreds of thousands - social media following who want or are willing to promote your brand.
Micro-influencers are digital influencers with 1,000-10,000 followers: a small number, but they are committed followers. Micro influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers, who usually have +/-10 million followers.
3 Keys to a Successful Influencer Marketing Program
1. Choose Carefully
Just because someone wants to represent your brand doesn't mean they are the right fit for your brand. Fans who volunteer to support your brand online or at appearances shouldn't
2. Provide Training
Don't expect your influencers to know how to represent your brand, or even to have the correct information about your brand. Your marketing representatives should be trained on your social media policies, branding, voice and messaging, and guidelines for resharing or responding to others' posts.
3. Clarify Compensation
If you are paying an influencer either a salary or with product or in-kind services, it is their responsibility to report their earnings. Best practices for influencer marketing are to make sure your influencers understand your compensation program, that you will be reporting your compensation in your business taxes and that you understand that paid influencers are required to indicate they are being compensated, such as including #ad on their social media posts.
The best influencer marketing program for your business is the one that increases your online visibility so your brand is viewed how you want it to be viewed.
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