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It is no secret that the marketing industry has always been dog-eat-dog. However, as the world’s technological landscape continues to shift, businesses have found themselves more at the mercy of their consumers than ever before.

For some time, older executives were unable to discover methods of effectively building and maintaining credibility amongst members of younger generations, as they are notoriously critical of large corporations and their stale marketing tactics.

However, as more independent bloggers and social media figures gained massive followings, marketing companies far and wide found their method of getting into younger consumers’ circle of trusted brands — through influencer marketing.

For those who are not familiar with this concept, influencer marketing is defined as the act of promoting and selling products through individuals (influencers) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.

Although this tactic is far from groundbreaking, as spokespeople have been utilized to boost brands’ images and credibility for decades, its integration with social media refreshes its purpose and adds a level of interactivity between the influencer and their followers — a luxury that was not afforded to the consumers of yesteryear.

In spite of how straightforward the process of influencer marketing may be, it is imperative that a brand starts off on the right foot by recruiting the right individual to represent — and ultimately boost — their values and mission.

As daunting as this feat may appear, it can be simplified by following a rather uncomplicated process:

  • Consider who you believe to be trustworthy. A high follower count is not the only qualification one needs to be deemed an influencer. Rather, they must possess levels of authenticity and charisma that not only set them apart from other popular figures, but draw users in as well.

    If you feel particularly drawn to one or more individuals on social media, view their opinions as clear and unbiased, and believe that the ways in which they conduct themselves online is conducive to your brand’s image, you may have found yourself a strong candidate who holds the same rapport with their own audience.
  • Evaluate their activity online. Does this candidate post frequently? Do they take time to craft lengthy, yet compelling captions to accompany their images or videos? Are their followers actively engaging with their posts, whether by liking, commenting, or sharing them? Do they have any previous experience in influencer marketing? Answer these questions by monitoring you candidate’s’ activity for at least three weeks. If they are able to consistently reach these benchmarks, they are worth pursuing a professional partnership with.
  • Give your influencer a trial run. Prior to making any binding, long-term commitments, it is imperative that you test your influencer’s ability to generate success for your brand. Allow them to flex their own creative muscles and craft a blog or Instagram post about your product(s) or service(s), then closely monitor its engagement and reach.

    If you find the post falls dramatically short of your expectations, you must either execute another approach with the same influencer or go back to the drawing board and seek out another — an occurrence that is not uncommon in such situations.

    However, if you see positive movement that proves to be mutually beneficial, congratulations are in order, as you have successfully entered the world of influencer marketing.

Although building a network of reliable partners can be arduous and time-consuming, you will find the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages.