What Is Influencer Marketing, and How Do You Get Started?
Ads are popping up all over social media, and they’re not always straight from the source. You’ve probably seen one of the famous Instagram accounts you follow posting ads about a certain product, unboxing the beautifully packaged product while on video, and proclaiming their love for using it and the benefits it brings. You’re not always interested in these products, but on occasion, you stumble across something new that you want to support.
While these ads may seem random, they really aren’t—they’re part of a strategy known as influencer marketing.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is when direct-to-consumer businesses team up with micro-influencers on Instagram or other social media platforms to unbox their products, review them, use them, and recommend them, all while their followers look on in excitement and curiosity.
Utilizing micro-influencers in a business marketing strategy has exploded over the last decade. As more people use social media and live by the advice and recommendations of their favorite Instagram influencers, influencer marketing has become a no-brainer, especially when you consider the low cost and wide reach of many influencers.
Of course, as with all things business, presentation matters. While it may be tempting just to send your product to a social media influencer with a nice note and hope for the best, there’s actually a lot more to influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing Strategy
Because influencer marketing is so new compared to traditional marketing methods, and even digital ones, not many businesses are aware of the steps you should take to really boost the ROI of sending free products.
The first thing you should understand about influencer marketing is that it’s not about viral videos or celebrities simply boasting your product and moving on—it’s much more of a developed, trusted relationship. Influencers spend years building their brand and following to trust not only what they say but also what they use and recommend. A quick post by a celebrity with 10 million followers can get you some quick exposure, but how many of those views truly trust that the celebrity actually uses your product if they never see it again?
The key here is to build a relationship with the micro-influencer so that they promote your product before it arrives, spend time editing and making a video unboxing your product, and continue to promote your product in their stories or videos after they’ve received it. Because the influencer’s followers trust their every move, your product’s quality is trusted as well.
Here are a few tips we like to share when building an influencer marketing strategy:
- Know your target audience and pick your influencer to match. Not every influencer will be perfect for your product, and that’s okay. It’s better to find a smaller batch of the right followers than an influencer with the largest following that may not be interested in your product.
- Get face time with your influencer if possible. Show them that you care about their presence and want to support them financially and socially, to help them grow and improve their personal business. The more supported they feel, the more they’ll support you.
- Influencers love an exciting unboxing experience. Because this isn’t your average customer, you can’t use your average packaging. Building influencer packaging that is meant to be unboxed and shared on social media greatly increases your chances of an influencer working with you and their followers loving your product.
- Remember that these are real people, not corporations. Don’t talk to them like you would a CEO or stakeholder—be informal, friendly, and personable!
- Find out how they’d like to communicate. Do they prefer emails, phone calls, newsletters, or some other form of communication? Make it easy for them to be part of your marketing strategy.
Getting Started with Influencer Marketing
Now that you want to begin working with influencers, it’s time to consider the thing that started it all—your product. How do you want your product to be seen by thousands of followers? Simply taking your product out of a box won’t cut it: In the world of influencer marketing, it’s all about showmanship!
Influencers know how to do an unboxing video, but if they’re not given the right box or product, they can only do so much to put on a show. Here at Zenpack, we’ve strategized, designed, and built influencer packaging for our clients many times. We know the different materials and designs that perform well.
One of our clients, T3 Micro, was only doing business in the United States but wanted to expand to Europe. They reached out to us to design and build their influencer packaging for influencers within Europe. The packaging we built gave their high-quality hair product the presentation it needed to get noticed by influencers and their followers, helping T3 Micro build their own following in Europe so they could begin expanding their market.
You can learn more about the influencer packaging we helped build in this blog.
If you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve got the tools and experience to get you on your feet with influencer marketing. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts and start the process of getting your product into unboxing videos all across social media.