This post is about the use of Influencers in consumer marketing. It was informed and some structure was derived from using ChatGPT, I talk about that here.
The task I had laid out for myself was to find a path for an Individual or an influencer-created Brand and grow a revenue stream. It was purely a profit-driven idea that set up the work.
I'll suggest Influencer Culture has advanced to the point where any outward-facing, consumer-focused marketing initiative has to consider how best to identify and recruit the appropriate influencers for their efforts. B2B effort can benefit from Influencers too, but we'll discuss those in another post – this one is about how someone could establish themselves as an influencer.
Where to Start?
The client. They are well-known as a local Influencer. They have a network that is fairly sizeable, but is local, and not yet fully migrated to online. They are in a city of 5M, so it should serve as a powerful launch pad and quickly grow.
What is a Lifestyle brand?
A Lifestyle brand is a type of brand that aims to embody the values, attitudes, and interests of a particular lifestyle or group of people. They will often focus on creating a holistic and immersive brand experience, rather than just selling products or services.
Examples of Lifestyle Brands -
Patagonia, which sells outdoor clothing and gear, but also promotes environmentalism and sustainability, and
SoulCycle, which offers indoor cycling classes and also positions itself as a community and a source of inspiration for a healthy lifestyle.
How do Social Media Influencers work?
Social media influencers are individuals who have a large following on social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter/Mastodon, and post content to promote elements of the Lifestyle (products, services, memes, etc.) to their followers. Brands often partner with Influencers as a way to reach a expand an audience or to promote in a more authentic and relatable way.
Influencers can be paid by brands to create sponsored posts, which are posts on their social media accounts that promote a brand's products or services. These posts may include a product review, a tutorial on how to use the product, or a mention of the brand in a video or story. Influencers may also be compensated through affiliate marketing, where they are given a unique link to a product, and earn a commission for any sales made through that link.
The 7 Things About Becoming an Influencer
It's important to note that influencer marketing is a form of advertising and it's important for Influencers to disclose sponsored content & comply with all applicable regulatory bodies.
Identify your niche
Decide on the lifestyle or topic that ignites a passionate response. That is the topic you will constantly & consistently create content for.
This could be nearly anything that ignites your creativity
health & wellness
Build your audience:
Create a strong presence on one or more social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.
Learn/hire editing to create high-quality, engaging content that aligns with your niche.
Research & use hashtags
Engage with other users
Develop your brand
Create a consistent aesthetic and tone of voice for your social media accounts
Develop a unique personal brand that reflects you - use your own values and interests.
Create sponsored content
Once you have built a sizable audience, reach out to brands in your niche and pitch yourself as a potential influencer.
Create sponsored posts, videos, or other content that promotes the brand's products or services in an authentic and relatable way.
Keep your audience engaged
Responding to comments & messages
Continuously creating new and interesting content.
Measure and analyze your performance
Learn & keep track of the metrics that precede revenue
# Posts, Views, Visits, CTR, Carts, etc
Review posts performance regularly & understand which posts perform well and which are not.
Use data to improve your content and your strategy -
Intuition by itself is good, intuition informed by experience & data is better
Find new ideas & diversify revenue
Keep an interest in exploring new ideas & recommendations. The next new thing is always on the horizon.
Use hashtag and audience tools to monitor & stay informed
Be on the lookout for ways to diversify your income streams. Prudence might suggest doing so in a way that ESG is not an issue.
Look to Monetize
Develop a product or service
It's important to keep in mind that becoming a successful influencer takes time, hard work, and dedication. It's also important to be authentic and transparent with your audience and to comply with regulatory bodies.
While probably not an exhaustive list, it does cover a lot of ground and will serve as a good foundation for Influencers getting started in 2023.
* Artificial Intelligence ChatBot Disclaimer - This post was my first experiment in creating a post from an outline generated by ChatGPT and I am having a blast with it.
It was not posted as generated though. I beleive humans can & should edit AI-content to reflect experience and style. I think AI is awesome for ideation and it will get better and help us all explore new ideas. For one, I am not a fan of 'Affiliate' marketing programs. They tend to benefit the few at a cost to the many, prob not always but...