The last few years have seen a meteoric rise in the use of influencer marketing by marketers, as a less expensive and effective alternative to traditional advertising.

In 2018, brands are leveraging influencer marketing to push their products and services, reach their customers and build possibly lasting relationships with them in the long run. According to a study published by Influencer Marketing Hub, “39% of marketers say they plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2018. 35% are still unsure how they’re going to make changes to their budget, and only 5% say that their budgets will decrease.”

As a form of online marketing, influencer marketing has been highly advantageous to many brands while others are yet to reap any benefits, for many reasons including their failure to use these tips:

1. Choose the right influencer: There are thousands of famous people out there, social media is daily brimming with celebrity activity but popularity and influence are not the same things. That your favourite celebrity has  120,000 followers or more does not necessarily mean she will be able to successfully market your product or service. More than numbers, you need an influencer with a wide reach and one who has gained audience credibility over time. Selling a lipstick? Choose any of the popular YouTube vloggers, Patricia Bright, Ronke Raji, Jackie Aina, etc.

2. Your preferred influencer must align with your brand: We have seen a celebrity who thrives in the fashion and beauty space chosen as an influencer for a blood tonic. That someone has a pretty face does not mean she has the power to convince your target market to purchase your blood tonic. The influencer’s content will be more authentic and engaging if they are aware of or have actually used your product.

3. Trust your influencer to express their creativity: We assume that you have chosen an influencer(s) who have already made an impression with the quality of their content. It is now best to let them freely express themselves with your product. It’s called co-creation. Tell them your objectives and let them dictate how they want to play it out since they understand their audience better than you. This ensures that the content they put out is original.

4. Build a relationship with your influencer: Keep communication open. Share useful information about your product with your influencer even in periods when they are not actively working with you. Send them an email about your company’s progress or send a gift bag; just keep them in the loop.

5. Compensate your influencer: It is difficult to get people to promote your content for free, especially in this part of the world. If you have set aside a sum of money for your campaign, include an influencer fee in your budget. You do not have to break the bank, just compensate them with a fair amount both parties must have negotiated beforehand.