Influencer Marketing in 2020

Influencer Marketing in 2020 - #TwitterSmarter chat with Magdalena Urbaniak - January 2, 2020

It’s hard to narrow down the hottest topics of 2019, but influencer marketing sure was one of the highly-discussed and debated business concepts. That’s why we wanted to start the year by talking about how brands can work with influencers to get optimum results. And who’d know better than a public relations specialist?

Magda Urbaniak is the founder of Max Tractor, a communications agency based in Poland. She’s had years of experience in the PR field, as well as in blogging and social media management. And we were right—she shared so much information about the latest in influencer marketing. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Topic: Influencer Marketing in 2020
Guest: Magda Urbaniak
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Does influencer marketing still work in social media, and especially on Twitter?

The unanimous answer is, yes, influencer marketing does work. Some of our members said they see more activity on Instagram than on Twitter, but our guest assured us that as long as it’s properly done, influencer marketing is still one of the primary ways people gather recommendations.

Dan explained how you should approach influencer marketing. Don’t send a random direct message to a high-profile account asking them to sell your product. Instead, identify a community to which your product or services directly relate to. Then approach someone who’s established themselves in that community, and ask them if they’d try and recommend your product. Influencer marketing isn’t about getting a lot of sales quickly. It’s about genuinely growing within a community.

Not only does it save time, but as our guest said, it’s also easier to heed an authoritative person’s preferences instead of trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t by ourselves.

Q2: What are some benefits of working with influencers?

One of the biggest advantages is that you save a lot of time. Community building is an intensive and slow process. If you find the right influencer, you’ve already got the first step of community building covered. They have a valuable audience that you can tap into.

Usually, brands connect with their audience directly. When you work with an influencer, you don’t have to spend time and effort on building awareness—your influencer will do that on your behalf. As long as you’re strategic about how the influencer projects your brand and the content they publish, you’re well on your way to a successful marketing campaign.

As Mike mentioned, it’s worth remembering that an influencer’s followers subscribe to their posts because they’d rather trust the word of a person than an unknown brand. It’s much harder for a business to build the same level of trust that an individual can.

Q3: Are there any pitfalls to working with influencers?

Certainly. As is the case with any good thing, there’re also dangers you should be aware of. The first one, for instance, is finding the right influencer. It seems easy in theory. However, when you start researching, you’ll realize that there’re more people “selling their influence” to you rather than real, influential people who care about their community and audience.

Another common problem with finding the right influencer is making sure their policies and actions align with your own. If you’re not on the same page sharing the same vision, even if you do work with them on a promotional activity, they might not spread the word and all of your efforts could just fall flat.

Remember, influencer marketing can be tricky. It works, but it also requires a lot of foresight and careful planning. As our friends from GiveWP said, if you’re a nonprofit in particular, a wrong move by an influencer can hurt more than help your efforts.

Q4: What are some ways to identify influencers in your niche?

Since we talked about how difficult it is to find the right influencer to work with, we decided to quiz our community and our guest about ways to find some relevant influencers.

Magda’s top tip was to make things easy for yourself and automate. She suggested using tools like Upfluence, NeoReach, and TapInfluence.

That said, our guest also emphasized the value of manually going through an influencer’s profile. How do they respond to mentions? How active are they? Do they post genuine content? Answering these questions will help you find the right one.

 

As Jim also confirmed, it’s important to understand these influencers and their work. That’s why you should look at their activities and be aware of their general tone and approach to their communities.

Here’re a few more ideas our community members shared:

  • Browse through Twitter’s list of relevant people based on your recent conversations and engagement.
  • Use Twitter’s Advanced search to find industry publications and their authors and other contributors.
  • Use tools like BuzzSumo and Awario.
  • Stay updated on industry news through podcasts, publications, and social listening tools like SocioAlert, Mention, Agorapulse, and Talkwalker Alerts.

Q5: Who are micro-influencers?

We’re hearing this word being thrown around all the time nowadays. Seen those high-profile Twitter users with millions of followers and little to no engagement? They are not micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are people who tweet or post regularly, participate in conversations, share useful information with their audience, and have an active community. They’re small-scale and hyper-focussed on their followers, and they usually have up to about 10k subscribers.

As theduu suggested, micro-influencers aren’t your typical celebrities. They’re more relationship-driven.

Q6: When should you choose micro-influencers?

Pretty much always. One main reason to choose a micro-influencer is because they have a closer interaction with their audience than a macro-influencer who’s quite out of touch with their follower base.

Another reason, and one that a lot of small businesses can appreciate, is that micro-influencers are more affordable to work with. Considering that you and the influencer are both growing, you can have a better relationship with them, and they’ll be more open to working with you over an intimidating billion-dollar corporation.

It’s a win-win.

Even if you do have the financial capacity to hire a high-profile influencer, working with smaller influencers means that you’re spreading awareness of your brand across many wider networks instead of one large community. Prof. Yateghtegh did the math for us. Numbers don’t lie, people.

 

Q7: How has influencer marketing evolved over the years?

You’ve probably noticed that influencer marketing, both as an activity and as a concept of learning and discussion, has grown immensely over the last few years. Influencers and brands are ever so cautious about not doing anything to damage their reputation. Some countries, as our guest pointed out, have even established ground rules.

Still, there’re a lot for marketers and brands to learn and understand. It’s important not to dive into influencer marketing without understanding the processes, the complexities, and the consequences involved.

Another interesting development is the sheer number of people self-describing as influencers. Like I said earlier, some of these people build a business by selling their influence—be wary, for sometimes these could be scams and an utter waste of your money.

That’s also why genuine influencers have become selective about the brands they work with. As our friends from Jointive rightly said, not everyone’s in it for the money, and real influencers are aware of their community’s responses and how they could, at times, perceive these endorsements as fake.

That point leads right into what Workplay Digital said too. People are now far more attuned to being sold to. Because influencer marketing has taken a rather salesy tone recently, audiences are more sensitive and are careful to avoid traps. It just establishes the need for a sincere approach to influencer marketing.

Q8: How has influencer marketing impacted social media?

It’s changed the way influencers interact with people on social media. On one side, since people are more sensitive to sponsored content and often reject brands and influencers that try to oversell to them, businesses have become more human. Their approach to content and conversations have changed so much for the better.

As Jim said, it’s helped social media become far more transparent than it used to be. Anyone can now call out a brand or its influencer on social media, and get an immediate response.

 

All that’s great. However, while one side of social media is growing positively, another side is taking a hit. If you look closely at some profiles on Twitter, you’ll notice that they sound a lot like advertisement columns in the Sunday newspaper. That’s one major aftermath of wrong influencer marketing.

As marketers engaging in influencer marketing activities, that’s what we want to avoid.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading and if you’d like to see more insights from our chat with Magda, check out this Twitter Moment Joana out together. If you’ve got some time to spare on Thursday, join us for the next #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET.


About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

Say hello: Personal blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

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