Under the Influence: Getting Your Brand Into Shape with Social Influencers
Marketing strategies are fluid by nature, and that’s never truer than in the digital space. In the digital and social media worlds, the whims of the consumer are fleeting, variable – and ever more trackable to the savvy digital marketing team. But those same consumers are also more empowered than ever before to sidestep the advertising and content they don’t want in favor of what they do want. And what they seem to want is people they trust providing a model for a better life.
So it’s no mystery why social influencers have become marketing powerhouses in such a short span of time. Influencers as young as 13 years old are signing on with top brands to direct the creation and marketing of influencer-centric lines and products.
At its most basic, social influencer marketing isn’t that much different from endorsement deals of the past. But consumers are savvier than ever before, so reaching them requires a gentler touch.
Nowhere are these trends more apparent than in the booming world of fitness models. There are as many opinions about how to get fit as there are gym memberships in America, so consumers naturally gravitate toward voices that can show results – and recommend the products that helped them get where they are today.
Take SHREDZ Supplements. They’ll be the first to admit they’re a marketing company first and a supplement company second. They’ve made identifying and empowering social influencers the cornerstone of their success, and their efforts have paid off. In 2012, SHREDZ earned $90,000. In 2013, their gross revenue was $5 million, and they’ve been on the rise ever since. Their top fitness models command audiences in the millions, and can dictate what supplements and brands they’ll endorse on those social channels. If the product isn’t authentic to who they are, they’ll turn it down – even if that means missing out on millions of dollars. Short-term gain is no substitute for cultivating a lifetime brand.
If you’re interested in getting into social influencer marketing, here are a few things to consider. First, consider where your target audience already lives and browses, and what your idea of successful outreach is. SHREDZ spent a year studying the markets before deciding to make Instagram home base for their talent, and that patience paid off.
Second, decide if you want one big name or several small ones. There are pros and cons to either route, and what’s right for your brand may not be what’s immediately obvious. Again, careful and patient study of the market will reveal to you what truly moves the needle and what’s a passing fad.
And finally, once your social influencer program is up and running, stay active, involved and agile. Social influencer marketing lives and dies on being honest and responsive, and open communication with your influencers will keep their voice authentic. Remember: You are not building a network of one-time transactions. You are building relationships with customers that can last a lifetime.
Thankfully, building relationships is what we’re best at. If you’ve got any questions about what social influencer marketing can do for your health and fitness brand, check out our services and give us a shout. We’d love to get your brand in shape.