UNB Marketing Blog
Tips and tricks from your university marketers

Influencer Marketing: If you’re not doing it, you’re missing out

Author: Sarah Albert

Posted on Jun 6, 2019

Category: Web and Social Media

With the rise of consumer awareness, marketers are required to find new ways to promote their brand.

Our audiences are craving a more personal experience, and our old ways of marketing often are not cutting it. The solution to this is rather simple: Social Media Influencers.

These social media gurus are known to be using one or more social platforms to build a significant audience and promote a product, service or idea. Basically, anyone can become an influencer.

But how can you recruit them and how can they help promote your unit?

Identifying influencers

Working with influencers can be costly. Organizations are paying thousands of dollars to partner-up with the most affluent personalities. However, you can get in on this trend without breaking the bank by turning to micro-influencers – people who have followings of less than 10,000 people.

Micro-influencers can help promote more than just items – they can also promote individual units and even an establishment at large. Whatever you have to offer, influencers can assist. With their help, you can access a different pool of users that still matches your target audience and increase traffic to your platforms, which ultimately leads to more successful marketing.

You can compensate micro-influencers through monetary compensation, but also freebies, shout-outs on your page and so much more.

Read more: Social media trends 2019: This time, it’s personal

Finding the right fit

Although a micro-influencer’s outreach is more limited, the right person can bring you just as far at a fraction of the cost.

It is important for you to choose an influencer with an audience that matches your target demographic. If you are trying to appeal to university students, for example, choosing a specific student to work with may be ideal for you. In this case, it is safe to assume that this person’s following would be composed mostly of students in the same age group.

It is your responsibility to do your homework and ensure that the person of your choice, along with their content, embodies the values of your brand. This will bring a feeling of authenticity and honesty to your audience, making them more likely to get on board with your marketing tactics.

When choosing an influencer, it is important to look at more than just numbers. A large following is great, but proves to be pointless if it does not reach your target audience.

Similarly, someone with 15,000 followers may look impressive, but if their content only gets 500 likes, beware. There are many ways to acquire likes and followers on social media through the use of bots. This means that these followers will not necessarily be active and engage with your content.

While different platforms are constantly updating their algorithms to fix this bot issue, some are running behind. This leaves it up to you to find the perfect candidate, that will bring you the best return on investment.

Creating content

On the micro-influencer’s side, it is important to be smart about the promotion. The key concepts to keep in mind here are the message, delivery and transparency.

For a micro-influencer to effectively deliver your message, your offering needs to be put in the spotlight. Your audience will appreciate a clear and concise message delivery that appears honest and authentic.

It is also important to be aware of your target demographic so that you can use the right delivery methods. For a younger demographic, Instagram or Snapchat influencers that use stories, live videos and newer features for promotion would be ideal. To reach an older demographic, turn to influencers who use platforms such as Facebook for their delivery.

Finally, as in any advertising campaign, transparency is a primary focus. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards clearly states that no advertisement shall be presented in a format or style that conceals the fact that it is an advertisement. This is mandatory under any form of advertisement, and the law makes no exceptions for influencers.

In the spirit of full disclosure, influencers can indicate a partnership through the use of hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored, or by simply issuing a short disclaimer.

Read more: How to fight the dreaded Facebook algorithm

No matter how amazing your promotion efforts are, everyone can benefit from micro-influencer marketing. Not only do they open your horizons to a larger pool of users, but they can do it for little to no cost. As long as you find the right fit for you, and ensure that guidelines are followed, you can expect to see positive results. What do you have to lose?

– Sarah Albert, Digital Marketing Assistant

Learn more

Want to learn more about social media marketing? Check out our Social Hub for helpful tips or contact us at socialmedia@unb.ca. We’d be happy to lend a hand!