Laura and John Nelson are making bank. Big time. The siblings are co-founders of the beauty brand ColourPop––a cult favorite line of cosmetics that made a name for itself using social media alone. ColourPop went from affordable and anonymous, to a Kylie Jenner toting machine with over 1.6 million Instagram followers. How did they do it? They used social media influencers. Youtube Vloggers and Instagramers who already had their own following––enough so that their every move and rave review had, you guessed it, influence.
Businesses have always enjoyed a boost in brand recognition and profits at the tail end of a good review by someone in the public eye. The only difference now is that anyone can potentially be in the public eye. Which is why many influencers get hit with unfair assumptions about the amount of work it actually takes to become someone who keeps the interest and respect of millions of strangers online, seemingly effortlessly. It LOOKS like they’re not working. That’s the whole point. But, that is also why the term “influencer” carries a somewhat icky connotation. You will rarely find an influencer who wants to be referred to as such. Which is a shame, given how big of an impact influencers can have on the bottom line.
A recent report from BI Intelligence states that an influencer can actually create a 15% increase in revenue. That is, of course, if it’s done effectively with foresight and research. The product and the influencer have to fit together. And since most Youtube and Instagram bloggers would jump at the chance to monetize their feeds, it’s important to make sure not pair yourself with just anyone.
You’ll first want to confirm an influencers potential impact on your brand. There is no use approaching an influencer if it’s obvious that their followers will not respond to their endorsement of your brand. Start with an Instagram and YouTube ad unit to snuggle up next to their content. This will allow you to see if their viewers respond to your overtures directly without their endorsement. If they do, you’ve found your influencer! Just don’t call them that…
But, DO call them. Thriving is a matter of adaptation. As internet bots run rampant and become more sophisticated, a human face and voice is imperative. Word of mouth has always made products feel more trustworthy. It still does. The fact that influencers make their money through endorsements does not sully their overall message. Remember, these people are staking their reputation on being helpful to their audience. So, present your stats, explain your vision, help them help you.