The Beginning of Influencer MarketingThink back to 2002 when shiny billboards would captivate you and steal all of your attention. 2002 is around the same time that marketers and data analysts predicted us living in an advertisers society by 2012. Marketers used to think that we would not even be able to walk down the street without encountering a billboard, moving or otherwise, selling us a product. While they weren’t right in their assumptions, they weren’t necessarily wrong either. This day and age big brands reach us in a new way. Entirely repulsed by the idea of a blatant ad or billboard on the highway, advertisers have come up with tactics to reach us in our homes. Initially, they were able to do this brilliantly through social media. What used to be used to network and connect with family members in different states is now used to sell us virtually everything.
Who Are These Influencers?It started with a brand taking the traditional concept of buying ad space on your favorite social media outlet; similar to how you would purchase ad space in a newspaper or through a commercial. Then, out of nowhere, there was this shift, and the consumer told the market that we did not want to a sales team in our face constantly. When this happened, companies both big and small had to start thinking a little harder about how they would reach us. Thus, influencer marketing was born. An influencer is someone who has some credibility in a particular industry with an audience that trusts their opinion. This trust enables the influencer to impact the decisions of their audience when it comes to their industry of choice. There are a few different categories when it comes to influencers:
- Industry experts and thought leaders
- Content creators
Finding the Right OneIn regards to your hair brand, the concept of influencer marketing is a sure fire way to make sales. If you tap the right beauty influencer to model and endorse your product, you can benefit from their following. ‘How?’ do you ask? Well, by selling your hair to their audience, using their reach. Regardless of the fact that a lot of us follow the accounts of people who we don't know on social media, there is a distinct group of people who can influence our buying decisions. Whether it be for small purchases or large purchases, smart companies capitalize off of our want to connect and imitate. However, there is an art to this. You cannot just pick a random social media user with a high follower count to model for your hair company. Keep reading to ensure that your business gets exposed to your predetermined target market via the right hair model.
Determine Your Target Customer & Pick Your PlatformWhatever you do, do not try to use a hair model to capture customers on all platforms. Think of the demo you are trying to reach. For example, if your hair brand caters to:
- African American or mixed race females
- Over the age of 25
- Who is living in the city
- Who have disposable income
Create a Model/Campaign BudgetSet a budget for your model! Take into account what you want your model to bring to the table. Base your budget off of those expectations and build that into the marketing portion of your overall budget. If you are interested in more visits to your website, more visits to your IG page or a boost in your internet sales realize that you may have to spend a few hundred dollars. Free product may not cut it for what you want to accomplish. For example, you may end up targeting a model who has less than 100,000 followers. A model with a follower account of that caliber will charge in the ballpark of $300. A real campaign with someone who has a more extensive reach could cost you thousands of dollars.
The Models YOUR hair brand should TargetYou want to find a social media expert who not only models but also creates content. If you were to pick a person who just models you would have to wait for them to find a team after they install the hair so that they can coordinate a shoot. However, if you seek someone who currently creates niche beauty based content, you will have a model and a production crew in one package. A combination of skills like this can get your campaign to the masses quickly. The fantastic thing about the current influencer is the fact that they can create content on one thing, be it beauty (hair, make up, or both), food, entertainment, or entrepreneurship. Their audience goes to them for content in these specific areas. As a hair business who is just starting their campaign, it would be beneficial to target your product to a particular audience by reaching out to a model who is a micro-influencer and or a blogger with their own platform.
BloggersA blogger can be a great model for your hair company for many reasons. The main one being that bloggers with a large enough following have managed to gain the respect and the loyalty of their readers. Readers both new and old come to their site because they know the content is consistent and relatively truthful. You can use that to your advantage by sending a blogger with a big enough following a pitch to model for your hair brand in exchange for free product. Because bloggers are always on the lookout out for new content, they will probably respond by not only wearing the product but also by posting a favorable review of your hair on their blog site. To make this worth your while it would be beneficial to look into fashion, hair, and beauty bloggers. Most bloggers write about specific topics, and you want to make sure that a post about your hair will reach the audience that is already hunting for more information on that topic.
Guest PostingAnother way you can get your hair posted on a blog is by guest posting. You could send the blogger your product for free in exchange for pictures and then write your own blog post for their blog. You can then control the content that is being created for your brand and make sure that all of the critical information like pricing and is in the post while still making use of the blogger’s audience. Depending on the size of the blog, some bloggers may also ask you to purchase a sponsored post if you would like them to model for you. The sponsored post will have more overt mentions of your company than the traditional product post because you are paying to be on the blog. It will also be noted that the post is sponsored on the actual blog page, but do not be alarmed. Not very many people care about the SPONSORED tag put on the post because the content aligns with the theme of the website. An advantage of using a beauty blogger or content creator as a hair model is how they can repurpose the content. Both bloggers and vloggers cultivate their audiences; however, their content still needs to be promoted. A lot of the time they will screenshot or take clips of their articles or videos and post them on all forms of social media. Promoting in this way let’s potential readers and viewers know of new content and can be a way for you to grow your hair company’s social media handles if you provide them with your handles. Content creators who promote this way are often considered micro-influencers as well because their social media presence mirrors the branding on their blogs or vlogs.
Micro-InfluencersThe micro-influencer will produce more content in categories such as finance, health, beauty, entertainment, or travel, but the content will cater to a specific demographic in those categories. For example, a micro-beauty influencer could have a particular interest in natural hair. So their audience looks for their content to give them natural hair inspiration. As a hair company, you could take advantage of their reach by supplying them with kinky style extensions in different styles to create different forms of content. All of this content would is authentic because it already aligns with the influencer’s brand and relevant to both of your platforms.
What Your Models Need
Relevant ContentYou may think that the most important factor to consider when working with a hair brand model is their follower count. You would be wrong! The most important thing to consider when choosing a model for your brand is their previously posted content. Make sure that whatever they have a history of posting to their audience is what you should be to aligning your brand with. For example, if you see someone on IG is into fitness and you are the owner of an organic juice bar you may want to reach out to them. At first glance, you may feel that both of you are promoting a similar lifestyle. However, if you click on their account and scroll through their posts you may see that they post their workouts, but they also post pictures of soul food and non-organic dishes. They may not be the model for your business! Check out what you potential model may be buying and look to see if their personality is in tune with your brand. If they make a lot of product posts and only wear hair extensions on their birthday, it would make no sense for them to be a hair model because they do not traditionally wear hair. Your partnership would look like an ad, and that is something that you do not want. It should not be easy to point out that your model is posting irrelevant content to their feed and to their audience. Think about it:
- If your hair brand is promoting affordability, is your model budget conscious? You could tap a fashion or beauty influencer who is known to thrift and do DIY projects.
- Does your hair brand want to capture moms who brand themselves with the idea that they are more than a mother? The model you reach out to should have a child.
- Is your target customer an overall glamorous person? Your model should have a feed full of editorial like pictures that convey who you want wearing your extensions.