A decade ago, not many could have predicted the sudden boom of influencers. And that it will create a whole new field – influencer marketing. What might have started as an innovative and bold way for companies to reach their audiences, now is a $6.5 billion industry. Brands today are investing thousands into campaigns with creators, online courses and academies to study the field are popping up, and half of 14-18 year old Hungarians dream of becoming an influencer.
But since everything is so relatively new, the job of these marketers remain a mystery. So we decided to ask Eglė Švažienė – an Influencer Marketer here at Tesonet – all about this position. What do these guys do all day and do they get to watch a lot of Youtube videos?
So what is an influencer marketing?
Well, as the name suggests, influencer marketing involves working with people who have not only reach but influence as well. We all are familiar with celebrity endorsement. So, it’s the idea of it, placed into a content-driven marketing campaign.
Many don’t see why brands choose to work with influencers instead of celebrities. But there’s a huge difference. Celebrities keep a distance between them and the audience, their opinion and lifestyle are more admired than related to. Influencers, on the other hand, have a closer relationship with their audience, they’re not only heard and seen but listened to the point of influencing the decisions.
So our job as influencer marketing managers is to identify those creators who have influence, to build relationships with them and build their trust. We do this, so they could confidently and naturally offer the product to their audience. People at first trust the creator, not the product. So, when done right, it can increase sales and provides a high ROI for a business.
What influencer marketing is not?
This job isn’t just about finding someone with an audience. Or pursuing a creator who has largest views on a platform. It’s not even about contacting any influencer with a great camera making cool videos or pictures. It’s about really analysing the creators and their audiences to see whether there’s engagement. If the people are looking for a human connection and advice from their favourite content creators, they’ll be truly engaged and active. So we’re not trying to reach everyone. We’re working on reaching the right audience, using the language and style they recognise and trust. That’s why we don’t try to control the creative process of the influencers. Instead, we become their partners who guide and respect the authority they have built themselves.
What your typical day at work look like?
As creative and flexible this position sounds and is, it still requires a certain structure and organization to your work. Here performance tracking is a huge part of this job. It not only can be but always should be measured, because I believe recognising patterns or deviations from the norm, is a key to learning and improving. So, every day I track the ROI and strategize the next steps for growth. My job also includes creating tracking details, testing them and making sure that everything is working properly. We don’t want to later find out that the campaign didn’t succeed because of the technical stuff. So, as you can see, there’s a lot of data to deal with and many Google Sheets to be filled.
Then there’s the constant communication with influencers and their representatives that takes a lot of time too. From simply building a trustworthy relationship with them to negotiating the best deals, this job definitely keeps me on my toes. I always have to be up-to-date with the industry news, work with the creators on their creative ideas and see how we can implement them. This all might sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t take away from the feeling you get when you see the content you worked on getting published. Of course, you don’t get to admire it for too long, since you have to go and immediately track the performance.
How do you measure what works and what doesn’t?
There’s no one definite answer to it because it all depends on the goals of the company. Popular opinion is that influencer marketing is only good for increasing product awareness, but I think that’s only because many brands started experimenting with influencer marketing as a way to increase visibility. Or simply because that’s their key goal. But here at Tesonet, we’ve found ways to measure how it affects sales too and the exact return too. And we see that campaigns with influencers actually drive sales as well, not only increase brand awareness.
What skills do you need to start in this industry?
Like any professional, you need to believe in what you do and be passionate about it. As mentioned before, this job isn’t just about being creative, it requires analytical skills as well. To start and succeed in influencer marketing, you need to be structured, goal-oriented, open-minded and curious. These are the qualities that form a professional. And, as silly as it sounds, to consume influencers’ content, watch Youtube videos daily, watch Twitch streams, listen to podcasts – this kind of “no-lifing” is what helps you a lot here!