By Claire John

According to the 2016 Influencer Marketing Report released by Chute, influencers have become crucial for brands to reach audiences that are more separated and distracted than ever. Companies, regardless of their size, are starting to realize the true importance of influencer campaigns, which is why it poses as one of the most important digital marketing trends in 2017.

While most people think this is super easy, the truth is that you have to make some effort, too. It’s not just about browsing for people with a lot of followers; it’s also about the strategy you choose and the person you work. To help, this post will name five practical influencer marketing strategies you shouldn’t ignore.

1. Build Social Followers

The goal of every influencer campaign is to make sure your products or services are visible to larger groups of people. An average customer trusts influencers more than celebrities or “regular” promotions done by companies themselves. However, you can also use this marketing strategy to increase the number of people who follow your brand on social media accounts.

With the rise of the internet and social platforms, having a strong presence on these websites is mandatory for all companies that want to survive the competitive market today. One way of boosting the follower counts on your profiles is through social media takeovers. How does it work? An influencer you work with announces to his/her followers that they’ll be taking over an official account of your brand and they announce the date. Brands usually do this with Instagram and Snapchat. During this time, the influencer posts photos, videos, engages your followers and attracts more.

2. Use Product Placement Campaigns

Undoubtedly the most popular influencer campaign strategy that brands use is partnering up with bloggers or vloggers for product placement campaigns. What’s that? Product placement campaign involves incorporating a company’s services, products, etc. into an influencer’s content in a subtle, engaging, flattering, and creative manner. Because influencers have thousands of followers, product placements are a compelling opportunity for brands to gain more exposure.

Bear in mind that product placement shouldn’t seem like an infomercial, that’s not how influencer marketing works. A blogger is posting a photo of your product to his/her social media profile with “buy this” caption isn’t going to be well received. Followers wouldn’t find the post reliable or trustworthy. The key here is to allow influencers to create organic posts, something that doesn’t seem too promotional. That’s why it’s essential to give your influencer a creative freedom to come up with the ideal content for product placement strategy.

3. Create Hashtag Campaigns

Another highly effective strategy for this type of marketing is focusing influencer campaign around a central theme or a hashtag. Why? It is because hashtag campaigns help you build momentum and consistency that customers always appreciate. How can influencers assist you with this? The process is similar to product placements, bloggers, or vloggers you choose to serve to engage their followers and attract new ones. They can motivate other people to use hashtag your company provided and, thus, promote your business and make a substantial growth. This is a unique, yet very successful, way to facilitate a genuine social conversation and increase brand exposure.

4. Don’t Be Fooled by a Follower Count

This is always important to point out because most companies make similar mistakes – they get mesmerized by a huge number on someone’s profile. Of course, it’s useful when a person has a lot of followers; nobody denies that. But, at the same time, it is also important to make sure that same person knows how to engage their members. Engagement rate counts as well!

This mistake usually occurs because of companies, and the general public, believe that every person with thousands of followers is an influencer. No, that person is just attractive! An influencer is a person with a lot of members and high engagement rate. It’s a person who can motivate others, animate them to do something, and that is the type of influencer you need to promote your product or services. Finding an ideal influencer can be very demanding, but the resulting benefits are numerous. The success of your influencer campaign depends on bloggers outreach; you can do it by yourself or use the website or work with specialized businesses that find them for you.

5. Find Ways to Use Contests and Giveaways

People like getting rewards or free stuff, who doesn’t? It is an excellent way to show customers you appreciate them; loyalty should always come with certain perks. Hosting contests and giveaways are influencer campaign strategies that never fail. You can also incorporate some specific hashtag here as well. While you can host contests and giveaways without influencers, you’ll reach more people and have a higher number of contestants and applicants if bloggers engage individuals who follow them.

Influencer campaigns help companies, big and small, reach more people, and promote their products and services, which improve SEO and so much more. There are many strategies you can incorporate easily, and this post included five of them. Be wise when finding influencers, establish a healthy relationship with them, and work on implementing different influencer campaign methods.