How to determine if influencers are right for your brand and industry

Aug 15, 2019

By James Nord

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(as adapted from A Drink with James)

Influencers are a new way to execute advertising. If influencers are seen as just another marketing channel—a new and exciting marketing channel—think about what industries that marketing is relevant for, and that turns out to be essentially every industry.

Being a new channel, influencer marketing is not fully matured. There are definitely are pockets where it is harder to find influencers who are focused on your industry. Let's think about a company that's very much B2B on an enterprise level and is making wind turbines. Probably not a huge place for influencers right? The audience that you're trying to market to or sell to is probably not on Instagram. What are people going to say about enormous wind turbines on Instagram?

Nevertheless, big companies that have little transparency to the public can think of advertising as more of a PR thing. They just want to get their name known a little bit and so there are ways for companies that aren’t consumer brands to get the word out. That might be around some things they're doing with the charity. Maybe they have some kind of fun project that they're working on. Maybe it's a big Gala event that they do and they invite influencers too.

As a brand, there's not a lot of brands out there that don't want more people knowing what they are. As time progresses, we will see the space becomes more important and influential. Businesses that understand that there is no consumer side to their business will use influencers to shed light on the corporate social responsibility work that they're doing, or some of the other initiatives to get some goodwill in the space.

Get some name recognition out there. That's traditionally how those brands have used advertising. Because they're not in the public's sphere, many brands want to own that narrative and be able to say, "If anyone knows anything about us, we want it to be this thing that we do.”

To get back to the actual question: how do you find out if they're influential in your industry? If you're not a first mover is to probably see if you're competitors start using them. Still, with almost every industry, there is something that your business or brand could do with an influencer to help move the needle for your business and do some good for you.

It would be very rare for a business to work with influencers and not have it make sense. It depends largely on the messaging and again for those alternative industries, the ones that are more B2B, it's going to be more company-focused as opposed to product-based.