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IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Plenty to consider before hopping aboard the influencer bandwagon

Joe Smith

Special to the Record

There is no question that influencer marketing has become one of the biggest tools in many marketers’ toolboxes. If you want to get on board the big question today is whether to utilize the many influencers that are already out there or as some companies are attempting to do go it alone.

There are literally millions of influencers found worldwide. From the mega giants like the big name celebrities to more local or micro influencers that are right here in the Comox Valley who focus on specific topics such as lifestyle or outdoor and adventure. Rates vary depending on which platform they are using, for example Instagram, TicTok or YouTube. In addition, like any media, the rates are based on number of followers.

This is where it is essential that you have a good handle on who your best customers are and what platform they are more than likely to use for either entertainment or information. If you want to become your own influencer the key is to be able to find your niche and be recognized as an expert in your industry.

Either doing it yourself or using an established personality, you must be careful in not only selecting which influencer to use, but also ensure that both you and they adhere to the disclosure guidelines established by the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (CCAS). Failing to do so can result in hefty fines that will take a big bite out of your marketing budget.

Research has shown that transparency is one of the key factors that affect the consumers’ perception or belief in the influencers they may be following. In fact 20 per cent of consumers say they would stop following an influencer if they fail to be up-front about the products or services they are promoting.

If you want to go the influencer route there is a wealth of information online that can help point you in the right direction. Articles, blogs and websites cover just about everything from the basics to how to create content that will appeal to your selected audience.

The reality is that influencer marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. According to a number of reports, global influencer marketing was valued in 2020 at US$7.68 billion, US$10.24 billion in 2021 and is expected to climb to US$84.89 billion by 2028.

So should you rush out and get on the influencer bandwagon? Before you jump on board like every other strategy ask yourself how will this add to my brand? And just as important, take the time to educate yourself on how to effectively use this form of marketing to your advantage.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email joesmith@shaw.ca

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