If you Google “what is an influencer“, you’ll find various articles that define it as someone with a credible, visible online presence who, thanks to their knowledge of a specific niche or topic, has the power to influence public opinion and move others to action.
If we apply this definition to our own lives, then an influencer is the person (a friend, neighbor, coworker or relative) you turn to when you want to get something right. And when I say something, I mean a restaurant, a watch, the number of days you should spend in a particular city, or (almost) anything else you could imagine/want.
Basically, you rely on that person because you trust their judgment—and, although skeptics may think it’s insane to trust a perfect stranger, the same goes for influencers. We believe them because day after day, in their photos, blog posts, or YouTube videos, they’ve proved their credibility—and earned our trust.
And just as we all have a few key people in our lives who help/urge/encourage us when we’re making a (buying) decision, today we have a bunch of people who do the same thing over the internet.
Continuing with the friend-influencer analogy, it’s also important to remember that in the world of influencers, as in your circle of acquaintances, some people are better than others for certain things. Fortunately, you can choose who to turn to. You decide who to follow on social media, just as you decide which friends’ opinions are helpful and which ones you’d rather ignore.
You’d never ask someone who’s never played an instrument in his life about which guitar to buy; you’d never ask your fast-food-loving friend for restaurant recommendations when you’re on a health kick; and you’re obviously not going to take advice from the first influencer you come across. Why not? Because you’re free to choose which friend to trust and which influencer to believe. And, more often than not, they’re the people you identify with most.
Every human being and every campaign is unique, so the first thing you need to do is clearly define your goals before working with influencers. What do you want to do? Sell more? Go super-viral? Launch a new product? Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, the message you want to send, and who you want to reach, you can choose the type of person that’s right for your campaign. That person has to be the perfect fit for your brand and, naturally, your goals.
Of course, one of the most important steps when choosing an influencer is to make sure that you share the same values and audiences, because if that person is representative of your target audience, you know your message will reach them.
And finally, make your influencers active participants, because if you get them involved and work closely with them, if you aren’t afraid to let them say things their own way, everyone wins and the end result will be much more satisfactory for both of you.