It seems like a different kind of influencer is having a moment every year. Bloggers, micro-influencers, Twitch streamers, TikTok stars, celebrities—all have seen their share of fame. Is there a difference this year? As people hunt for solutions, sources of inspiration, and sources of support, internet networks have a crucial role to play as the COVID-19 aftermath forces the global economy into further instability.
For many firms, navigating the effects of the recent economic downturn will be difficult in the months to come. In these uncertain times, brands may wish to consider working with community influencers to engage consumers by combining intelligence and empathy. From the fundamentals of what community influencers are to the best ways to connect with and collaborate with them, here’s how to get started.
A Community Influencer: What Is One?
Members of self-selected social groups who command the respect and trust of their peers are community influencers. They come from various walks of life, and they grow their fan bases by connecting with real people over interests in common. At least not in the conventional sense, they are not celebrities. They frequently aren’t even trained marketers.
Instead, community influencers in social media specialized communities are loyal brand supporters, knowledgeable product users, and role models. Community influencers are, above all else, effective spokesman for the brands and goods they cherish.
Authenticity is of utmost importance to community influencers. These influencers’ relationship with their followers is based on their social capital, which cannot be manufactured. In the COVID-19 era of social alienation, this is especially crucial. In pursuit of real connections to replace the missing human interaction, more individuals than ever before have started to rely on the digital ecosystem for their daily requirements since 2020.
Community influencers may be a windfall for brands in the current economic climate, but there is a catch: businesses must also be prepared to put in the effort to promote organic growth. Above all, brands need to let these influencers remain authentic to their fan bases and themselves.
The Location of Community Influencers
What product categories and brand verticals work best with community influencers?
Although it might seem like a cop out, practically all of them. Finding community influencers to suit their marketing requirements should be possible for any direct-to-consumer firm with an internet presence and an active client base.
Consider the financial services provider Top step. Top step is an online trading and education platform for the currency and futures markets. They focus on a highly niche market with a very targeted demographic. Top step then resorted to the community of futures and forex trading educators. In order to teach new traders to the Top step platform there, the company sought the aid of educators.
There are many diverse, ardent individuals in the world who daily advocate for brands without charge. It is only a matter of discovering them for marketers.
What social media channels do community influencers use?
Once more, nearly all of them. Although Facebook and Instagram continue to be the most popular platforms for influencers, TikTok is swiftly catching up. However, other communities employ various channels. The location of your clients is highly important.
What marketing objectives may community leaders aid in achieving?
Consumers in the modern day prefer engagement to being marketed to.
Engagement is where community influencers shine. By engaging in engagements outside of the sales funnel, such as responding to comments, joining debates, and sharing user-generated content, they develop organic relationships with their fans. Consumers feel less like they are being pitched to when the topic of a brand or product comes up and more like they are getting a suggestion from a friend.
Employing Community Influencers
It’s simple to forget that influencers are just regular people hiding behind all the pictures and posts. Influencer marketing is frequently a side hustle or part-time employment for them; they may be juggling several occupations and projects at once. You may collaborate more successfully with them if you comprehend their challenges and goals, particularly in these historic times.
- Among the most typical challenges faced by community influencers are:
- Starting small and growing in scope
- Finding enough time to handle administrative tasks and produce great content
- keeping a work/life balance and dividing their attention between volunteering in their areas and spending time with their family
- Expressing to brands their unique value proposition and avoiding being categorized under a general “promotional category”
Marketing advice for those collaborating with local influencers:
- Encourage freedom of speech in user-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing
- Be open to innovative payment methods (such offering free goods in place of commissions).
- To reduce the initial risks for new partners, think about reducing the pay windows or increasing the commission rates.
- Use promo codes (clickless tracking) for everything else and an unbiased tracking platform to track conversions when it’s possible to do so
- Communicate frequently – too much communication is always better than too little communication.
Influencers in the community and joint marketing
Will more companies use social media influencers this year? How will the state of the economy affect the way brands and influencers interact with their audiences? Time will only tell.