All branding roads might lead to influencer marketing, but it isn’t a narrow, one-lane alley. No, influencer marketing is a complex superhighway with twists and turns, exits and on-ramps, and plenty of places to make pit stops. In such an energetic, multifaceted environment, you need a diversified influencer portfolio to keep your brand in full view.
What does diversity mean in this context? It’s not necessarily what you think. Rather than hire professional models for its 2017 holiday campaign, Sephora made use of a vibrant cast of characters pulled directly from its payroll. Each employee enjoyed a unique relationship with Sephora and its beauty products, showcasing that the brand wasn’t just giving lip service to authenticity and inclusion.
Sephora did influencer diversity right by generating new fans through the words and actions of its true brand enthusiasts. This wasn’t a happy accident, though. As happens with most winning strategies, the marketers thought long and hard about which influencers to choose. Then, they could confidently watch the campaign take flight.
Here’s how you can follow suit.
- Put your influencer eggs in lots of baskets.
The days of having one individual be the “face” of your brand are gone. You don’t have one customer, so why would you have one influencer? Furthermore, by hitching your wagon to one influencer, you’re essentially cutting out a massive portion of your target audience that might not connect with that individual.
So map out a way to represent and reflect modern consumers in all branding. One survey of marketing professionals showed that nearly 34 percent prefer using racially diverse images, about 11 percent featured same-sex relationships, and a little more than 10 percent added people with disabilities to their campaigns.
- Nurture a bunch of nano influencers.
Nano influencers are best defined by the people you’ve overlooked. Perhaps it’s the Gen Z Instagrammer with fewer than 5,000 followers or the Millennial vlogger with a tight-knit “Snapchat fam.” As influencers, the nanos won’t nab you tons of exposure, but the exposure you do get will be of higher quality. Plus, with technology platforms available to manage multiple nano influencers at once, you shouldn’t have difficulty keeping your marketing straight as you test diverse markets.
- Partner with budding Insta-preneurs.
Instagram has retained its lead as a top location for emerging influencers and entrepreneurs. Even young people from rural communities can amass significantly large audiences with the right messaging. Petite ‘n Pretty, for instance, is a cosmetic brand that targets young consumers by cultivating mini-makeup artists online. The brand seeks out artistic young people showing off their beautification chops and sends them products to use. It’s been a smart way to plant seeds and grow the brand among the youngest authenticity-focused buyers and their parents.
- Forget about leveraging one channel.
Most social media influencers aren’t playing around on a single platform. They know that audiences are available everywhere: The follower who lives on YouTube might have nothing to do with Twitter. Follow the breadcrumb trail of your top influencers’ followers to see where else they call home. Then, start a movement on that platform to bring your brand to light.
Social influencers representing every background are already laying the groundwork for your success, and they want to hear from you. Even if you’re an emerging company with a modest marketing budget, you owe it to your long-term growth and sales to find the right people to partner with. Think beyond yesterday’s definition of influencer marketing, and start embracing exciting opportunities available when you diversify