Why every brand should have an influencer strategy

February 21, 2017

There are a lot of companies that are learning about influencer marketing and trying to broaden the scope of their marketing efforts by means of working with influencers to promote content. In the early days of Nike, influencer strategies were commandeered through star athletes and multi-year partnerships to promote products. At the time, these contracts and partnerships seemed to cost a lot of money. Nike put forward massive budgets to bet on the influence of their stars.

Today, influencer marketing through ambassadors and influencers that are found on social networks presents a more targeted way to find your brand advocates. The diversification of “star power” has also built larger quantities of smaller partnerships between social media influencers and brand ambassadors can be found in all corners of the internet. For the brands starting up wishing that they had a budget to sponsor a star athlete like Michael Jordan, this new age of advertising has provided a place for them to start, and find the early ambassadors for their products and services.

Daniel Wellington is a great example of a business that has built up a lot of it’s early success through an influencer marketing strategy. Recruiting influencers as brands ambassadors has led Daniel Wellington from a small time watch brand, to a +$200 Million business in just 5 years. DW wasn’t able to do this by just giving people watches and telling them to post photos, they worked with influencers and ambassadors who were genuinely excited about their products. It also means that not every watch company can pull off the exact same strategy with influencers. They turned people into advocates by making their marketing feel personal and authentic.

There’s no questioning that the over 1 million uses of their hashtag #danielwellington on Instagram have contributed to the brand awareness and continuous growth in year over year sales. If you build a great product, you want to get it in as many hands as possible. Not only does this increase revenue for most companies, but it also increases the number of people using your product.

More people using your product = More consistent feedback = More accurate optimizations

As a marketer, it’s easy to think you have an influencer strategy all figured out. For most of us who have studied the way businesses attract new customers, promoting products through sponsored athletes and thought leaders is not a new concept. However, developing an influencer/ ambassador strategy isn’t as clear cut as sponsoring Stephen Curry, or Lebron James anymore. Sponsoring a group of 10 smaller influencers on Instagram with 10,000 followers each that act as thought leaders to a group of fashionista’s or sneakerheads is equally, if not more effective in most cases to promote products. Finding these thought leaders in less discoverable corners of the internet is what makes adopting this strategy more difficult. At Dovetale we’ve heard this so many times. We actually built a product called Recommendations to fill this void.

Discovering the right people to represent your brand is just part of the equation when developing an influencer strategy. Your strategy should also account for paying these influencers the right prices or compensating them with product appropriately, measuring the impressions and demographics of your influencer campaigns and managing the relationships you develop.

If one thing is for certain, it’s that setting aside a budget for influencer marketing and setting up a strategy is a strong move for all businesses to drive more sales.