A recent forecast by data and research firm eMarketer revealed that digital ad spending will surpass TV ad spending by the end of 2016. Leading the growth are influencers— individuals who have the ability to sway the buying decisions of online communities who trust their opinions. In an eMarketer podcast, Finding and Activating Influencers, guests Kate LaVail, Senior Account Supervisor, Research+Data Insights (RDI), and Tim Burke, CEO, Affinio, shared their perspectives on influencer marketing success strategies. Here are some of their insights:

  • The practice of influencer marketing is changing and there is a shift away from partnering with influencers who have a massive reach to hyper-targeting, which involves figuring out exactly who these individuals are reaching to determine if the audience will resonate with the brand.

  • Authentic voices in the marketplace are becoming more viable, so brands will be successful if they can identify and activate trusted influencers in niche communities, who have smaller, but loyal followings.
  • Brands should not assume that they can pay their way into influence by simply putting out their message with an influencer to gain traction. Consumers are savvy and can identify authenticity. As a result, influencer marketing isn’t just about identifying and paying influential individuals, it’s about finding someone who has a natural affinity for the brand. This push for quality means that building relationship with influencers is key in order to leverage and position them in an effective way.

  • Content marketing is not just about advertising as much as it is about education. Work with influencers to position your brand to be part of a solution that customers are looking for, so the consumer sees value.

  • Use targeted analysis before selecting influencers to work with. Before launching a product in a new region, for example, brands can utilize tools to identify local influencers and leverage the individual’s authentic voice as part of a go-to-market strategy.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.