The industry of influencer marketing is growing faster than the speed of light.  This highly profitable industry, in which brands collaborate with popular social media personalities, demands that insider knowledge is shared with the masses.  Influencer marketing as a concept is simple to understand, but every facet of this industry comes in a different shape and size.

Marketing Concepts

Major Influencer Industries and Niches:

1. Fashion/ Beauty

2. Travel/ Lifestyle

3. Celebrity/ Entertainment

4. Sports

5. Gaming

6. Health/ Fitness

7. Family/ Home/ Parenting

8. Business/ Tech

Why are influencer verticals (also known as industries) important for brands?  Simple: if you are a brand, you are in an industry, and it makes sense to partner with influencers within your same industry.  Beyond the industry, brands fall into niches – if they are savvy – and naturally, so do influencers.

Take the list above; within each vertical are niches and sub-niches.  A fashion blogger probably doesn’t blog about fashion in general.  Most likely, this influencer has discovered his or her own niche through a personalized brand and mission.  An excellent example of this is Zunera Serena, rated as Washington D.C.’s #1 Fashion Blogger.  Because Zunera doesn’t just blog about fashion, she has paved a unique path and made a name for herself in the fashion and blogging world.  Zunera takes the approach of “Fashion Feminista”, her life’s missions to inspire feminist freedom, all while wearing the latest fashion.

What’s In a Niche:

Most experts in the industry (myself included) will tell you that you should focus on hiring influencers within your brand’s niche industry, over numbers of followers.  This totally makes sense if there is a particular industry your brand and product focus on, but what if that’s not the case?

Take a recent campaign we ran a campaign for a dating app as an example.  The app had a specialty focus, but even the niche focus did not demand niche influencers.  What was important was that influencers in a particular geography who fit specific demographics (age, social reach, etc.) were on board with the campaign.

Even if you sell vegan chocolates, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a vegan foodie influencer to promote your brand.  It might serve the image of your company to hire yogis, fitness influencers, and even general social media celebs to promote the product.

Influencer Marketing Agency Niches:

Over the last year, influencer marketing agencies are cropping up left and right, and they each have their own little specialty.  There are upsides and down-sides to general vs. highly-focused agencies, and whom your brand chooses to partner with on your next influencer marketing campaign will depend on your brand, your campaign goals, your niche, and your consumer market.  Some considerations:

  • A social media platform-focused agency prevents brands from cross-channel or omni-channel promotion.  In other words, you won’t get the most bang for your buck with a single influencer on a single platform, but you will maximize profits when working with an influencer who can share across multiple social media outlets.  I have seen some Instagram-focused influencer marketing agencies pop up recently, but they may not be able to produce the kinds of results a brand could expect from a fully customized campaign that involves Periscope, YouTube (think Millennials), Vine (think Gen-Zers), blog articles, and more.
  • The blanket influencer platform.  A majority of influencer marketing agencies offer fantastic services for brands that include matching brands with influencers kind of like a dating service.  The agency’s connection with any particular influencer goes no further than a blanket platform housing necessary information.  The agency does not necessarily know or engage with any influencer until they land client campaigns.
  • Community equals network effect.  At HireInfluence, our niche is both brand-focused services and influencer-focused services.  We have gone to great lengths to build the most comprehensive and robust influencer social sharing community around.  In fact, it is the only one that exists for influencers.  Advowire encourages collaboration amongst influencers and supports their personal brands.  This, in turn, furthers our ability to maximize campaign profits for brands who partner with our influencers because we are so intimately involved with the community.  It’s a win-win for brands and influencers.

What’s Right For Your Brand?

Influencer marketing agencies are a worthy consideration because they know influencer niches and sub-niches like the back of their hand.  Here are some key factors to help you in your decision on collaborating with an agency. f

1. The agency cares more about you and your business than the bottom line.

Each business has to make enough money to stay in business.  That said there are certain companies and agencies that do business for the greater good, and others that do business solely on the principle to further their own cause.  When it comes to influencer marketing, you want an agency that cares.  You want to find an agency that cares about the influencers they work with and the brands with which they do business.

#ThatsHowWeDo – How do you know?  Trust your entrepreneurial instincts; you can suss out the disingenuous as easily as the next savvy business person.  How do we make sure we care about the brands we represent?  We will only work with brands which we know and believe are a good fit for us.  We want to collaborate with companies we know we can carry first across the finish line, every time.

2. They execute with flexibility.

It’s awesome to meet successful influencer marketing agencies that have their formula down, but certain formulas are, well, stuck in a sense.  They are unbendable and inflexible, so when you – the deliciously unique and complex, one-of-a-kind brand that you are – bring your campaign to a particular agency or platform that is more “one size fits all”, your options are limited.  Sure, some of these agencies seem to have built success on representing hundreds of thousands of influencers, or hosting a massive influencer platform, but how “responsive” is that platform and how applicable can any one feature be to you and your needs?

#ThatsHowWeDo – At HireInfluence we pride ourselves on running campaigns that are all one-of-a-kind.  We do not have any pre-packaged or canned campaigns to fit the needs of customers, because we know how crucial the details of a brand’s vision, voice, message, tactics, and campaign methodology are, and that they will change from one campaign to the next.

3. Campaigns are built on a formulaic process

Whether we like it or not, social media, influencer marketing, branding, and business is a game of numbers.  There is absolutely no way to gather information about a campaign’s success without metrics.  Likewise, no company can launch a campaign without influencers in place with whom they have first chosen, engaged, negotiated payment arranged content and set contracts.  Many influencer agencies have some process for running their influencer campaigns, but do they share with you what it is, and what exactly is it?  Is the process thorough enough and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you feel comfortable taking part in it?

#ThatsHowWeDo – At HireInfluence our primary focus is to bring brands our 7-Step, Results-Driven Process, which is a highly organized, managed, and documented environment designed to have an impressive, conversion-focused impact.  Why?  We know the one thing that matters at the end of the day, and at the end of your campaign, are the results.

Statistics of Influence Marketing:

Influencer Marketing with an Agency:

  • In 2015, 84% have set aside a budget to engage in influencer campaigns.
  • We know more than anyone that it takes a village to lead a successful influencer campaign.
  • Our latest infographic shares that two-thirds of all brands get stuck before they even begin
  • Brands are unable to even identify the right influencer for their brand or campaign.

Getting Started With HireInfluence:

  • Once we receive your campaign specifics, we tap into our industry knowledge to identify the best-fit social talent for your needs.
  • We scour our own validated database as well as a spectrum of niche channels and verticals to uncover the top personalities in your space that meet all campaign criteria.
  • We don’t end our exploration until we have exhausted every available resource – so you can rest assured your brand messaging will be shared by the most influential, niche-appropriate Influencers available.
    • Each campaign incorporates the fundamentals of building buzz, driving traffic, and optimizing conversions.
    • Rather than a “brand to influencer dating service”, we take a hands-on, fully customized approach to each and every campaign objective.
    • Outreach and promotion efforts are executed using our database of Influencers and proprietary software (AdvoWire).
    • We study a 360 degree footprint of each Influencer recommended to a brand, including a 6 month history of their posted content.
    • Information such as most frequently used keywords, frequently used hashtags, content engagement ratios, follower validation, etc are considered.

F.A.Q.

What is niche marketing and why is it important?

Where does niche marketing fit in?