By Mark Harrison
It’s a common misconception that branding and marketing basically mean the same thing. Indeed, understanding the difference between branding and marketing is also the key to distinguishing your company from your competitors. Despite how some people use these terms, they’re not interchangeable, but completely different stages of your business strategy that happen to complement one another. Both are formative aspects of your company’s identity in the market, but branding comes before marketing for the simple reason that it’s about the personality you want to put across. This will affect everything you do, especially your marketing. In turn, your marketing may also help you evolve your brand over time. It’s all about finding the right balance between who you are and who your target audience is. The simplest way to put it is branding activities determine what your marketing will say about you, while marketing activities are more focused on how you tell your customer about your brand.
Though an influencer’s likes, followers, and shares aren’t the be-all and end-all, the engagement that an influencer receives on their posts is certainly important.
Engaging content makes it more likely for audiences to return to the influencer and want to grow a relationship.
It is important to not take an influencer’s engagement as gospel, research factors such as the quality of engagement, how natural is the engagement, and the reaction of the audience, all affecting how the audience will respond to your brand’s promotion.
It’s no secret that influencers have numerous opportunities to work with brands, but the more sponsored content that is posted, the more their status is diluted.
Choosing an influencer with less sponsored content on their feed proves to be more beneficial, as audiences trust and view them as an authentic source of information.
The most successful influencers keep their brand promotion subtle, with these soft mentions maintaining their authenticity and will produce the best results.
Reach is a metric that is open to interpretation and not necessarily the most important factor, but it’s vital to make sure you are choosing an influencer who is going to reach your target audience.
Brands are beginning to realise that influencers with larger reaches aren’t necessarily the most effective, this has seen the rise of the ‘micro-influencer’.
Users that hold less than 10,000 followers are perceived to be more authentic, trustworthy, and ‘normal’ to customers as they engage and interact with them on a more frequent basis. Micro-influencers also tend to be more knowledgeable on their niche, which means the audience will trust their judgement on brands, giving you a customer base at a much more affordable price.
It’s quite easy to get lost in the astronomical numbers that influencers boast, but if that individual or their content isn’t relevant to your brand or product, it’ll be a waste of time and resources.
It’s vital to keep in mind that you are partnering with an influencer as you have a similar audience, and you want their audience to learn more about your products.
Research is the most the important factor. Research your influencer, their content, and their niche to make sure your brands and messages are aligned.
The right influencer is also dependent on the social media platform, an individual that is known for their YouTube content will not be as influential on other platforms such as LinkedIn.
Each platform has their own set of influencers, but making sure that your message reaches the right audience is the most important factor.