Influencer marketing has continued to be one if not the fastest-growing segment within marketing and advertising. The massive success of social media and digital marketing has created a very large platform for influencers and affiliates to powerfully and effectively market and advertise products for brands. Influencer marketing has been growing exponentially for the last 10 years and it is becoming more and more popular and more and more sought-after for companies and brands to have people who know and have expertise on managing these channels. Influencer marketing is very nuanced and is becoming more and more specific as the channel matures.
Instagram and Facebook have become great resources not only for marketing to audiences from a social media perspective, but also now using influencers. There are many challenges that this channel is facing in the marketplace. There is still a lot of work being done to figure out how to best measure this channel for success in order to figure out budgets and spending in a way that creates a real and measurable return on investment. If you’re looking at recruiting influencer marketing, you might be at an agency whose clients are asking for this type of work or you may be working on the client side with a consumer brand who is looking to leverage influencer marketing to attract customers. In any case, hiring for influencer marketing professionals can be very challenging, similar to some of the challenges that are faced with hiring social media professionals.
DIFFERENTIATING YOUR NEEDS
When it comes to hiring in the social media marketing space, it can be a challenge to differentiate between candidates who are true social media marketing and influencer marketing experts versus those candidates who have some experience with social media and influencers, but don’t really have the true expertise from a digital marketing perspective. This is one of the key things that you need to keep in mind when you are hiring for marketing professionals in the social media or influencer space. That is making sure you’re hiring a true digital marketing professional with expertise in social media and influencer marketing, not hiring someone who dabbles in social media and influencer marketing and thinks they’re a marketer. This can sometimes be hard to discern, so it’s going to be very important as well that you know what you are looking for.
When it comes to social media marketing and influencer marketing, there’s generally one or two categories of types of campaigns that you’re going to need or results that you’re going to be looking for. Organic awareness is distinct from paid acquisition. Organic awareness is a lot more of a branding tool where you’ll be using social media and influencers to build brand awareness about your brand or your company. This is a distinct skillset that you would be hiring for from someone who is on the other side of the spectrum that is more of a paid growth and acquisition-type marketing professional. A paid acquisition person is going to be a lot more focused on budgets, ROI, conversion metrics, et cetera when it comes to running paid campaigns on social media and managing and running paid budgets and affiliate programs with influencers. The difference is that building awareness versus driving customer acquisition.
If you’re looking at hiring a social media marketer or influencer marketing person, you need to be very clear on what that outcome is going to be. As many professionals will have one or the other of the above-mentioned experience and sometimes both, this will be a very important piece of your hiring process to get done before you start interviewing people. Like I recommend with any hiring, the most important thing to do first and foremost is get clear about the person that you’re looking to hire and what they will be doing. Lack of clarity up front will have a ripple effect and you’ll likely never hire someone or even worse, make a bad hire because you weren’t clear about what you needed in the first place.
With that said, once you’re clear about what you need, you can start the interview process and be sure to dig in with folks about what their true experience is. You’ll want to hear about case studies. You’ll want to hear about success stories. You’ll want to hear about challenges, and you’ll want to hear about their strategies in thinking about how they leverage influencers to actually drive customer acquisition or to provide brand awareness depending on your needs.
If all of this is taken into account, it’ll go a long way to hiring the right person for your position, your brand, or your agency. Influencer marketing is not going anywhere and in fact, it’s getting more complex. Hiring the right people is going to give you a competitive edge in competing in the market.