This summer I spent time researching the effectiveness of influencer marketing from both a research and analytical standpoint in hopes to broaden the reach of the music at Columbia Records. It is valuable to not only read about this new marketing strategy online but to also get into the mind of a social media influencer to better understand it, so I reached out. I sat down with influencers to learn more about what running influencer campaigns is like. They ranged from comedy and gossip to fashion and travel and some of these influencers even have millions of followers. After conducting these interviews, I put together a few takeaways points:
- Picking the right influencer is key. Influencer marketing works because the followers trust the influencer. If the influencer doesn’t really care about the product they are promoting, neither will the audience.
- The influencer knows best. Both what content to post and how to present it. Their page has to remain consistent and on brand to keep credibility. They know what their fans like and what will perform the best.
- Allow the influencer to utilize features and explore different platforms. Each one attracts different content creators. The product market may lie in one platform, cross-platform, or within features of a platform. The influencer will know where they interact the most effectively with their followers.
- One common theme that ran through the interviews was the importance of consistency. They emphasized the necessity to post on a regular schedule just as the New York Times or any publication would release content.
- The more you can build relationships with influencers, the more organic their posts will be for our artists because they will actually care. It works when done right. It has to be authentic, it has to be organic, and it has to be targeted. It doesn’t work when the relationship is wrong or if the post is forced.
Influencer marketing is the new frontier of leveraging online influencers with large followings to generate exposure and awareness for artists – sparking social growth, sales/streams and conversation among new fans. I was able to apply what I learned from these interviews to several influencer marketing campaigns I ran during my internship. I feel that I have formed a deeper understanding of this current trend and was able to guide the digital marketing team at Columbia Records in using the most effective strategies to gain the best results.