More clients have been inquiring about influencer marketing lately, and I don’t blame them. If you read any popular digital marketing advice, you’ll hear about the “magic” of influencers – get your jewelry on just the right celebrity or style blogger, and you’ll “make it” in the marketplace.
For example, in last week’s blog post I wrote about new trends in social media engagement and how brands like Adina’s Jewels are finding success with getting their jewelry on the celebrities, models, and fashion bloggers “du jour”. Surely any jewelry brand can do the same, right?
The realities of influencer marketing are a little more complicated. Some challenges include uninterested influencers who receive bags of free jewelry every day, paid/fake followers and likes, uncertainty about influencer reach, lack of control over how the product is being presented, a dearth of effective methods for measuring ROI, etc.
While I’m not completely against influencer marketing, I think it works best for jewelry brands at a very specific stage in their marketing journey and that meet certain other requirements. In this blog post, I share some of the ways you can tell whether or not influencer marketing is right for you:
Influencer marketing may be right for you if you see it as a stepping stone, not a permanent marketing fix. If you’re convinced that influencer marketing will open the flood gates to new customers, your expectations are too high. Given the very limited reach of today’s Instagram and Facebook users and the abundance of content, it’s unlikely that one or two posts will start a revolution. The best you can hope for is to plant the seed of brand recognition and pique the curiosity of a few customers.
Influencer marketing may be right for you if your jewelry brand is currently focused more on building brand awareness than pushing conversions. Today’s jewelry consumers have many options. If you think that featuring your jewelry on an influencer will boost sales in one day, you will be sorely disappointed. Sharing a special coupon code or incentive along with the influencer content may earn you a few sales, but you’d be better off capturing those customers’ email addresses for an email marketing campaign that leads them through the buyer’s journey with the goal of creating a long-term relationship.
Influencer marketing may be right for you if you can afford to give away jewelry – and cash. The influencers with the most reach make a living from their social media presence, so they ask for money and free product in exchange for their posts. According to recent reports, the average Instagram influencer fee is $1,000 per 100,000 followers. In this day and age, it’s difficult to know whether or not those 100,000 followers are even engaged or real. Numbers are just that: numbers.
Influencer marketing may be right for you if you target a very niche audience of jewelry customers. My belief is that influencer marketing works best if your jewelry brand targets a very niche audience, preferably a customer who has a hobby or interest in addition to jewelry. For example, if your most popular jewelry item is a cupcake pendant necklace, you may have some success targeting an influencer like @JoyTheBaker, who’s known for her baking posts but occasionally shares some stylish lifestyle shots like this one. Think outside the celebrity and fashion blogger boxes.
Influencer marketing may be right for you if your jewelry branding strategy is in place. If you’ve never taken steps like performing a Competitive Analysis, creating Customer Personas, or developing a Look/Tone/Feel for your brand, then you definitely should not be moving forward with an influencer marketing strategy. First, you must have the branding and marketing foundations in place.
Influencer marketing may be right for you if you have the patience and time to wait for results. Some of the most effective influencer marketing strategies involve long-term partnerships, where the influencer becomes more of a brand ambassador. That means, the influencer must be a genuine champion for the jewelry brand, and he/she must communicate enthusiasm over time.
Even if you think you meet all of these qualifications with your jewelry brand, I won’t move forward with an influencer marketing strategy if the jewelry designer or retailer has any illusions about what influencer marketing will offer them.
Above all, realistic expectations are most important, but at the very least, influencer marketing can provide a brand with helpful feedback about customers and insights about how to move forward in a marketing strategy.
Did this post make you change your mind about influencer marketing? Please add your thoughts in the comments.