In this article, we discuss the benefits provided by using influencer marketing for app promotion. We also look at what constitutes as influencer marketing and what pitfalls companies should avoid when reaching out to influencers.
What is Influencer Marketing?
As the name suggests, influencer marketing is a type of marketing campaign that puts focus on letting an influential person or organization give your marketable product a good word or good review. The types of influencers used for influencer marketing can vary, but the consensus is that marketers attempt to promote their product through a trusted news portal or individual that holds a following for their knowledge on a certain topic or niche.
Influencer marketing can be accomplished through different methods - sometimes businesses will run sponsorships or partnered campaigns with influencers - in this case, an influencer may be telling their audience about the product in question for a sponsorship deal from the marketer. In this case, usually, the review given about the product is unbiased and neutral.
Alternatively, businesses may present a product to an influencer in the hopes that they’ll pick it up and mention it on their platform on their own right. Whether the influencer creates videos for YouTube, posts articles on a popular website or creates content elsewhere online, this method gives an influencer the chance to share content that interests them if they find that the product in question could bring them more views.
The best influencer marketing campaigns use one of these two methods and target individuals that are respected or trusted.
Why Does Influencer Marketing Work for App Promotion?
Influencer marketing can and has worked for app promotion and there are several reasons why.
Let’s look at the YouTube platform as an example. There are many content creators on YouTube that create gameplay videos and walkthroughs. Their audience can be in the millions and the audience demographic often varies greatly. The things that are common with the audience of such an influencer is that they enjoy the gameplay the influencer is showing; the audience respects the influencer and they’re often looking out for more videos to learn about more games. This is the perfect platform to find an influencer for a mobile game.
As another example, let’s say your development team has pushed out a fitness app. A well-respected fitness coach or professional with a large social media following would be the perfect target for promoting your app.
The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign follows the rules listed below.
- Find an influencer with a large social following (YouTube followers, Twitter follows, etc.)
- Ensure the influencer is well-respected in the community they share content for
- Make sure your app has mass appeal before setting up a business deal
Is the App Suitable for Influencer Marketing?
Our above points mention that your app should have mass appeal before setting up a business deal with an influencer. Typically, if your influencer campaign is to be successful, your app needs to appeal to the masses and the app design needs to be catered for a variety of users.
If your app has a niche feature, you may be better off focusing on targeted marketing instead. This may not be the case, but you’ll have difficulty running a successful influencer marketing campaign unless you can find a highly followed, well-respected and trusted influencer that specializes in the same niche that your app does.
For something like a mobile game, finding a suitable influencer can be easy. Finding an influencer for a fitness or finance app can be more difficult, but it’s certainly possible. The limitations of influencer marketing will come down to the influencers you can find that may share a connection with your app.
For the most part, though, you should have luck with finding a suitable influencer for your app, so the real question to ask is, “Is this particular influencer suitable for marketing my app?”
Targeting the Right Audience
As mentioned above, it’s important to target the right audience - with influencer marketing you’ll be piggybacking straight off the audience of the influencer, so it should be straightforward enough to understand the audience you may be marketing to if you were to pick a specific influencer.
If you have a mainstream app idea that can appeal to the masses, picking an influencer with a large following will work perfectly. However, if your app has more of a specific functionality and can be categorized into a certain niche, you should focus on finding an influencer that is respected in that niche.
The more unique your niche, the harder it’ll be to find an influencer willing to work with you but usually, some scouring on social media websites such as Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube can help you to find an influencer with a relevant audience quickly.
Avoid These Pitfalls with Influencer Marketing
There are several pitfalls that any marketer should actively avoid whilst using influencer marketing. In most cases, you’ll be handling a business deal with an individual, so things are often more personal than other marketing campaigns you may be running. It’s also important to prepare yourself to be put under the spotlight.
Skipping Over Smaller Influencers
This is one big pitfall that many marketers fall straight into. Instead of finding a respected influencer within a community for a certain niche, marketers may skip over them for the influencers with the biggest numbers. Sometimes smaller influencers will provide more engagement - their community may be more close-knit. On top of this, smaller influencers are often more willing to start new business opportunities, whilst high profile influencers may have long lists of unanswered business propositions.
Paying for biased reviews
It’s tempting to put a bit of extra money under the table to ask an influencer to give your product a biased positive review, but this can backfire tremendously. If the influencer’s community were to discover the influencer was essentially paid to give you a good review regardless of the quality of your app, the trust the community would have for you and the influencer would disappear completely. You may find it a struggle to improve your reputation after being found out.
Focusing on Money, Rather than Building Relationships
Influencers are often happy to be paid monetarily to showcase your app - most influencers have business emails readily available on their social media account. However, it’s important to create a good relationship with your influencer. If you want to build engagement from the marketing campaign, you need to work with the influencer to build a campaign that’ll gain traction. You cannot simply give a cash drop to an influencer and expect your campaign to flourish. Keep in touch with your influencer and offer tips on how to promote your app successfully.
To wrap this up - influencer marketing can be a very viable app promotion channel in 2017, but it has its own challenges. Most app marketing campaigns succeed with backing from big data and analytics, but truly successful influencer marketing needs a human’s input - the best influencer marketing campaigns build personal relationships with the influencer and connect with the influencer’s audience.