Brooke Beery is Associate Editor of Optometry Times®.
Atlanta-One of the biggest buzzwords in today’s digital marketing is influencers. Social media influencers can be powerful business assets because they accelerate the trust others have in a brand while increasing brand awareness.
Darryl Glover, OD, delivered an interactive lecture on implementing influencer marketing into an optometric practice for ODs attending the Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2020 annual meeting. Dr. Glover is co-founder of Defocus Media and practices in North Carolina and Nigeria.
Today it is difficult to miss a social media post that presents a stunning lifestyle or a favorite beauty, health, or convenience item in an appealing way. These posts have a tendency to influence others into purchasing products. And therein lies their power, says Dr. Glover. This is influencer marketing, and it is just as impossible to ignore from a business perspective as it is from a consumer angle.
Influencer marketing revolves around finding someone who is a leader in an industry to educate and convey a message about a brand story, a product, or a service in a way that feels intimate and personal. The attraction of influencers is that they are able to tap into their audience and create an outlet in which they are authentic and have developed trust, says Dr. Glover.
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“Basically, it is like going to your mom or your best friend” Dr. Glover says. “These people have figured out a way to get into your head and convey things easier and more intimately than a brand can alone.“
Types of influencers
There is a spectrum of influencers that catalogs by popularity. It consists of four levels:
Kevin Hart is an example of a mega influencer because he is a celebrity. Mega influencers can also be internet personalities or anyone with remarkable reach beyond a million subscribers. Brands who work with mega influencers are reimbursed with heavy website traffic growth and sales. They also gain an unmistakable “cool” factor. The downside is a heavy price tag.
Macro influencers, like mega influencers, have mastered interacting with their audience and will be easy to work with because they know their way around brand collaboration, Dr. Glover says. With 500,000 to 1 million followers, macro influencers will drive an uptick in sales and website traffic to whoever they collaborate with.
Micro influencers are the next rung on the ladder, bringing in a following of 10,000 to 500,000. They are much more affordable than macro influencers and are good at bringing in new follower traffic to brands they collaborate with.
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“They are great for local business simply because these are folks in your community who have actually had influencing jobs with other businesses that may be in the same sphere of yours and they produce a lot of high-value content,” Dr. Glover says.
Micro influencers are always looking for ways to expand their brand.
With 0 to 10,000 followers, Dr. Glover says nano influencers should be hired for their strong connections.
“Nano influencers have strong connections because they don’t have that many people following them,” Dr. Glover says. “So, they can be more intimate, post more questions, their response times are fast, and there is better engagement overall.”
Nano influencers are cost effective because they don’t expect to get paid much. With a restricted reach, they are willing to accept a restricted compensation. On the flip side, however, a small following can indicate a lack of credibility.
“In regard to level of trust, people trust nano influencers because if they are talking about something, they actually believe in it,” Dr. Glover says. “They are not getting paid millions to say they do.”
The perfect influencer
A practice can’t reap the benefits of a social media influencer if the influencer doesn’t fit with the practice’s brand. In addition to follower count, influencers have power when it comes to their ability to alter public perception. Successful collaborations occur when an influencer compliments a brand’s image and enhances it.
“You have to look at the social media platforms and do your research on the individual person to find someone who aligns with your brand, that’s the key,” Dr. Glover says.
The best platform
For eyecare professionals, the best platforms to utilize are Instagram and YouTube, Dr. Glover says. ODs should post pictures of any product they sell in their offices. This includes eyewear, contact lenses, cases, and solutions. They should also post product reviews alongside product posts to increase community reach and engagement.
Platforms work best with their intended audience. Instagram is best for targeting millennials, while LinkedIn is better suited to working professionals.
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