Everyone follows at least one or two people on Instagram or maybe YouTube. We enjoy their content and share them. Did you know that some of these internet stars get paid to market products and services? Well in this post, we will take a look at all that you need to know about influencer marketing. In this post, we will take a look at:
So, if you’re ready, then let’s dive right into it.
What is Influencer Marketing?
With influencer marketing you have to understand that you don’t directly advertise to your specific audience, you pinpoint key leaders in your niche and drive your message through them. It is an effective form of marketing for over 91% of businesses, and this is why is it growing into a 9.7 billion dollar business this year. source
The reason this works is that these key leaders have earned the trust of your target audience. Influencer marketing is becoming bigger and bigger thanks to social media and all its influencers with large followings.
Most of the audience and buyers don’t even realize that they’re being advertised, so they care anyway because it didn’t ruin their Instagram scrolling experience. When you scroll through Instagram you only want to see content from people that you follow and when you see an ad it’s often relevant content that you skip past.
However, that fashion blogger that you follow who posts all of her daily outfits advertised a dress to you through an influencer marketing campaign without you even knowing it. If anything, that influencer’s audience is happier because they got more content from their favorite fashion bloggers.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool and it’s up to businesses, especially small ones, to take advantage of it.
Influencers Before Social Media:
First of all, an influencer is someone who directs your way of thinking or influences you to make a certain decision. An influencer may coerce or inspire you to purchase a product, take a trip to a certain location, eat at a specific restaurant, etc.
There is a popular school of thought that influencers existed even before the age of social media. If you think about it deeply you’ll realize it makes a lot of sense. Since time immemorial, there were people who direct others.
We still notice this in society even though there is an influx of social media. In your friend group, there is a particular person who pushes you to try a new style of fashion or new food. He or she is an influencer.
In your neighborhood, there is that one neighbor that gets everyone to band together and commit to a project. He or she is an influencer.
Just before social media was making so much impact, people were discussing, learning about new products, making buying decisions on forums. Even now I am participating in several of them.
First Social Media Influencer?
There’s no record of the first social media influencer however there are some influencers in the past like Jennifer Aniston who popularized her hairstyle on the sitcom FRIENDS.
Also, Michael Jordan made Nikes an overnight success when he became their brand ambassador in the 1990s.
Why Do People Follow Influencers?
People follow influencers to view their content directly. Social media influencers have good content and people follow the influencer who has content they relate to the most. If you’re into music you will most likely follow an influencer and update you with the latest music hits.
Also, people primarily follow influencers for affiliation. Influencers are cool people in society, they dictate trends and are popular among their peers. As a result of this people like to follow them so they can be part of the particular influencer social media family. They comment and like posts with the hope of one day being followed back.
Lastly, people follow influencers for entertainment. There are some really fun and entertaining people on social media. One thing about social media, it is limitless.
You can be a comedian, a singer, or adventurer on it. People like entertaining content and so follow influencers who can provide them with that.
Influencer Marketing Agencies
If you aren’t comfortable with working with a single individual or require more accountability and attention then it is better to opt for influencer marketing agencies instead of social media influencers, to promote your products. Social media agencies are more hands-on and offer more services. Here are a few social media agencies and what they’re about.
The viral nation is a global marketing agency that plays a dual role; they work for the brands on campaigns and the influencer. They have a talent agent team that recruits influencers.
They champion campaigns based on specific goals, pairing the most sustainable influencers to tell a brand story. They also have a top-notch analytics team to help brands judge the effectiveness of a campaign.
Don’t let the name deceive you, there’s nothing tasty missing from this agency’s offer. SugarFree is made up of a group of marketing professionals, social media influencers, creators, and data analysts who all work together to create a seamless experience.
Their focus is to tell stories that live on well after a campaign is finished. They do such a great marketing job, clients often get a bountiful return working with them.
They do this by finding the right influencers who fit with the client’s aesthetics and culture or delivering content for relevant people to promote.
Carousel offers the client a unique approach to influencer marketing. They have created a content formitz index to rank influencers’ produced content, and they use the influence of content targeting systems to help consumer brands meaningfully engage with their target audience.
The influencers they work with are hand-selected and will create original content on behalf of the brands they’re partnered with. All posts are monitored in real-time for performance which helps them to identify the best content rapidly.
They then boost proven content to ensure it reaches out to brands and the best customers. They have a network of more than 55,000 influencers which works on an average of only 9.75 ego trips to deal with a day.
Influencer Marketing Strategies
Depth over Breadth
Vamp did research where they found out that 61 percent of those surveyed said they engage with an influencer on any given day.
The same survey found out that 87 percent of those surveyed bought a product or service based on influencer input, so we know influencer marketing works. source
The problem is if you’re a marketer and you’re trying to figure out how to get into influencer marketing you might be focusing on the wrong thing.
A lot of marketers are interested in influencers on the breadth rather than the depth of their engagement. Breadth is how many followers that influencer has and believe it or not that’s not what you should be focusing on.
What you should be focusing on is the depth of engagement that influencer has with their audience. The deeper the engagement goes, the more bang for the buck you’re going to get from the engagement. So focus on depth of engagement when you’re trying to figure out an influencer to work with rather than breadth.
Research on the Influencer You Wish to Work With
Another strategy is to check the analytics of the influencers you’re thinking about working with. There’s this great tool out there called social blade that you can use to track the influencer’s engagement with their followers and also figure out how many followers they have and a lot of other different analytics.
They give you a neat little dashboard that gives you a grade on that influencer to help you understand whether or not that influencer would be a good fit for your brand.
Track Their Activities
Before hiring an influencer track their activity using Agora pulse. Agora pulse not only allows you to deploy your social media campaigns daily but they have a valuable tool on Agoura pulse that goes beyond that.
You can use it if you’re thinking about getting into the influencer marketing game. It’s a listening tool where you can go in and start following influencers and listen in on their conversations to figure out whether or not they’re a fit for your brand.
So, use Agora’s pulse to listen in on the influencers and figure out whether or not they’re going to be able to grow your sales and revenues.
Micro-influencers achieve an average of seven times more engagement than influencers with large followings. This means that on average if you’re a micro-influencer or someone with 10,000, 20,000, or 30,000 followers, you’re going to be engaged with your followers seven times more frequently than the big influencers are.
Now that can have a major impact on your business because if you engage with a micro-influencer instead of spending a ton of money to engage one of the big influencers you’re going to get more bang for your buck in that engagement. It’s cost-effective and you yield more results.
This strategy works best for smaller businesses. If you have zero budget consider an affiliate relationship with the influencer. This means that instead of paying them with money you’re paying them a slice of the action. For every product that you sell they will get a portion of it.
Here’s why it might work out for you. First of all, you don’t have to have a big budget to establish an affiliate relationship, and secondly, in an affiliate relationship that influencer then thinks “the more I promote that product or service the more money I make”.
They like that, you like that, it’s a win-win for everyone. So if you don’t have a big budget think about using an affiliate relationship instead of a traditional relationship and that might be the solution that you’ve been looking for.
more: Affiliate bootcamp
Hire an Influencer with Expertise in your Industry
Instead of hiring an influencer with a lot of followers, hire an influencer with expertise in your industry. For example, if let’s say that you’re into making tennis rackets and you’re trying to find an influencer to work with you have two choices; one is an influencer with a million followers and the other is an influencer with a hundred thousand followers.
Now the latter influencer happens to be a tennis pro who’s going to be at Wimbledon next year. The big million-person influencer probably has never even played tennis before.
If you’re looking for a way to engage with your prospects and your customers authentically then you’re going to want to use that influencer who has expertise in your field.
This is because they can talk about things with a lot more authenticity and genuineness in terms of how they’re engaging with your product or service and how they’re engaging with their fans. If you can get a big influencer well educated on your product then go for it.
Have an Offer
Another strategy is to be sure you have an offer in most of the campaigns you run. Influencer marketing campaigns usually are one of two kinds; the branding kind or the direct response kind.
They’re both important. Branding should be maybe 50% of what you do which is just building awareness through the influencers so that people are aware of your link to that influencer and are aware of your product or service.
The other half of what you do should be direct response-oriented. It should drive people through to your website so they can buy your product or service on the website.
Both kinds of campaigns are important but if you do the direct response kind of campaign you want to make sure that you’re using a campaign that has an offer in it. An offer has to be something like, “get 10% off by clicking this link now” or “free trial for 14 days”. It doesn’t matter whatever the offer is, it has to be part of it to drive clicks through to your website.
Track own campaign progress
Brand awareness campaigns work, yet mostly done by big brands and it is not easy to track results. Small companies do not use much, because it is costly and may happen you just lose money looking at your ROI.
If you have a direct response type campaign then always track conversions and sales,- I use this tracking tool to do so.
So, Is Influencer Marketing Worth the Investment?
- Influencer marketing contributes to strategic goals and provides benefits that are valuable to the higher education industry, not just for soft drinks and beauty products.
- It can improve brand advocacy, expand brand awareness, help reach new target audiences, and increase your share of voice. But there are also tangible benefits of Influencer marketing.
- The first is reach and awareness. Influencers have a built-in audience that already knows, likes, and trusts them. And if you’re choosing your Influencers well, they are the exact audience that you want to reach. They can also perform research.
- Influencers, when they work with you on a long term basis, can double as a very engaged focus group, that can quickly and easily tell you what part of your communication and content marketing is working, and what is not. Content ignition is another tangible benefit of Influencer marketing.
- Influencers serve as the connection between your content and the audience. They secure more eyes on the content that you’ve already created for that audience, even if it was a week, a month, or a year ago.
- Evergreen content that is living on your social media sites and your .edu can be reignited through some strategic Influencer marketing.
- Can also build site authority and SEO, especially for new web properties you may be launching, like a blog, or a mini-series, or a landing page. Influencers can help you create content that mentions your brand alongside high-ranking terms that you want that website to rank for, increasing your search engine ranking.
- Influencers can also provide strategic leverage, particularly if you’re in a highly competitive space. Securing the right Influencer can be a strategic move to help you be better positioned than your competition.
- Influencer marketing also represents a significant cost saving compared to many traditional marketing tactics. They have a high ROI and low cost-per-lead or impression, saving you money and building a budget that makes your executives happy.
- Lastly, influencer marketing enables authentic advocacy. If you are choosing the right-fit Influencer for your campaign, they’ll provide your audience with the value of trusting someone like them.
- These followers or audience already have a relationship with the influencers they follow. As a result, it is much easier to trust information coming from these influencers than it is to trust a stranger.
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