Building client trust and establishing a dependable brand reputation are essential to every marketer’s job. However, just because you claim your products and services are excellent does not guarantee that prospective clients will believe you.
After all, a marketer is supposed to go out of their way to present the brand in the best possible light. This is where an effective influencer marketing plan can assist you in gaining client confidence. Furthermore, a solid influencer marketing approach can provide you with a significant competitive edge by growing brand recognition and enriching your content.
Let’s go through influencer marketing, how it works, and what you’ll need to do to get the most out of it.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a sort of social media marketing that employs online ‘influencers’ endorsements and product mentions to reach a brand’s target demographic.
In other words, it’s a method for brands to reach out to potential customers by leveraging the social media following and authority of influential individuals.
What is the definition of an influencer?” is a rather broad term.
People frequently associate ‘influencers’ with online celebrities with millions of followers, but an authentic ‘influencer’ is regarded as an expert in a specific sector. The social evidence of a niche authority advocating for a company or product should not be underestimated.
It lets potential clients base their purchasing decisions on the influencer’s viewpoint. Because 63% of people trust influencer messages about a brand more than the brand’s advertising messages, social proof is critical.
In recent years, influencer marketing has emerged as a popular online marketing method. This is most likely due to the high levels of success that some advertisers have seen in the field.
Remember that influencer marketing isn’t about becoming rich quickly. It necessitates the development of relationships with influencers and should be part of a long-term plan.
How does influencer marketing work?
The purpose of influencer marketing is to get the brand in front of the target audience of an influencer in a good, natural, and meaningful way. This is accomplished by striking an agreement with the influencer to expose their audience to the brand’s messaging or content via social media video demos or blog evaluations.
When launching an influencer campaign, it is critical to understand that careful coordination is frequently required. It’s sometimes helpful to think about influencer marketing as having three significant participants who must be satisfied:
- The brand
- The influencer
- The audience
For influencer marketing to be successful, the messaging must be comfortable and natural for all – it must adhere to company rules, suit the influencer’s style, and be perceived as genuine by the audience.
What kinds of results might be expected from influencer marketing?
Let’s look at a concrete scenario to understand better how influencer marketing works and the business benefits that may be gained. Olay, a well-known skincare brand, used influencer marketing to increase interaction by 8.33% and connect younger audiences via more real messages.
They collaborated with various personalities for their campaign, encouraging women to be “unapologetically themselves” and embrace their inherent beauty. Among the influencers were athletes, models, business executives, and other women who embraced natural beauty.
They shared selfies with the hashtag #FaceAnything and notes encouraging women to be confident in facing unreasonable expectations.
What were the outcomes?
Olay has increased:
- Exposure by 1.4M views
- Comments by 11K
- Hashtag uses by 1K
Influencer marketing vs. word-of-mouth marketing
Although the terms are sometimes interchangeable, influencer marketing is not synonymous with word-of-mouth marketing. Influencer marketing entails endorsing a product or service by persons who are recognized as experts in their field and have a large following.
Influencers typically meet specific criteria, such as having a certain amount of Instagram followers or being linked with a given industry. An example of an influencer marketing campaign is a well-known personal trainer giving their thoughts on your treadmill in a YouTube or Instagram video.
Their endorsement or review may persuade their followers to investigate your products, interact with your business, or perhaps purchase your product. Word-of-mouth marketing, on the other hand, comes from your existing, satisfied consumers, who may or may not have a social following. Word-of-mouth marketing occurs when customers tell their friends, family, and intimate acquaintances about their positive experience with your company.
Which platforms do influencers promote on?
Technically, you may work with an ‘influencer’ on any channel where people can post, be perceived as an authority, and create an audience.
Specific sites, however, are more beneficial for influencer marketing.
These are some examples:
Instagram is one of the most prominent influencer marketing platforms. Because of their visual nature, Instagram posts and stories are ideal places for influencers to share unique photographs of your product in use.
YouTube is one of the most popular social media platforms for influencer marketing. Influencers frequently use this platform to generate videos about their area of expertise or specialty.
Twitter may be an excellent tool for influencers because it is simple to connect with many people fast around a topic or hashtag and start a conversation. Furthermore, Twitter allows you to share short videos and photographs, which is ideal for influencer marketing efforts.
Another effective social media site for influencer marketing efforts is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a massive number of professional and decision-making users. As a result, LinkedIn is an excellent resource for identifying influencers who can promote your items to other professionals.
TikTok, a relatively new social media app, is another excellent medium for influencer campaigns. It’s a visual software that lets users share short movies of themselves and their adventures. TikTok’s growing popularity makes it an ideal platform for marketers to locate various influencers who can promote their products to a youthful, interested audience.
Blogs allow for a deeper personal connection between the influencer and their audience, as well as an in-depth written critique.
What are the different ways in which influencers can promote?
Influencers can advertise your products by hosting a giveaway on their blog or social media website. Influencers can lead their followers directly to your website, where they can join the giveaway and win your goods, by putting a link in their post. One significant advantage for companies is that the traffic is straightforward to track.
Influencers can promote your brand by writing a sponsored piece and publishing it on their blog or social media page. Sponsored posts are excellent for driving targeted traffic to your website and are ideal for marketers looking to control the conversation with an influencer’s following.
Furthermore, sponsored posts offer concrete ways to measure ROI, such as the number of clicks, website visits, and form submissions attributable to the individual influencer.
Influencers can also promote your company by generating sponsored films to broadcast on their YouTube channel. Product reviews, lessons, and even unboxing videos are all options. Influencers can engage with their audiences and demonstrate the benefits of your product by promoting it in a video.
Sponsored blog posts.
For brands that want to own the conversation with an influencer’s audience, writing a blog post together is another excellent alternative for promoting your product.
Because of its length, long-form content allows influencers to be creative and illustrate the benefits of your product in depth.
Allowing an influencer to take over your Instagram or other social media accounts for the day is another attractive option if you’re seeking a more exciting method to engage with an influencer’s audience as part of your influencer marketing strategy.
This enables influencers to blog about your business, upload photographs of themselves using your product, and interact with their followers in your brand’s name.
If you want to work with influencers in a unique way but aren’t quite ready for an Influencer Takeover, you can collaborate with an influencer to produce content on your site.
What are the different types of influencers, based on the following?
There is no industry-wide agreement on how to categorize influencers depending on size. Different influencer marketing platforms define influencer marketing differently.
However, one of the more valuable breakdowns comes from Iconosquare:
• Mega Influencers are influencers with more than one million followers and are most likely celebrity influencers.
• Macro Influencers have more than 100,000 followers but fewer than one million. These are more likely to be your most popular social media stars.
• Micro-Influencers have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers on social media.
• Nano Influencers have fewer than 10,000 followers.
How much does influencer marketing cost?
There is no simple solution to this issue; it all depends on what you’re looking for. As a general rule, utilizing the parameters above, a mega influencer’ can be pricey and beyond reach for all but the most prominent brands. Spreading your risk is recommended for brands, particularly those new to creating an influencer marketing campaign.
Consider collaborating with a mix of macro-influencers, micro-influencers, and nano-influencers in your industry. Historically, much influencer marketing activity was predicated on an actual agreed-upon cost. An influencer would recommend fees for collaboration, and the company would decide whether or not to work with them. It appears simple, but the brand bears a large portion of the risk.
As the influencer marketing sector evolves, there is a progressive increase in the number of influencers willing to do performance-based or hybrid arrangements, where just a portion of the pay is fixed. The remainder is contingent on meeting specified engagement or traffic goals.
How to find and work with influencers.
Finding the proper social media influencer for your marketing campaign can take a lot of time and effort.
There are numerous methods for researching prospective influencers.
• Look for hashtags relating to your industry to see who else is talking about it.
• Create Google alerts for keyword searches in your sector.
• Keep an eye out for blogs that may be of interest to your target audience. • If some of your competitors have hired influencers, have a look at them to see what kind of influencers would be a good fit to promote your goods.
•Use marketing tools like Followerwonk to find the social influencers with the most followers for specific themes and hashtags.
• To make the process easier, consider using an influencer marketing platform like GroupHigh or Tap Influence.
Once you’ve identified influencers with whom you want to collaborate, it’s time to start reaching out to them. It can be tempting to send a ‘cut and paste’ approach to your target influencers in order to save time, but this is unlikely to produce the desired outcomes.
People can detect a templated email. Take the time to learn about the influencer’s tone of voice, values, social platforms on which they are active, how they interact with their audience, and any instances of influencers you can find.
You will be more likely to get a positive response if you can demonstrate in your approach that you have done your research and clearly explain why you believe they are the perfect influencer for your influencer program.
Best practices of working with influencers.
Once you’ve secured the correct influencers, you’ll want to ensure that the influencer campaign is successful. Some best practices will guide this method:
• You must agree on a clear and consistent brand message or product benefit.
• Inform your influencers about your ideal message and what you want the audience to feel and take away from it.
• Provide them with as much information as possible. You need influencers to post about your business or product quickly!
• Establish a relationship with your influencers. Respond swiftly to any requests from influencers and collaborate closely to get the most out of each campaign.
• It is also critical to ensure everyone follows the requirements for disclosing any compensated partnership.
Developing an influencer marketing strategy for your company.
If you’re ready to start planning an influencer marketing campaign, we’ve compiled a list of steps to help you streamline your marketing efforts.
Step 1: Establish goals, define success, and establish metrics.
Consider what you hope to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign.
How would you define influencer marketing success?
• Do you want to increase brand awareness?
• Is it possible to raise targeted awareness of a new product or service?
• Boost social media engagement?
• Increase sales?
The goals of your campaign will determine the metrics you should use as key performance indicators (KPIs).
Referral traffic, reach, audience growth and engagement are some of the most prominent metrics for influencer campaigns.
Conversions or revenue are other examples of KPI metrics.
However, tracking influencer marketing back to an appropriate ROI versus marketing spend can be difficult.
Step 2: Create a budget.
What percentage of your marketing budget do you have set aside for influencer marketing?
If you have a limited marketing budget or are just getting started with influencer marketing, consider where you will get the most bang for your cash.
If one macro influencer appears to be ‘just right,’ it may be your ideal path.
But, in general, dispersing risk across your influencer marketing plan is frequently the best way to go — perhaps a lot of nano and micro-influencers can offer you a better sense of what might work for you.
Step 3: Plan your management plan.
An influencer marketing campaign is not a one-and-done project.
You’ll need to contact influencers, analyze their material, compensate them, track performance against KPIs, and manage connections.
Determine who will be in charge of overseeing your efforts with your team.
Have you considered an influencer marketing agency if you’re designing your influencer marketing campaign and aren’t sure where the internal resource will come from?
Step 4: Make contact with influencers.
You’ll need to contact the influencers you’ve identified as a suitable fit for your brand after you’ve compiled a list of them.
Send them an email or a social media message promoting the offer.
Make your expectations and incentives clear.
Long, mass pitches are rarely effective, so keep your pitch brief and individualized.
Step 5: Execute the campaign.
There’s no reason not to bring the campaign to life if some influencers are engaged and ready to move forward.
Create social media content schedules with your brand influencers, collect data on engagement and conversions, and make changes to your campaign as needed.
Step 6: Assess success.
Keep an eye on the performance metrics you established in Step 1 as your influencer marketing campaign gets underway.
Are you getting the response you expected?
Are your social media followers growing?
Is your website receiving traffic?
Prospects, are you starting to convert them?
Depending on your campaign’s objectives, you may also wish to track other indicators, such as brand sentiment and word-of-mouth referrals.