Influencer marketing is one of the most common marketing strategies to get started selling online, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
It’s a strategy that should be considered, however, as 89% of companies believe that influencer marketing offers ROI that is comparable or better than other marketing channels.
Read on to learn more about influencer marketing and some tips and tricks for implementing a strategy for your company.
What is Influencer Marketing
Across all social platforms—Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat—there are ‘internet celebrities’ and accounts with a wide range of followers. Some of these influencer accounts cater their content to fit specific niches, whereas other influencers might focus on a broader audience.
Influencers are not limited to social networks either. Many companies partner up with podcasts, webinars, virtual schools, gaming platforms, and other forms of ecommerce advertising.
Influencers can help you sell your products or services, and build up your brand reputation, by leveraging their audiences’ trust. Companies can take advantage of these benefits by running ads, promotions, and other marketing outreach with the influencer. The end goal? Boosting brand recognition and spreading the word about their products, leading to more happy customers.
This is not to say that celebrity endorsements are a thing of the past. But they are no longer the only efficient way to get your product or service in front of your target demographic.
Why Influencer Marketing
Marketing research suggests that influencer marketing is a stronger form of digital advertising for specific purposes. 71% of marketers agree that the quality of customers and traffic is better from influencer marketing compared to other sources, like display ads, email marketing, or ads on social media.
Influencer marketing’s greatest strength is that you do not have to build trust, it already exists. If you have the right strategy, it can help you raise awareness much quicker than by starting a campaign from scratch through other channels.
How to Win Big with Influencer Marketing
Want to get started with an influencer marketing strategy today? Here’s all you need to know about choosing the right influencer, the right channel, and future planning.
Make sure to vet your influencers! Do not go for someone whose feed has become oversaturated with ads. Many people find this annoying, and it’s not a great strategy for the influencer either.
As you take stock of your potential partner, make sure you understand their content. Is it relatable to the products or services you offer? If you’re just focused on their followers and their reach, you might get your ad seen by a large audience that has little interest in your product.
In addition to finding the right influencer, selecting the right channel is crucial. For instance, different social media platforms attract different demographics. If you are looking for a younger audience, look into partnering with a Snapchat influencer. Similarly, if you are looking for a more mature demographic, explore influencers on Instagram. Most B2B brands favor LinkedIn and Facebook, while both vlogger and blogger influencers can benefit any type of business.
Your influencer will be more likely to partner with you if you offer a stable relationship. Most influencers do not want to jump between brands as that behavior can weaken their message, and confuse their audience. Try to brainstorm a long-term contract, or a incentivized package for maintaining loyalty with your brand.
Pay close attention to the size of your influencer. For example, if you are a startup you should target people who are large enough to be an influencer, small enough to be a friend, and able to have a personal conversation.
If an influencer is able to provide active engagement with their audience, there is a better chance that they will look at your product or service and end up as a potential customer. Moreover, these influencers will likely be cheaper to hire!
Don’t Be Controlling
Try to align the influencer’s tone with your brand’s marketing, but leave the creative decisions to the influencer and don’t become too controlling. If their content is relevant for your audience, the messaging will already be aligned. Plus, it allows the influencer to be more sincere and not sound like an infomercial. Remember: you’re looking for engagement!
Consider inviting influencers to your events so they can record videos or take photos and write about their experience to their followers. This will help strengthen your brand image. Think of influencers as your brand ambassadors: They give access to their audience and help you grow.
Measure the Impact
Your influencer campaign should align with your content strategy and company image. Know the goals you want to achieve from that campaign and keep an eye on key indicators: audience reach, views, engagement, increase in followers, and conversions.
Beware of Pretenders
Of course, you must use caution when investing in an influencer. You don’t want to waste money and time by hiring a wannabe influencer with fake followers and low engagement. There are all sorts of tricks available to these fakers, like bots and buying followers. Do your research and see their previous impact to determine if they are legitimate.
Offer Special Discounts
Use affiliate links or special discounts and offers to build relationships with your influencers. They can share these links with their audience, and your new potential customers will gain more trust in both the influencer’s brand and your business as well.
People tend to trust their friends and families more than they trust advertisements. While influencers help to blend together traditional advertising and friendly recommendations, make sure to consider your customers. They’ve already converted, so who better to help market your product or services!
Influencer Marketing Trends
Now that you know how to excel at influencer marketing, let’s take a look at some of the most recent trends so you can stay up-to-date as you explore this strategy.
Competition for influencers is growing
Influencers are being given more and more platforms to build their brand and their image in the marketplace. Many brands and companies like YouTube, Quibi, and TikTok are investing thousands of dollars into providing and creating standalone platforms for their token influencers.
Celebrity influencers are declining
When it comes to advertising niche products, people no longer want to see celebrity faces in their feed. Niche products should be marketed by niche influencers, in order to appeal to the people and not appear tone-deaf.
Becoming an influencer is easy, staying one is not
Micro-influencers are influencers who are popular in a niche or are just starting out growing their brand and audience. This is excellent for companies who want to start out with an influencer marketing campaign, because the overhead cost is low. However, make sure to research your influencer, because you want to partner with someone who, in a few months, will still be focusing on growing their audience or niche.
Influencers are more value-focused
Buyers are now making more purchasing-decisions informed by their values and the values of a brand. If you are able to partner with an influencer who stands behind values that you and your company care about as well, consider the relationship a great match.
Influencers prefer long-term partnerships
Brand metrics from influencer marketing have shifted from awareness to sales. This means longer partnerships, as most brands get stronger ROI out of partnering from a specific influencer for a set period of time, not just one-off posts. Short video performs the best
Video-sharing apps like TikTok have taken the internet by storm. These apps’ reach proves that short video content can create a lasting impact on people. Whether it’s a TikTok challenge or makeup tutorials on Instagram, consider using video in your influencer strategy.
New advertising guidelines are coming
Sponsored and organic content regulations are getting tighter as the two continue to be more lucrative. Stay tuned and make sure that you research the regulations in your country as you engage possible influencers.
According to marketing firm Tomson, businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. If you want to drive the same success for your company, try following the guidelines in this article to help you get started with influencer marketing. Just make sure you choose the right one!