Influencer Marketing – A Helpful Guide For 2021
Influencer marketing is much more than just a buzzword – it has become a legit and established form of digital marketing. However, there are still many marketers who are not sure how to make use of this method of marketing. That’s where we come in. We’ll discuss what influencer marketing is and how you can use it to enhance your marketing campaigns.
Influencer Marketing – What Is It?
This approach to promoting brands and goods is nothing new, it has been done for about 100 years. Brands used influential figures to get sales in many different ways. Perhaps the most popular and famous influencer could be Santa Claus.
The bearded and generous man we know today was invented by Coca-Cola and has been promoting many brands over the years. Brand mascots are also influencers who get people to buy their products.
In modern days, actual people are used as influencers and it has become a lucrative marketing strategy. Both brands and influencers benefit from working together. In fact, it is expected that the influencer marketing industry will grow to approximately $9.7 billion in 2020.
One example of a very successful influencer is Kylie Jenner. She’s so popular that brands know having links to her will increase sales and brand awareness.
In plain terms, influencer marketing sees influencers and brands and/or companies form a partnership. The influencer will create content to promote the products or services of the company or brand. They will use their influence to convince their followers to buy or support the company. The company pays the influencer for their time and effort. These people are essentially salesmen or women in different niches or industries. Social media platforms are used by influencers.
So How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
An influencer will start by introducing a brand or service to their followers. This will be done by making use of the brand in question themselves. They’ll explain why the brand is so great. Then, they’ll continue promoting the brand by talking about it and perhaps giving away samples. A competition could also be part of the plan.
This way of marketing is seen as more authentic and organic. People tend to trust influencers and the brands/companies they promote. A marketing campaign with an influencer can last anything between a few weeks and a few months.
The Benefits of Influencer Marketing
There are many reasons that using influencers for marketing has been shown so much love. It works Let’s discuss why it works so well.
Advertisements done in the traditional way has lost its credibility with people. Too many outlandish and untrue claims have been made with traditional marketing. In addition, people are a lot more savvy and won’t just believe claims made in advertisements. Influencers depend on their followers for support, so they won’t likely lie to them as easily as an ad would.
The more established influencers have built a relationship with their followers – there is already a big sense of trust there. Their recommendations and views are respected. That means if an influencer is promoting your brand, people will see it as trustworthy.
Good content is the cornerstone of a social media marketing campaign. And influencers become influencers because they can create brilliant content. By making use of an influencer, even a micro-influencer, will help your brand build up some good and quality content.
Influencers are a superb way to introduce your brand to people who would otherwise never hear about. Of course, you have to make sure that the influencer is active in your niche, or there’s no point to the partnership.
Sometimes, it works to be a little random, such as a makeup artist or influencer being part of a holiday giveaway for a hotel. Still, makeup and hotels are linked by their luxurious appeal, so this partnership would work.
The Return On Income that you can expect from roping in an influencer is actually very high. Investing in this marketing strategy pays off, and it doesn’t cost as much as traditional marketing would.
About 80% of marketers have found influencer marketing to be a successful endeavour, which is impressive. If approached and executed correctly, this marketing method really does show positive results.
Now that you are aware of the benefits and what influencer marketing is, let’s dive into how you can use it.
Identify Your Approach
There are different kinds of influencer marketing campaigns you could be using. Finding the best one for your brand will give you the highest chance of success. Here are examples of the two most popular types of campaigns at your disposal. Of course, there are many more and it is recommended that you do some additional research. The type of service or goods you are selling will make a difference in the approach you’ll take.
Giveaways And Competitions
Contests are a fun way to show off your goods to your potential customers. Everyone likes winning prizes and you could benefit greatly from a well-organised competition. You’ll get to drive engagement and create buzz around your brand as well.
Give away some of your more exclusive or expensive services or merchandise through an influencer or group of influencers. Your influencers could do unboxings and test out your stuff. They could then tell their fans how to win the item(s). You can even make the competition more interesting with a specific social media challenge. A lipstick brand could call on people to share selfies of them smiling and enter with a hashtag, for example.
Be creative and think outside the box. Competitions can create a lot of hype and you could reach a wide audience if you’re interesting enough.
Here’s a good example by X-Ring Store:
View this post on Instagram
It’s contest time again! Calling all #stfx students. We are giving away another $200 #xring deposit for when your time comes. You must follow,like and tag 3 friends to enter. Contest closes August 31st. Good luck! #stfxring #xringstore #stfxuniversity #xaverianfund #101 days
By offering discount codes exclusively through your selected influencer, you create a sense of ‘have to be part of it’. People are attracted to what they can’t have, so giving them a taste of something that only a few will have is a great marketing strategy.
There are many ways to make use of discounts and influencers to create awareness of your brand. Brainstorm many ideas and ask the influencer for input. He or she may have useful experience and could enrich your plans and ideas.
Building An Influencer Marketing Strategy
Goals and Key Performance Indicators
To have a successful influencer marketing strategy, you need to be focused on your goals. When you know what you want to achieve, you’ll get there faster and more efficiently. For this, you have to establish your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and goals.
Your marketing strategy should have all the goals and KPIs laid out and planned so they can be monitored.
They should look a little like this:
You need sales and getting leads is the way to go about it. Get more leads and you’ll see your customer base grow. This can be a bit tricky to track but having specific landing pages could help.
Your brand needs to be built online for social media and influencer marketing to work. Follower count, engagements, shares, hashtag uses, mentions and likes are a way to see how your brand awareness is doing.
Attracting A New Audience
The aim of marketing is to get more people interested in what you’re selling. It’s the same with digital marketing. You want your brand to be seen by new and fresh eyes. Influencers can help with this by making your brand more appealing and popular.
Get To Know The Influencer World
To really make the most of influencer marketing, you need to know what you’re dealing with. You also need to make sure that roping in an influencer is the best thing for your brand or company. Will it appeal to your audience? Will an influencer’s influence carry enough weight and authority?
Next, you’ll want to have a good relationship with the influencer. Make sure that you’re on the same page about goals and the marketing strategy. Together, you can meet your audience’s needs and desires effectively.
Expand Your Reach
Most social media influencer marketing strategies are focused on and based on Instagram. However, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to this platform alone. You can go above and beyond what’s to be gained here.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, even if the basket is big and popular. Explore other social media channels and the potential they have to offer. Use your influencer marketing strategy on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest as well. With some tweaking, of course.
The best idea is to go wherever your audience is and benefit from the fact that influencers are on multiple platforms. This will give you more exposure and create greater brand awareness as well.
Influencers have been working hard to reach their levels of influence and power and deserve to be paid well. For a long time, influencers were not paid well. Fortunately, things have turned around for them in recent times.
Don’t make the mistake of underpaying the influencer(s) working with you. Budget accordingly and pay promptly. Make sure you and the influencer are in agreement about what will be done and how compensation will take place.
Some influencers will work for gifts or exclusive products while others prefer to receive a commission. It is also possible to pay a one-time or monthly fee.
In general, you can expect to pay anything between $1 000 and $1 000 000, depending on what the marketing strategy involves.
Don’t Forget Micro-Influencers
Influencers can be expensive and not in the price range of a young or small company. In that case, you can still benefit from influencer marketing by making use of micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are not as big or popular as the ‘big guys’ but they still have influence and potential. Keep in mind that micro-influencers may not have the same results on your marketing strategy as the more ‘elite’ influencers would.
However, there is a happy medium that you can find that might be ideal for most brands. An influencer with 1 000 followers will receive likes on their content about 8% of the time. In comparison, an influencer with 10 million followers would see likes only about 1.6% of the time. If you can, try and use an influencer that has between 10 000 and 100 000 followers.
Later, you can consider working with a bigger influencer, if you can afford it. As long as you focus on someone who has a loyal following in your industry or niche, you’ll see good results.
Use Tools To Connect With Influencers
Finding the right influencer for you could be a difficult task and you should spend a lot of time on this part of your strategy. There are many influencers to choose from, but you have to be sure that your choice reflects your brand. There are actually tools you can use to narrow your search.
Buzzsumo is one such tool – it lets you search for influencers by topic. From there, you can analyse their followers and engagement numbers.
Make a list of the influencers and make use of a tool such as Viole Norbert to get contact info about them. Once you’ve decided on an influencer, or group of influencers, you can reach out to them.
Be sure to approach each influencer with sincerity and be transparent about what you hope to achieve by working with them.
Final Thoughts on Influencer Marketing
When you have all your ducks in a row and your strategy built around the influencer(s) of your choice has gone live, your work hasn’t stopped. A good social media manager and marketer continues to expand on existing strategies. Incorporating user-generated content, polishing even the best social media marketing campaign and constantly monitoring is called for.
Consider using SocialPlanner – a very useful tool for marketing. This social media scheduler will save you time, money and effort. You can find top-performing content, compose posts and share them whenever you want to, and it’s all automated.
Planning and delivering a good marketing strategy is no walk in the park, but with the help of the right tools and some careful planning, you’ll do great. Give your strategy some weight with influencer marketing and enjoy the benefits of digital marketing.