Influencer marketing is a $16.4 billion industry that will only keep growing— and for a good reason. Influencer marketing is one of the most successful social media strategies out there. Not to mention, 80% of consumers have purchased a product through an influencer at some point.
As a result, an increasing number of brands are partnering with influencers to boost product visibility and are seeing remarkable outcomes.
Influencer marketing is a great way to connect with a new audience on social media. But where do you start? In this article, we’ll help you decide if influencer marketing is right for your brand and give you some helpful tips for getting started.
What Exactly is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a collaborative effort between brands and social media users who have amassed a dedicated following in a particular niche. These influencers have the ability to build trust with their followers better than faceless brands, making them the perfect partner to promote a product.
Celebrity endorsements have been the earliest form of influencer marketing. However, brands have been directly approaching influencers to share and review their products with their followers since 2016.
Social proof is key to selling. Influencers, who their followers often trust, serve this purpose to a large-scale audience. For example, 63% of millennials are more likely to try a product recommended by YouTube influencers than traditional marketing personalities.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to influencer marketing platforms. While many brands prefer Instagram, people also purchase from other platforms like TikTok and YouTube.
A Twitter survey found that almost half of respondents rely on influencers for product recommendations. So if you’re looking to reach a specific audience, it’s worth considering all your options.
If you’re unsure whether influencer marketing is effective, consider some of your most recent purchasing decisions. Chances are, you made those decisions based on the recommendations or reviews of people you follow online. In other words, you were influenced by an influencer!
What the Numbers Say
Again, influencer marketing is on the rise. 89 percent of marketers find the ROI ‘at least’ as good as other marketing channels, while 48% believe it’s better. With nine out of ten brands using it on social media, and 71% of marketers finding the traffic from influencer marketing to be of better quality, it’s no wonder that conversion rates are higher than with other digital marketing strategies.
How to Create a Solid Influencer Marketing Strategy
If you want your influencer marketing campaign to succeed, developing a solid strategy is essential. This will help you understand your desired end goals, figure out how to best approach them, and measure your progress. By taking the time to develop a well-thought-out plan, you’ll be setting your brand up for success.
Finding the Right Influencers
The first step to a successful influencer campaign is identifying your niche and doing your research. For example, if you’re a hair care brand, you don’t want to reach out to a popular food creator. You must also select the platform you want to launch your campaign on. Many brands start with Instagram, but if you think your target audience is on TikTok, you should go with that.
Ideally, you should already have a presence and following on your desired platform, so the influencer has something to work with. Besides, having a platform helps you narrow down a long list of influencers. Chances are that you’ve already seen the works of influencers in your niche. But you can’t sign a contract with the first person who claims to be an influencer.
If you don’t know where to start, use social listening. Do extensive research by searching your brand or product-related hashtags on your preferred platform. You can also check who your followers follow to see who’s in the same industry.
Remember that you can also run a Google search of the top influencers in your niche.
Size Doesn’t Always Matter
When you’re looking to work with influencers, it can be tempting to go for the ones with the most followers. But, if you have a limited budget or want more organic conversions, it’s best to go for nano influencers.
Nano or micro-influencers are niche creators with between 2,000 and 10,000 followers. This may not look like a lot, but they often have more loyal followers who are eager that they are finally working for brands. These followers trust their recommendations and engage with their content.
So, you may see even better results from these influencers than when working with the big names.
Knowing What to Pay Influencers
The pay for influencers can differ a lot. Some influencers work on their own, while others, who are typically not influencers, work for an agency. The agency sets the rates if an influencer works for one.
It’s a good idea to contact other companies to ask how much they give influencers.
You can also run a Google search on the influencer rates in your industry. This will depend on:
- the influencer’s influence,
- number of followers,
- content type,
- the expected ROI,
- and the contract duration.
It’s generally not a good idea to approach nano influencers by offering products and “exposure” instead of monetary compensation. These influencers typically have a low number of followers, and while some may accept this offer, it’s not always the best idea.
Set a Budget and Follow-Up Strategy
After you’ve chosen your influencers, it’s time to start budgeting for your campaign. Remember that, unlike other digital marketing campaign types (e.g., Google ads), you can’t just set it up and walk away. Influencers are human beings with their own opinions and schedules to contend with.
So, you must continue to follow up and be hands-on. Still, ensure you give the influencer sufficient control. For example, let them suggest befitting Instagram post ideas to suit the campaign.
Define Your Goals and Message
You should only use influencer marketing if you have a clear message. For many brands, this can be:
- increasing brand awareness,
- increasing followers,
- launching a new product,
- improving sales
Don’t try to do everything at the same time. Instead, focus on one or two specific goals and work with your influencer to decide the best content type to relay the message.
Reaching Out to influencers: What to Know
After you’ve decided which influencers you want to work with and what message to send, the next step is to reach out to them. Make sure they’re legitimate by checking for signs like a poor engagement to-followers ratio — this could be a sign that they’re fake.
You can use the in-app messaging feature to reach nano influencers, but most influencers have their contact information in their bio. It’s usually best to refer to that first.
Send a direct message and be clear about what you want. Include details like:
- Your brand and links to your site
- Your marketing campaign and precise details on what you intend to achieve
- How you would like to work with them
- Ask for a portfolio of their work with similar brands
Be sure to include a way for influencers to reach you.
Review, Analyze, and Develop Your Strategy
If you want your message to be received loud and clear, you have to stay on track. However, with managing multiple social media accounts, it’s easy for marketers and media managers to get sidetracked by other tasks.
The message you intended to share and what you actually share can sometimes be different, but constant reviews help you catch issues as quickly as possible so you can correct them.
You can analyze your campaigns, detect mistakes on time, and make corrections.
How to Track Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
It’s important to remember that your campaign has a goal, and you can track and measure progress toward that goal by setting key performance indicators.
Instead of just focusing on likes and comments, think about lead generation or new audiences. You can track this progress by looking at how many website visits resulted from the influencer campaign or the number of newly added followers.
Knowing your social media KPIs helps you understand what’s working and what’s not and prepares you for your next influencer campaign.
As the marketing world continues to evolve, so are the strategies and tactics businesses use to reach their target audiences. Influencer marketing is one such tactic that is well-positioned to continue growing in popularity in the coming years.
Influencer marketing can be a game-changer for your brand. You can see greater conversion rates with the ability to advertise your brand products to a larger audience. However, it’s essential to do your research and stay in control of the campaign.
- Feel free to spend a good part of your digital marketing campaign fund on influencer marketing.
- Work with a micro-influencer for your first campaign. They are usually just learning how to become an influencer and have eager and engaging audiences.
- Set KPIs with each campaign and stay up to date to ensure things are on track.
Are you using influencer marketing to boost your brand? Let us know if we have missed anything in the comments section below.