As the marketing landscapes keep evolving, a very prominent marketing strategy has arisen that closely focuses on word of mouth. The influencer marketing strategy is one of the trending ways to promote a business in this decade. Influencer marketing is a combination of social media marketing and word of mouth.
From the very beginning of business marketing, a major part of the business’s success came from word of mouth. Word of mouth helps to create brand awareness, reputation and ultimately advertise a business and gain a lot of exposers.
This blog is all yours to learn influencer marketing strategy and how to use it to the advantage of your business.
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What is Influencer Marketing?
If you are new to influencer marketing and wondering what’s in it for a business. Well, businesses all around the world are taking advantage of influencer marketing and skyrocketing their engagement sales rate.
But what type of marketing is influencer marketing? Influencer Marketing is a part of Social Media Marketing strategy. Here, certain influential people with many followers helps to promote business through catchy, relevant content. You need to pay a social media influencer to promote your business on their page.
An online influencer is a social media user like all of us, but they have more followers due to the expert content they make. They are considered to be experts in their niche with a lot of followers.
The following are different types of influencers:
Social Media and Influencer Marketing
Social media is integral in influencer marketing. With the evolution of the internet, the popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube have increased significantly. That means consumers have unlimited freedom and choice over the content they want to watch, read or consume.
However, as their target audience spreads out over various forms of media, it becomes increasingly difficult to reach them. That’s where social media influencer marketing comes in.
Influencer marketing is similar to advertising a product on the TV with a celebrity or spokesman. However, influencer marketing is done through social media like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and in recent years, TikTok and Snapchat as well. Therefore, an influencer can be any social media user – a reviewer or blogger who can potentially affect or influence their audience.
Why is Influencer Marketing Effective?
And why influencer marketing is starting to grow?
Influencer marketing allows brands to find and promote straight to their target audience. Consumers are becoming increasingly sceptical of brands and their marketing tactics. And that means building trust is crucial for brands. This can be achieved through influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing allows brands to promote through an individual that a niche community follows, relates to, and trusts to some extent. So, consumers are more likely to think that if their influencer of choice likes or uses the product, they will too. These are some of the benefits of influencer marketing:
- Reach a larger audience
- Build trust
- Increase brand awareness
- Grow your social following
- Increase site traffic
- Connect to a wider market
- Get more leads
- Drive sales
- Set new trends
- Enrich your content strategy
So, how effective is social media influencer marketing?
As per a survey by Mediakix, 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. And 89% of marketers state influencer marketing ROI is as good or better than other marketing channels. No wonder, collaborating with influencers is one of the top marketing strategies for many brands.
Influencer Marketing Tips and Tricks for Beginners
If you are new to influencer marketing, then there are many things you will need to know. Just like other marketing strategies, influencer marketing requires a lot of effort. You need to plan, execute and track the effectiveness and results of the marketing efforts.
To ease up your influencer marketing path, we are here to share how to start influencer marketing. We will help you to build your influencer marketing strategies. Here are the tips to uplift your influencer marketing strategy.
1. Understand Your Influencer Marketing Need and Goal
For any marketing strategies to be successful, the main step is to pinpoint all the goals. Influencer marketing is no different either. In order to begin influencer marketing, find out what are the goals that the influencer marketing campaign is going to achieve.
For businesses that are just taking off or want to reach the bigger circle of the audience, influencer marketing is most effective for them.
Think and understand how influencer marketing is going to enhance your major marketing strategies. Specifically, how much value it is going to add to your social media marketing or content marketing efforts.
While setting up your goals, the first focus must be on your brand niche. Brand niches like fashion and beauty are the biggest users of influencer marketing. Other brands that are profiting from influencer marketing include food and beverage, technologies and gadgets, health and wellness.
There are a number of goals that you can achieve using influencer marketing. You can increase brand awareness, audience reach, and engagement, also generate revenue and leads. Find and prioritise the goals. The goals will help you to plan and measure the campaign properly. It will help you understand the key metrics and assess the performance of your business.
In case your goal is to increase your brand awareness and engagement rate. You will need to measure the impression, likes, comments and share of the post and page. All these will give you ideas on the number of people who have seen or interacted with your content.
Similarly, if your goal is lead generation, you can ask influencers to share your business’s page link while promoting your brand, product or service. Using the number of lead generation from their link can help you calculate your ROI.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
Everyone is not interested in your brand or business, and everyone will not buy your service. However, all business has their target audience. Hence, you need to know your target audience. It is one of the vital yet overlooked parts in order to create a successful influencer marketing campaign.
You can make your campaign strategies more easily and efficiently once you have a clear idea of your target audience. Your target audience is the particular circle of people you want to reach with your message, brand, and products. The target market is like a pool within which your target audience swims.
There are a lot of factors that must be taken into consideration while identifying and knowing your target audience. For example, age, location, interest, income and so on.
If you know who your business should target, you can make the campaign according to it them. As a result, your campaign will reach the right people. This, in turn, will help you find out the right influencer for your business whose followers have similar interests as your brand.
3. Find the Right Social Media to Market Your Brand
Finding out the right social media platform to advertise your brand stand out to be an important factor. Social media plays a key role in figuring out your target audience. All it helps to understand their behaviour, trending things they are following in relevance to your brand niche.
Just like identifying the target audience, you need to know where they spend their time mostly. Likewise, different influencer influences people on different social media. For example, an influencer can have more followers on Instagram than on Facebook or YouTube.
So depending on what social media your target audience is using, you can find the best influencers on that platform. Also, find someone who works closely with your brand niche.
4. Understand The Three R’s of Influencer Marketing
You can influence your target audience using three main components: Relevance, Reach and Resonance. These R’s are very important and helpful to choose the correct influencers and make an impact with your influencer marketing content.
It all comes down to relevancy and how people interact with you and your influencer’s content. A relevant influencer makes relevant content for your business so that your target audience can connect with it easily.
The number of people who potentially come across your business from the base of the influencer’s followers is the reach. If the content is relevant and engaging, a small audience can be effective. However, you need to ensure there’s enough audience following your chosen influencer so that you can reach your goals.
Resonance is the degree of engagement the influencer will likely make with the target audience of your brand. So as we said earlier, just having a big fan following of the influencer is not enough. If the follower is not interested in your product or what you have to offer, a big fan following doesn’t matter. Niche influencers work best in this case as they usually have very dedicated fan followings. They are likely to go up and down on the words of the influencer.
5. Research The Influencers who are Relevant to Your Brand
Researching the influencers is an essential part of influencer marketing before you begin collaborating with them. Influencer marketing is the most trending marketing strategy to boost traffic and sales. As a result, there is a vast number of influencers out there, and it also increases the number of fraud influencers.
That’s why you should do thorough research and run background checks before contacting someone.
Fake influencers often buy followers, likes, and comments on their posts to increase their follower count and engagement rate. This is a trap to attract brands who are willing to pay depending on their follower counts, engagement and content, which will be ineffective in the long run. Collaborating with this kind of influencer will also hamper your brand reputation, and brand awareness will be ineffective.
Ensure that you are going through background research on the influencers and also their social media profile before you sign up with them. You can simply check the amount of engagement they are getting per post and use it to calculate the engagement rate.
Consistent and higher engagement rate on their content such as comments, likes and shares means that the influencer has a loyal follower base. Furthermore, it also means that the followers are dedicated and trust the person they are following. Some essential campaign measures revolve around engagement. These include:
- Brand awareness
- Website visits
Compare and analyse influencers’ organic and sponsored post engagement rates to help your campaign to become successful. However, a lot of marketers ignore this basic practice and focus too heavily on vanity metrics.
Also, you can take a look if they have worked with any other reputed organisation or brands before.
6. Know The Laws
Now that influencer marketing is a trending factor, governments have imposed some laws on influencers and businesses conducting influencer marketing. Consumer protection law is designed to protect the audience from misleading advertisements that can happen through influencer marketing.
According to this law, anyone who advertises or endorse a service or product on social media must reveal clearly how they came across the service and product. In addition, they must state if they got any benefits like free gifts or received any incentive for the promotion.
Moreover, an influencer must not give an impression that they are a customer of a product or service if they are not. For instance, if you claim or give an impression that you personally brought or used something when in reality you didn’t, you could be disobeying the law. As a result, the reputation of both the business and the influencer is at stake. There is also a strict penalty for disobeying this law.
The law applies to all social media and advertising related to it. You need to be open, upfront and honest with the audience while doing influencer marketing.
7. Business Outlook is Equally Important to Influencers
Your business should be equally appealing and attractive to the influencers with whom you want to work with. Keep in mind that you need to build a long-term relationship with influencers you will be working with. 96% of brands want a lasting relationship with the influencer, which also results in multiple campaigns.
It is important that your business aligns properly with the audience of the influencer. This is because 72% of influencers think brand alignment is a key factor when it comes to choosing a brand to work with.
Moreover, influencers are creative beings. They like to have their creative freedom. One in every three influencers doesn’t like brands that offer them collaborations which comes with long guidelines. Simply, influencers prefer freedom when it comes to creating content. Sure, you have a say in it, but you need to have trust in the influencers as well. Share your thoughts and ideas when and see how well they reciprocate with them.
8. Reach Out to Influencers Privately and Personally
While approaching an influencer for your brand, start communication slowly. Interact organically with their existing posts. Like their content make comments be appreciative of their work but do not sound ‘salesy’.
When you feel the influencer is a perfect match for your brand, message them and start a conversation with them. Email is a good way to start. Avoid sending mass emails or generic DM to every influencer you want to collaborate with.
Though it might take you a bit longer to write a personalised message, it shows that you are serious about partnering with them. This will help increase the chance of making a deal with the potential influencer.
Give influencers as much information about your business as possible. Explain to them your goals and what you want to accomplish from the influencer marketing campaign. Also, make them see how they can benefit from the deal beyond the payment they will be getting.
One key thing you need to know during this process is that you don’t want to address the person as an “influencer” while reaching out to them. Influencer’s like to be referred to as creators.
9. Decide Your Influencer Marketing Budget
Now let’s come to the cost that you need to make for influencer marketing. There are lots of many factors that contribute to making the budget for influencer marketing. They include the following
The influencers reach and the channel the content will be posted on. Also, determine how many posts you want and the kind of post. Estimate how long it will take to create the content and any agency payment that may be included.
The most expensive form of content on Instagram is an IGTV, followed by a reel and then a feed post. Instagram story is the cheapest type of content. Influencers may ask for more charges for product review, organising giveaways, and event attendance.
10. Measure The Campaign Performance
Vanity metrics such as likes and comments can be tempting to focus on when just launched your influencer marketing campaign. However, if the follower base of your chosen influencer is more than the follower base of your business page it all the reactions and comments can distract you from the main goals.
Yes, content engagement is one of the factors to observe campaign success. But the in order to measure the efficiency of a campaign, you need to understand measure success in terms of return on investment.
One of tracking the visitors that comes to your website from the influencer is by using UTM parameters. UTM parameters are short text codes that you add to URLs that help you track the performance of a webpage or campaign. As a result, you can measure the actual engagement your campaign is getting.
When you sign up with influencers, assign them their own unique URL with the UTM codes. It helps you see the performance and get a clear picture of influencer marketing.
You can also give the influencer a unique discount code. It will also help you track the sale and customers that came through the influencer.
Using the Facebook or Instagram analytic tools for influencer campaigns, you can gain insights into both feeds and stories. You can also ask the influencer to send you a detailed report on the content reach and engagement level.
The more follower an influencer has, the more it is going to cost you to promote your brand through them. Usually, an influencer with 3k to 10k followers on social media like Instagram will charge £50 – £100 per post. But the price increases with the increase in followers. The fees are not fixed. It may vary from influencer to influencer. But many marketers work with influencers with a pricing plan of £80 per 10k followers. Also, £80 is only the initial price. It will vary depending on how long it will take to make the content and the type of content it will be.
Mega influencers who have millions of followers will ask to be paid a lot more, it can increase beyond £1million per post.
The cost also varies depending on the social media platform. For instance, the TikTok influencer fee is a lot less. It starts at around £20 per TikTok, and the amount rises according to the follower count. YouTube is a great platform for influencers as well. YouTubers with 10k subscribers can charge around £150 for each video.
What Factors can Negatively Impact Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing can give you a high return on investment (ROI). 89% of businesses say ROI from influencer marketing is equal to or better than other marketing channels or strategies.
You need to remember a thing when you collaborate with an influencer. When they collaborate with a business, their business is also affected. But it can also have a negative impact on the business if not done correctly and taking into account some crucial factors.
Some factors can negatively impact your business in influencer marketing.
- Choosing influencers who are not aligned with your brand or product or someone who does not usually use your products
- Not analysing the influencer’s target audience before collaborating.
- Making the advertisement mainly videos too much scripted rather than letting the influencer use their creative approach.
- Publishing hard to get content that may push off the audience.
- Not organising proper tracking, URL, or landing pages before promotion.
Influencers Marketing is helping many businesses to build their brand awareness and reputation. When the public hears about a business from a person they dedicatedly follow, it influences them to look at the product or services.
So if your business is just taking off, or you want to build brand loyalty and bring in more customers and reach wider audiences, Influencer marketing can do wonders. Gain full expertise on Instagram marketing through the course Instagram Marketing for Organic Growth.