Influencer marketing is defined as a form of marketing that puts an emphasis on using key leaders, industry or social media influencers to drive the brand’s message to the larger market. The marketing strategy has gained popularity with the rise of Instagram and other social media platforms. Both big and small businesses can benefit from influencer marketing. The success of this marketing method depends on strategies you employ. Even though influencer marketing seems like a complicated task, you can easily do it with six strategies listed in this article.
Why invest in influencer marketing?
It is not uncommon for marketers to wonder whether influencer marketing is the best idea for business growth. Figures confirm the influencer campaigns are effective and yield more benefits than you think. Before you scroll down to see how to improve marketing strategy take a look at these statistics:
- Businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing
- 7% of US marketing budgets account for social media, which is 3.5% rise from 2009
- 57% of beauty and fashion companies use influencers to promote their brands
- 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference
- 86% of women turn to social media before making a purchase
- About 40% of Twitter users say they made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer
Benefits of influencer marketing
Okay, now you’re interested in influencer marketing but aren’t quite sure what you can gain from this campaign. Here are some important advantages linked with this marketing strategy:
- Quickly builds trust among current and potential consumers
- Increases website traffic
- Reaches more people
- Contributes to branding and builds reputation
- Enriches content strategy
- Provides value to the audience
- Improves search ranking
- Generates high-quality leads
To achieve all the above-mentioned benefits and improve influencer marketing, follow these six strategies.
- Identify your audience
The fundamental part of every influencer campaign is research, but this doesn’t only apply to the research of the market or influencers themselves. The best way to get the maximum out of your campaign is to start by researching your audience first. What’s more, you cannot choose a perfect influencer if you don’t know who is your audience or whether they would respond to that person positively.
Start things off by taking a few moments to think about the target audience and their primary characteristics. For example, if you have a company that sells clothes for girls your target audience will be females from a certain age group, follow fashion trends, and are into the celebrity culture. Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down these characteristics. When you’re done, read everything from top to bottom and you’ll know more about your audience. It also helps to research for current trends and market studies involving that specific audience. Once you’re done with this process move on to the next step.
- Search for influencers
At this point, you have identified your audience and got a valuable insight into what type of an influencer will appeal to them the most. Before you start browsing, it is important to have realistic expectations about influencers you can afford. After all, that is how most influencers earn for a living and you can’t expect they would collaborate for free or without any sort of compensation.
We can classify influencers into three types: celebrity, macro, and micro influencers. As you already know, celebrity influencer marketing is when famous people promote brands, macro influencers are individuals with huge followers’ based but aren’t celebrities. On the other hand, micro influencer marketing usually involves people with 10,000 to 100,000 follower range. Definition there varies from one marketer to another.
The first thing you should know is that it’s possible to find an ideal influencer, regardless of the budget. Research, scroll through all social media profiles (not just Instagram), create lists, and you can also use outreach platforms that make the process easier. A useful tip you should bear in mind when searching for influencers is that engagement matters more than follower count. Always focus on those who really engage their audience the right way.
- Contact an influencer
You found a few influencers that would fit perfectly into your influencer campaign and the next step is contacting them. It all comes down to your approach and the pitch you send to social media influencers. Always keep in mind these social media figures have received many proposals and people usually use the same approach. Be different!
First, establish a relationship with that person, follow them, and contact with a strong pitch. Instead of starting off by saying how much you’ll pay for promotion, focus on how they can professionally benefit from the collaboration. For example, you can describe how working with you with help them reach more people and open the door for more opportunities and subscribers.
- Make your expectations clear
Let’s say you found a perfect influencer and you have started off the collaboration. The success of this partnership depends on communication and transparency from both parties. Make your expectations clear rather than assuming the influencer will “get it”. Discuss with your influencer about the type of posts, frequency of posting, campaign goals and other details. Remember, influencers are good at their jobs (which is why they have thousands of followers), but they aren’t mind-readers. The only way they can understand your expectations and goals is if you name them openly.
- Listen to what an influencer has to say
Even though you are the one who is in charge of some influencer campaign, it doesn’t mean others have no right to say anything. Let’s put it this way; influencers have experience in a job they do and they turned the passion into success. Since you want to try influencer marketing (or to improve it), then ask an influencer about their opinion, ideas, suggestions. The success of your campaign is in their interest too since they are using their reputation and face to promote your products/services. This means they will work hard and provide valuable advice. At the same time, you should give them some creative freedom in order to make posts more authentic.
- Evaluate campaigns regularly
You can’t know whether your influencer campaign is working smoothly or not if you don’t take time to evaluate it. Analyze your campaign regularly. For example, you can do it on the monthly or bimonthly basis. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the entire campaign in order to learn what to improve in order to get the maximum out of influencer marketing. Analyze audience, engagement, website traffic, sales, leads, and other parameters you choose.
The popularity of influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down and it is about time you jump on the bandwagon or to improve your strategy (if you’ve already started with this method). To improve your influencer marketing campaign you just have to make certain changes in your approach toward the process. Identify your audience, reach influencers the right way and always be open to their opinion. Analyze your campaign regularly and you’ll make a constant progress.