The key to success nowadays is to establish lasting and beneficial relationships with your target audience. Brands should effectively communicate with consumers to foster trust and loyalty. Thankfully, communicating directly with your audience is now easier than ever. That is all thanks to the internet and social media.
One way to effectively communicate with your target audience is to use influencer marketing. It’s a relatively new form of online marketing used by a lot of businesses to widen their reach, generate more leads, and increase revenues. It also works well with other types of digital marketing strategies. However, not a lot of marketers fully understand what influencer marketing is all about and how to actually make it work for their business.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Fundamentally, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing wherein a brand is endorsed by influencers – people who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as authorities within their respective niches – by mentioning products and services in their posts. What makes influencer marketing effective in bringing in more customers is that these people have already established a high amount of trust from their followers. This makes their recommendations serve as social proof of a brand’s legitimacy.
Using influencers to promote products and services has proven to be effective in influencing people’s decisions, thoughts, and opinions on a brand. This has helped numerous businesses elevate their brands to a whole new level. All thanks to the huge amount of following that famous influencers, like Andrea Chong, Sophie Willcq, Yoyo Cao, Timothy Ho, and Nichole Changmin, have.
Who Can Be Considered Influencers?
In the past, companies would collaborate with celebrities to endorse a product or service, or to talk about their brand for a 30-second TV ad. However, this was an expensive venture that not a lot of businesses are able to afford.
Influencers don’t need to be celebrities. They can be anyone. They can be anywhere. What makes these people influential is their large followings on social media. An influencer can be a model, photographer, doctor, nurse, student, makeup artist, fitness guru, yogi, or other people who have established influence and are well-respected in their respective niches. Some will have hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of followers while others have about 10,000. Even with fewer followers, some people can still be considered influencers by having a good reputation for being experts in their chosen niches. This means that people look them up if they want an opinion on a product, service, or brand. Aside from that, these are people who are known for their engaging social media content.
Influencer marketing has become massive in 2020, raking in tens of billions of dollars. As for a marketer’s perspective, a lot of companies that have collaborated with influencers claim that they are getting ROI that is comparable – even better for some – to other marketing techniques. This has influenced thousands of marketers to increase their budget for influencer marketing.
How To Create An Influencer Marketing Strategy?
With the prevalence of influencer marketing, more and more brands are able to advocate their products in a more authentic way using real people. True enough, this form of digital marketing can help businesses reach their target audience and establish brand awareness. But just like any marketing technique, influencer marketing requires targeting and planning. You can’t just expect to succeed by merely sending free stuff to famous people.
Finding The Right Influencers
Research is the key to starting your influencer marketing strategy right. Just like any strategy, you need to know everything your target audience wants and needs from your brand.
To be able to find the right influencers who will endorse your products and services, first, you need to choose the platform that you want to focus on. Using consumer insights, you will know where most of your target audience is, what they are looking for in a brand, and how they expect companies to connect to them. The industry you belong to also plays a key role in choosing where to implement your influencer marketing strategy. If your brand is about beauty or fashion, for example, you’ll shine the brightest on Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok.
The next thing to do is to determine the types of influencers you should work with. Do they post about similar products or services? How high is their engagement ratio to follower count? Are they legit? How much experience do they have when it comes to working with brands similar to yours?
Setting A Budget And Management Strategy
When deciding on the influencers to collaborate with, you should also consider your budget. If you’re partnering with celebrities, you’ll obviously need to spend more. If you’re just starting with influencer marketing, you can go for vloggers with at least 10,000 followers. Also, be sure to look at common rates for different influencer types. The more popular influencers will be represented by agencies, which means that you’ll have to pay more for them.
You will need to consider time for planning, executing, and reviewing your influencer marketing campaign. Keep in mind that this type of marketing is not a set-it-and-go type of strategy. You will need to keep monitoring and following up with the influencers to ensure that they are doing their end of the bargain. Influencers often work with multiple businesses, which makes prone to errors, like forgetting requested tags and calls to action.
Constantly monitor your collaborations with influences to ensure that you cultivate relationships with them. Also, you’ll be able to determine what works and what doesn’t to be able to refine your approach.
Plan Your Approach Well
A well-thought-out strategy is planned properly. You need to plan out all the details you need to make your influencer marketing campaign successful. You should also discuss your strategy with the influencers you will be working with. Do they prefer to do it weekly, monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually? Once you’ve plotted the schedule, you should integrate your timeline for press releases, product launches, and more.
You have to keep in mind that influencer marketing does not provide instantaneous results. It’s a slow-and-steady approach, much like social media and content marketing, since you’re not directly selling to your audience. Influencer marketing is all about showing people your credibility and leadership within your industry. More than that, it’s about becoming a household name – it’s about becoming synonymous with your product or service.
Be Clear On Your Goals And Message
The two major reasons for using influencers to promote your products and services are to elevate brand awareness and increase sales. You can, however, kick off your campaign by targeting your brand’s needs first. For example, you can start with widening your reach to a younger demographic. You may also want to expand your reach to a new segment with a new product.
What makes influencer marketing effective is that it has the ability to reach highly targeted audiences that are more likely to be interested in your brand and are most likely to engage with your content. This saves you time sifting through thousands of followers yourself.
Additionally, you should make sure that your message is consistent with your brand’s identity. This doesn’t mean that you control the influencers’ creativity and unique way of delivering a message. You want to make sure that they don’t post anything that doesn’t do any good for your campaign. Moreover, you want them to stick to the message and voice that resonates with your brand.
How To Track Your Campaigns?
One of the most popular ways to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaign is to assign a specific hashtag for your influencers to use. For example, you can have the hashtag #[yourbrand]partner used by your influencers so you can track the progress of the campaign. Similarly, you can watch for mentions on specific Twitter keywords.
To see how many leads your influencers are generating, you can make them use affiliate codes or tracking links. It makes it easy to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns and compare them with your other strategies.
The influencer marketing strategy is on a roll these days because of the increasing number of influencers. Influencer marketing is on the rise so much so that it has grown to 13.8 billion US dollars in just three years with the number of influencers around the world ranging from 3 to 38 million. This just proves that influencers are here to stay.
This guide will help you get started with your influencer marketing campaign. It’s important to carefully plan out your strategy, which should include research, budgeting, setting goals, finding influencers, and reviewing and revising. Success may vary between brands so don’t give up easily.