Influencer marketing is similar to word-of-mouth marketing, but it doesn’t rely on specific recommendations alone. Influencers can originate from a variety of sources, and any person, team, organization, place, or thing has the potential to have an influence.
These content creators typically have engaged audiences who follow them. Using buyer personas and customer audience profiles, your business can advertise to them on different social media sites to reach more people, raise brand awareness, and get new leads for your sales funnel.
Influencer marketing can stand on its own or be used to boost your other marketing efforts. But is it for you?
- Many marketers and business owners are successfully promoting their products with social media influencers on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok to reach untapped audiences
- Social media influencer marketing can often help you get past typical initial customer objections, bypass popular ad blockers that would prevent them from otherwise knowing about your offer through more traditional advertising, and even boost your website SEO
- When used in combination with other marketing efforts and channels, influencer marketing provides another vector by which to access untapped markets and customers who may not be exposed to more traditional forms of advertising
Influencer marketing works so well because the content is shared by “regular people” who a wider range of people can relate to. Because of this, 70% of teens place more trust in influencers than in more established celebrities.
Most of the time, these influencers are just regular people, but they are still seen as celebrities on the internet in their own right. They are usually knowledgeable and entertaining people who already create or share content on their social media feeds that their subscribers really enjoy. Working with these social media influencers will raise awareness of your brand and make it seem more knowledgeable, authoritative, and trustworthy.
Developing Your Business’s Social Media Influencer Strategy
Is social media influencer marketing in demand? I’ve already answered that in a previous post, and the numbers don’t lie.
The best part of influencer marketing is that it doesn’t usually seem like a hard sale. Most of the time, the influencer will talk about your product casually and include a discount code for people who buy. Because the influencer you reach out to should already be a good fit for your niche or customer demographic in terms of their interests, lifestyle, and the content they share, your offer will already seem relevant to the influencer’s audience.
Influencer Marketing Offers Unique Benefits Over Traditional Advertising
And because the online influencer is promoting you through their own network of followers and subscribers, many of whom have been subscribers for years, they’ve already established the key aspect that turns a curious consumer into an active customer– trust.
If you can provide high quality images and videos of a product or service that adds value to their lives while also providing a discount code that both credits your influencer with the lead and motivates their followers to check it out, there’s a good chance many will buy.
And even if they don’t buy right now, they still might take another action, like signing up for your email list or sharing your influencer’s post about your brand with their own social contacts.
How to Search For and Find the Right Digital Influencer
Finding the right digital influencer isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can be downright frustrating. As in life, there are no guarantees, but you can increase the odds of your success when you know what to look for. First, let’s look at some difficulties to get a better understanding of everything, since you will likely encounter them too.
1. Choose which platform(s) you’ll be using – Knowing which platforms would be best suited for your offer will help qualify your leads right away. There are benefits to each platform, and you should consider using any or all of them when making your decision.
- Tik Tok is for the younger crowd and Generation Z
- Instagram is primarily used by people aged 25 – 34 and under 50, and is the top channel for influencer marketing campaigns, responsible for over 67% of all influencer marketing
- Facebook is known by its slightly older audience
- YouTube is heavily favored by Generation Z, and videos have some of the best engagement possible out of all marketing assets
2. Find an active influencer – Your prospect should have subscribers in your market’s geographic or target sales area and be posting regularly. Some people may be in a foreign country running a page for fun, and they’re not going to buy your product.
While likes and shares on social media are great, they’re not sales, or a guarantee of future sales. The influencer should have an actively engaged audience– not a bunch of bots as followers or a page with many members but few likes or comments per post.
- Look through Instagram for hash tags related to your business, brand or product.
- Read over the posts and look for influencers with anywhere from 10,000 – 500,000 followers. Look for posts with lots of real comments, likes, and shares.
- Click through to see the potential influencer’s profile. Look at their old posts to get a better understanding of what they’ve been up to. Have they already done some influencer marketing? You might see old posts where they feature someone else’s product with a discount code.
3. Contact an appropriate influencer to work with – Crafting messages to approach an influencer, sending them off, and waiting to hear back can try your patience. As many people are not in your country or speak your language natively, it’s also easy to miscommunicate.
- Determine your campaign’s goals. Setting marketing goals and objectives for your campaigns in your influencer marketing strategy should come before contacting any influencers. They might involve developing content, promoting a brand, or boosting sales. You won’t be able to decide what kind of influencer to work with or how your influencer campaigns will succeed without established marketing goals.
- Analyze influencers for appropriateness. Continually conduct research! If you approach influencers who are pertinent to your business, your outreach strategy will be more successful. Influencers want to collaborate with brands that share their profiles and values in order to keep their authenticity. Additionally, they are more likely to advocate for goods they already adore. Influencers won’t respond to messages from arbitrary brands, especially if they see that you didn’t do any research on them before contacting them.
- Start engaging with influencers on Instagram about 2-3 weeks before you start your outreach to make it easier to connect with them. If the influencers’ other social media channels are active, you can do this there. This will demonstrate to them that you have done your homework and are curious about what they produce. When the time comes for you to get in touch with an Instagram influencer, they might already be familiar with your brand since you’ve been interacting with them.
- At least two weeks prior to the launch of your campaign, start sending outreach messages. You ought to start the process earlier if the campaign is larger. You can give influencers all the information they need to be excited about working with you by developing an influencer marketing brief that details your campaign and marketing objectives. Your campaign brief and responses will be ambiguous if the logistical aspects are not handled. It will be difficult for the influencer to decide whether they want to work with you or whether you’d be a trustworthy partner, which may cause them to disregard your messages.
- Select a method of contact. Influencers can be approached in a variety of ways. Email and Instagram DMs are the two most popular methods. Because influencers lead busy lives, you should make sure that your outreach messages are concise and to the point. Sending lengthy information about the collaboration and your brand is not advisable. If they don’t understand what you want in a few sentences, they’ll likely stop reading the email. Instead, only share enough information to pique their interest.
- Before contacting an influencer, you should already be clear on what you need them to do, when you need the collaborations to be finished, and how much you’re willing to pay. This will help you gauge how soon you should start reaching out to influencers and prepare for any inquiries. You will have a list of about 15 – 20 influencers to contact for an average campaign.
Some people will agree to your offer simply to pocket the money, while others may not want to work with you, even if you think it’s a great fit or opportunity for you both.
4. Don’t have a “one and done” mentality – If you’re going to make influencer marketing work, then you’ll likely want to give it more than just one attempt. Assuming your product offer is solid and people like it, you should prepare to contact about 15 different influencers in hopes that you might get 3 – 5 to respond and 1 – 3 to agree. When you launch, make sure that your content from different influencers overlaps in waves to get the most out of your overall reach and repetition.
One of the best things about this entire process is that once you learn it, you can use it strategically several times a year for different products, sales, new releases, and promotions. Refine it as you go. Build relationships with your influencers for years-long collaborations that benefit you, the influencer, their audience, and your customer base.
Online Influencer Seeding
High-performing content produced by influencers is known as “influencer generated content,” or IGC. Influencers can create new, unique, incredibly helpful and evergreen content for you. And believe it or not, you can get them to do it for free.
When brands give influencers free merchandise with no conditions attached, this practice is known as “product seeding” or “influencer seeding” (i.e. no expectations on a post in return). The term “seeding” refers to a long-term mentality in which the relationship is the main objective and everything else is an added benefit.
The benefits of product seeding can be felt right away, including word-of-mouth advertising, product reviews, and a library of IGC content at your disposal. Effective product seeding can have numerous long-term advantages, which are barely touched upon here. Product seeding is the fundamental step that leads to reliable affiliate programs (paying influencers a cut of sales), securing talented content producers, and identifying long-term brand ambassadors.
Relationships take time to develop, and there is a process involved in getting there. It’s worthwhile, though, and very organic.
Influencer Marketing Pricing
You can expect to pay someone to run a post or promotion for you for anywhere from $25 – $1,000. When calculating the amount you’re comfortable spending on your influencer campaign, it’s helpful to calculate how many sales you would need to make in order to break even.
At the end of the day, you should get at least a 2–3x return on investment (ROI) before you can call influencer marketing a good marketing channel. The highest paid social media influencers, including legacy celebrities, can make $10,000 per post and more.
Social Media Influencer Marketing Companies
Yep, I know. Getting a social influencer takes time, effort, work, and patience. Yuck. Fortunately, there are companies out there that offer to do it for you. Unfortunately, you’ll be paying for it.
Check out Influencer Marketing Hub for a full list of influencer marketing agencies, each with its own strengths and skills based on platform. Companies like these can even provide extra marketing assets and content for viral posts.
While I’m sure these companies are great, nothing beats going through this process by yourself and making it work without an agency. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also get used to finding new influencers and contacts and coming up with new ideas and angles to pursue with your favorite influencers.
Conclusion: Social Media Influencer Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing with a focus on performance is becoming more popular. Because customers need to interact with a brand more than once before they buy, combining the best parts of influencer content and performance marketing makes for a powerful marketing strategy. Your content creation comes from influencers.
They make native ads that often work better with consumers. This can improve the performance of your ads and increase conversion rates in general. The best performing influencer content can then be found by analysts, who can then produce paid advertisements to be displayed to a highly targeted audience.
Influencer content frequently has higher engagement and conversion rates because it is viewed as being more authentic. Brands that adopt new advertising tactics will see significant market growth; those that do not adapt to the times are likely to fail. Digital brands have been rewarded with exceptional growth opportunities over the last few years, but those who fall behind will start to suffer the consequences in the coming years.
Frequently Asked Questions – Social Influencer Marketing Strategies
Influencer marketing is a subset of marketing that makes use of social media influencers who are respected by their followers as subject matter experts. It matters because consumers now place a higher value on sincere testimonials and advice from regular people they can identify with. Influencer marketing helps increase brand recognition while giving consumers access to real solutions. Influencer marketing is often more efficient and offers a ROI that is more than 10 times greater than that of banner advertising.
Influencers first started writing blog posts about their preferred products. Then, as social media grew in popularity, so did the types of content that influencers were producing. Perhaps the most common type of content that influencers create today to promote products is video. The amazing power of video has been demonstrated by platforms like Instagram and Facebook Live, IGTV, YouTube, and TikTok.
1. Specify your marketing objectives and spending plan. 2. Decide on your campaign type and key messaging. 3. Select potential influencers and begin the outreach process. 4. Manage your influencer campaigns. 5. Monitor your progress and make adjustments to your plan.