Influencer marketing is one of the most successful forms of marketing today. And in this guide, we will cover what influencer marketing is about, how it can benefit your brand and learn to create your own strategies to find, work, run and measure your results with influencers.
Getting Started With Influencer Marketing
One might think that influencer marketing is merely another branch of marketing and is just a short-term fad. But influencer marketing is more than creating some noise, but is an essential way to publicize your goods and services authentically online.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is when a business, brand or company chooses to work with influential people in order to help them market their business.
It’s aim is to identify the main people who are icons in your niche and approach them to work and collaborate to promote your brand.
So, what is an influencer?
An influencer can be anybody who has the means and power to affect the purchasing decision of others. An influencer does this because he has the authority, knowledge, position and special relationship with their audience.
They are usually someone who has a significant following in a particular niche and is actively engaging with them.
However, the size of an influencer’s following will also depend on the niche they choose to operate in. Here is how we usually refer to them:
A Macro influencer is for a person or group with over 100,000 to 1 million followers. They usually work with a broad audience of different demographics and are available for higher budget campaigns.
Micro influencers have a following of 1,000 to 100,000 and are more defined or have specific audiences. These people are possibly respected experts in their fields and are less expensive than macro influencers and own great engagement rates.
This type of influencers have small following but they might have the best engagement within a locality or super niche community. They usually have less than 1,000 followers and will be selective about the products and brands they choose to endorse.
Influencer Marketing Channels
- Digital/print ads
Influencer Content Types
- Blog posts
- Instagram posts/stories
- Facebook posts
- Sponsored Facebook Live
- Twitter posts/videos
- Snapchat videos/photos
- LinkedIn posts/videos
- YouTube videos
- Magazine/newspaper articles
- Television appearances/videos
How Influencer Marketing Started
Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity marketing. Celebrities have been promoting products for years and it always comes with a hefty endorsement fee.
While online celebrity marketing is an example of influencer marketing but modern influencer marketing is much more than tapping into movie or sports stars. Other than the costs, some celebrities are just plainly unconnected to the product and to their fans.
However, the internet has established the reputation of certain individuals who we can refer to as digital superstars. And these are the people we consider to be influencers.
It takes more than a pretty face to get a following. These influencers have built reputations for being experts in their niche.
And they have established successful bogs on the subject and perhaps even made videos that were then uploaded to YouTube and other channels.
But what you can be certain of is that influencers have spent a considerable amount of time building their brand and cultivating their audience.
If the influencers understand how your product or services would benefit their followers, then they may be happy to work with you. They will be glad to lend their name, expertise and authority in promoting your product to their followers.
But, this will only work if your company itself is selling a quality product. If your products and services are shady, sub-standard or worse than your competitors. No amount of bribing influencers can make you repeat sales and no real influencer would want to work with you.
Why Do You Need Influencer Marketing?
When was the last time you looked at a banner ad on the internet? A lot of people don’t notice them now and many who see them find them so annoying that they might even just unfollow and unsubscribe from your brand.
According to the poll made by Infolinks, at least half of internet users have never clicked on an online ad. Perhaps you’ve tried social media marketing as this has some potential and people do spend a considerable amount of time browsing these platforms.
But, these social media networks are after your advertising budget which makes it harder for you to reach people with organic posts.
And since Facebook has adjusted their news feeds to favor status updates from friends and relatives, this has greatly reduced the visibility of business pages.
But influencers are different because they have cultivated an audience of like-minded individuals. Imagine just how many relevant people you can starget using quality influencers compared to random targeting.
How Can Influencers Help Your Business
However, the level of help that you can expect from an influencer will depend on the type of working relationship that you can establish. If you use an organic approach, you will probably receive less help from an influencer than if you pay them for a distinct influencer marketing campaign.
While the costs can be different. The outreach may result in helping you out for free or into a formal payment that would depend on the influencer’s star power.
What’s a typical way that an influencer could help you?
- Create an article, blog or video about your product and services.
- Sharing information by promoting you on their social media account accounts and they might share a post that you have already written in your blog.
- Gives you access to their site so that you can write a guest post.
Frankly, paid influencers will be more proactive when it comes to promoting your brand. They might even write and film about your promotional items. They can even take it further by posting good photos on Instagram or on YouTube.
However, you can’t expect influencers to simply provide you with unequivocal praise. They are influencers because of their authentic relationship with their audience but they would usually confer with you before they release their own content.