With social media being one of the most effective ways to grow a brand in 2018, influencer marketing has logically been on the rise. In fact, according to Tapinfluence, influencer marketing delivers 11 times as much ROI as traditional forms of digital marketing.
If you haven’t included it in your marketing strategy, you might be missing out on some great opportunities. Here’s a quick look at what influencer marketing is and how it can help you grow your business.
Influencer Marketing 101
Influencer marketing is essentially when companies work with people who already have a substantial social presence to promote their product or service. These people, known as influencers, have established credibility and authority in a specific field, which provides an excellent opportunity if you’re marketing a product that their audience is interested in.
Influencer marketing is extremely effective for several reasons:
- Trust. People trust the opinions of someone they know over the messaging of brands. According to the Nielsen report, recommendations from friends remain the most credible form of advertising among consumers. Because influencers are trusted by their audience, they are able to impact people's purchase decisions.
- Personalization. Influencers have already built a relationship with their audience and their content is highly personalized, so sponsored posts appear to be more authentic.
- Engagement. Influencer content usually generates higher engagement than other forms of marketing, which can help brands boost their organic reach.
- Targeting. Influencer marketing allows you to advertise to a niche audience, which leads to higher quality leads and better ROI. Check out other ways to use social media to increase your ROI from this webpage.
Creating a Winning Influencer Marketing Strategy
You don't create and implement an effective marketing strategy overnight. It is crucial to follow specific steps in research, planning and building relationships with the right influencers. Here are five things you should keep in mind when creating your influencer marketing strategy:
1. Define your goals.
Make sure you know why you’re doing your influencer marketing campaign. This will affect what influencers you will work with and how you measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Some common goals include growing your website traffic, getting more social media followers or increasing product sales by a certain percentage.
Make sure you set SMART goals (SMART being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). If your goal is to increase your social media following, a good target would be “increasing the number of Instagram followers by 20% in March.”
2. Define your target audience.
Finding the right influencers is going to be challenging if you’re not sure who you want to influence. That’s where your buyer personas come in! Before partnering with an influencer, make sure their audience is your ideal customers.
If you partner with Kylie Jenner to advertise plumbing tool boxes, it’s likely that your campaign won’t be effective (and yet expensive!)
3. Choose the right influencers.
Once you have decided on your goals and defined your target audience, it’s time to look for influencers! When choosing influencers, think about the channel they’re active on. If you’re a beauty brand looking to emphasize the image of your products, look for Instagram or Pinterest influencers.
If you’re an X-ray food inspection company, you may want to look for relevant industry bloggers that would be interested in sharing your content.
Also, keep in mind the size of their followings. Before you reach out to Beyoncé though, consider looking for micro-influencers whose audience size is typically less than 25,000 followers. While they don’t have huge followings, their audience is often a lot more niche and, as multiple studies have shown, their engagement rate tends to be higher than that of macro-influencers. (Not to mention the cost of partnering with micro-influencers is significantly lower.)
4. Build relationships.
You can start building relationships through simple steps like following influencers on social media, liking and sharing their content and engaging with them on social channels. Then, you can work out the best way to work together to both promote your products and deliver value to their audience. This is a time-consuming process, but in the end, it’s likely to yield the best results.
5. Measure results.
As with any marketing campaign, you want to know what’s working and what’s not. Depending on your goals, you might want to monitor the following KPIs:
- Impressions. How many times your promotional content was displayed
- Engagement. How people interact with the content; this includes likes, shares, comments etc.
- Conversions. How well people respond to your call-to-action
- New website visitors and social media followers received. As the result the campaign
- Sales generated. During and after the campaign
Keeping an eye on these KPIs will help you determine if you reached the goals you set at the beginning. If you did, great job! If not, think what went wrong and how you can tweak the campaign to get better results next time.