The Influencer Marketing Hub conducted a survey in 2019, in association with Viral Nation and NeoReach, and discovered that businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. Additionally, the Digital Marketing Institute found that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. As far as marketing schemes go, this is a pretty good return on investment.
What is influencer marketing?
Before we can define this concept we first have to establish what an influencer actually is. In simple terms, it’s a person who has knowledge and authority in a specific field, and has a social media following who looks up to them and values their opinions.
You can define the types of influencers according to their audience size, which can go as low as 1,000 followers for a micro influencer, and over 1 million for a mega influencer. You can also define the influencer according to their niche, such as gaming, fitness, beauty, parenting, etc.
Influencer marketing involves creating a collaboration between a brand and an influencer. The brand pays that influencer to promote their product to their existing audience, usually through sponsored posts.
When should you use influencer collaboration?
The power of influencers lies in the fact that their audience already trusts them. So when they choose to endorse a new product or service, this audience also trusts that they truly believe in it, use it in their day-to-day life, and have done their research to authenticate its worth. With that in mind this marketing strategy has multiple benefits, and can be used to grow your business in a variety of situations.
When you want to boost brand awareness
If you want your brand to be a household name, you need to build long-lasting relationships with your target audience. This can be hard to achieve, as most people don’t like to engage and interact with companies. This is part of the power of influencers — the personal, long-term connection they have with their followers. In many cases followers will wait in anticipation for every new post or YouTube video. And when it comes up, they’re likely to watch it all the way through, like it, comment on it, and even share it with their friends.
Now imagine that you’ve decided to start a collaboration with an influencer, where they mention your company as a sponsor in every video for several months. This type of long-term exposure will definitely edge your brand in the audience’s mind. With the added trust they have for that influencer, it will also be a positive recollection.
When you want to reach new audiences
While existing and returning customers are extremely valuable, for a company to truly succeed it should always strive to acquire new clients. This is not always an easy task, and it can be made even more difficult if they’re trying to appeal to new markets.
For instance, a company that made men’s sportswear now offers a collection for children. To appeal specifically to a crowd of parents, they can form an influencer collaboration with a prominent parenting blogger. As most influencers run their social media accounts like a brand would, they have insights about their core following, and that way you can appeal to the exact target audience you need.
When you’re strapped for creative content
Creating content for your brand on a regular basis can be a challenging task. If you want the content to be interesting and engaging, you need to keep reinventing yourself. Even if you’ve hired a person to be in charge of content, or have a team of people managing it, it’s easy to get stuck in the same patterns.
With influencer collaboration you can inject new life into your brand. Influencers are creative people by nature, as they usually build their business from the ground up by themselves. They are sure to help you come up with fresh new ideas.
When you have a new product or offer
When you launch a new product, or have an exciting promotion, you typically want to generate as much buzz around it as possible. If you can’t reach a high-volume of people in a short amount of time, there’s no point in having a limited-time offer.
A sponsored post from an influencer is a sure way to reach a large amount of people, and notify them about the deal. Often, followers will have alerts set up for any new posts by their favourite influencer. This can be useful, as it can help you schedule a promotion around the influencer’s posting routine, and ensure people are exposed to your offer from day one.
In addition to all of these situations, with the help of influencers you can even grow your own social media following, with the steps suggested in this Intechnic article.
How to find the best influencer for your brand
After you’ve decided that this marketing strategy fits with your company’s goals, you need to ensure you find the right person for the job. You can start by asking your employees who they follow on social media, or even ask your own social media followers who they look up to in the industry. You may already be able to identify some influencers from the people who follow your brand, which should make it easier to approach them.
Furthermore, you can also find influential voices in each platform with the help of social listening tools such as Sprout Social. There are also platforms built specifically for this situation, where you can find data about influencers, filter according to type, and even see their engagement scores. Some of these tools, such as HypeAuditor, help you analyse the campaigns created with the influencers, while NinjaOutreach has a dedicated CRM for your influencer outreach.
Martech suggests that you should try to form a personal connection when approaching an influencer. As they receive a lot of cold emails, you want to convince them that you’re the right choice for a collaboration. If they already use your product: even better! You won’t have to convince them as much, while their promotion will naturally be a lot more authentic to their followers.
If you want to continue reading about influencer marketing, check out our article about the best practices of this strategy.