Influencer Marketing, With the ever-increasing growth of users on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the users can interconnect with each other.
Even the brands use these platforms to connect with their consumer base. Brand awareness, product or service reviews and new launches are spread using these platforms.
Power users on these platforms can convince the other users with their suggestions or recommendations, thus controlling their buying habits to a certain extent.
These power users are called influencers. This current generation does not trust traditional marketing methods like newspapers, billboards and even television commercials. Thus, the importance of influencer marketing emerges.
What is influencer marketing?
It is a type of marketing where the brands and the influencers work together to expand the reach of the brand, its product or service it offers. Influencer marketing is currently the most effective marketing method and a prospering industry.
Influencers are not necessarily celebrities and can be anyone from any walk of life with an engaged following. A beauty blogger to a food reviewer can all be equally effective influencers. To judge using some facts and figures,
- More than 70% of all teenage subscribers on YouTube trust influencer recommendations over celebrity endorsements.
- About 7$ have been made for every 1$ invested in influencer marketing on an average.
- Nearly 60% of marketers have increased their allotted budget for influencer marketing campaigns done last year.
Knowing your customers is of paramount importance before embarking on a campaign. Starting with the right plan to understand your business needs and targets is the best way forward.
Once you understand your company it becomes easier to understand your audience. Audience demographics like age, sex, race etc. are the things worth considering.
Understanding your audience will let you plan the campaign appropriately from the platform to the selection of the influencer and the type of content.
This research will be important as the moment you understand your audience you will be able to create a recognizable and effective marketing campaign.
The right influencer
The right influencer can make or break your campaign. The influencers with the most number of followers are not always the best influencers.
Celebrity influencers have millions of followers but the more approachable and engaging influencer might have between 10k to 500k followers and will measure out to be more trustworthy and authentic for your campaign and match with your brand’s ideals.
More than the number of followers an influencer must be measured in engagement rate calculated by the number of likes, comments, shares and saves depending on the platform of operations.
Micro or Macro influencers will have more dedicated follower strength and will be more interactive than the others. Monitoring the social media accounts of the shortlisted influencers will reveal important details and give a fair amount of idea of their content type and post frequency.
Influencers successful at their trade will know how to communicate with other people. They know what things sell and what do not.
Their followers tend to trust their views and recommendations on products and services as they are trustworthy and are known to give their honest opinion about their experiences.
The ‘normal’ appeal of the influencers makes them authentic as they get portrayed as fellow customers rather than endorsers.
When social media users post about your brand using powerful hashtags it can spread like wildfire and create a storm of posts from users. Once this happens you receive free publicity and posts that hit your audiences’ minds as it comes from them.
This is called user-generated content and has a strong appeal among the masses as it is posted online and created by the fans. This transforms your entire army of followers or customers into influencers and your best marketers with their experiences.
Some interesting statistics to prove its effectiveness is,
- Customer reviews generate 12 times more trust than brand-generated content.
- 85% of consumers say they find visual UGC more influential than brand-generated images or videos.
- 92% of customers trust word-of-mouth more than the other types of advertising.
- 70% of customers find peer recommendations more important than professionally written reviews.
- More than 50% of millennial users’ state UGC content created by unknown fellow users are more convincing than recommendations from friends and family.
When deciding on user-generated content the best way to figure out the way forward for your business is by researching and understanding what drives them the most. You could also hold a contest to give them motivation.
Make the campaign a success for both brand and influencer
The campaign should be beneficial to both the involved parties. When the campaign only benefits your brand the influencer might not want to work with you again.
The most widely used way is to pay-per-post and another very popular way is to provide freebies and your products asking the influencers to test them. They can then share their positive experience on their channel talking about your brand, product or service.
Create a good relationship with the viewers
Just having good content is not enough, your audience also needs to be listened to and appreciated.
The questions from the audience must be answered for them to feel the reality and authenticity of your product.
This also helps them by feeling appreciated and listened to when they post questions and receive answers.
A social media team should be able to take care of these queries duly however you may also hire an influencer marketing agency to help you out. This team or agency will make sure your customers are being given importance.
The most important part of having a marketing strategy is to finalize a budget. A budget will let you calculate the return on investment (ROI). It will also help you to divide and allocate the expenses towards the parts of the process.
This will also help you refrain from overspending and the in-house marketing team will be able to assist greatly in planning and budgeting the finances for the campaign.
Measure the campaign
Once the campaign is underway you will need to assess and measure the campaign and analyze if it is meeting the set targets. The metrics that were predefined at the planning stage need to be measured and if the need arises, the campaign is improved upon.
Competitive analysis is a good way to measure your campaign’s success and a strong analysis can provide excellent results on the measurement indices helping you to get the best outcomes from your campaign.
Influencer marketing has proven itself to be a greatly successful tool when it comes to reaching people and raising brand awareness and credibility. It would be a loss not to make use of this opportunity.