Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy that involves endorsements, product placement from influencers, people, and organizations who have equipped knowledge about social media influence in their field.
Aside from the definition of influencer marketing, we need to understand who an influencer is:
An influencer is someone who has the power to help people in taking decisions in terms of purchasing a product or a service. An influencer is seen as a middle man which is called influencer marketing chain – between a brand and a customer.
A brand that wants its name known to the world will reach out to influencers to promote their brand to the influencer’s audience. The audience will follow whatever their influencers have to offer to them. The main and major reason why they will take the advice of their influencer (follow them) is because of;
- Authority the influencers have
- Trust the influencers has over their audience and,
- Believe that influencers knows the product or service very well
It is not accidental that people follow influencers other than brands. They trust the influencers and also they love the type of content influencers publish out there.
Take a good look at Mr Beast on youtube. He has about 90m plus subscribers on youtube and each brand that wants to get it’s name out there on his channel knows that his audience are the right target audience for their brand and also their return on investment is going to epic.
There are top influencers all over the world who are bringing more awareness to brands. Top influencers like The Kardashian family, Cristiano Ronaldo, Selena Gomez, and even the smaller influencers are making money from influencer marketing.
These types of influencers are being paid in millions and are always catching the attention of marketers. About 48% ran tiktok influencer campaign which will rise by 325% in the upcoming years.
Importance of Influencer Marketing
- It builds a strong bond between brands and customers.
Brands are after one thing “consumers”. Brands want what consumers want. If consumers are in need of a solving product, and a brand has that product, there is no way in the world that consumers won’t buy from that brand. But the question is ‘how to get consumers’ attention?’
The answer is very simple “influencers”. Influencers play a big role in introducing that brand to their audience. The influencers make sure that the product they are promoting is what will meet the demand of their audience.
About 68% of brands intend to use Instagram as their to-go platform for influencer marketing. Which is higher than that of TikTok (45%). But mind you that TikTok is a big platform to get quality influencers for your brand so no need to skip them.
- Influencers are currently on the rise.
You can see that influencers are everywhere now – on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and so many platforms. Everybody wants to be an influencer in this modern age. Some of these influencers have 1k followers, 6k followers, 10k followers, 100k plus followers, and even millions like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Influencers are random right now but note that as social media continues to grow, influencers and new people will see it as a paved way and a new beginning for them to involve more in the influencer digital world. Some influencers are in a specific niche but some of them are everywhere, this will help brands in connecting and getting more attention from influencers’ audience.
- Creativity, contents and media are one.
Creativity, contents, and media are one because they all draw the attention of online audience/ customers. What these three do together online is to connect brands with their potential customers with an aim of convincing them in purchasing and rendering their products or services.
Whenever you look at influencers’ feeds, you will notice that their feeds and captions are known as contents. It can be images, videos, and even longer videos. Such contents are always creative in their own way of drawing their followers’ attention.
That is why brands are pushing hard in closing deals with influencers to get their name mentioned on their feeds – content. When brands publish their content/s on influencer feeds, their aim is to get at most 47% of their followers within a duration period.
- Customers/consumers are moving into the digital world.
We have metaverse, NFT, virtual classes, remote works, cryptocurrency, and more to come in the coming years. Customers aka consumers don’t want to stop at just offline duties but want to involve themselves in the digital world and they even want more.
This implies to influencers: Influencers believe that their audience are always online and spending at least 4 hours per day on different social media platforms. If they promote a brand on their social media platforms, it will eventually catch the eyes of their audience which will eventually lead to sales and traffic.
And secondly, customers/consumers don’t like stress nowadays. They want things done in 2 seconds without adding 1 second to it. If a brand that influencers are promoting on their feed can reduce stress for them, they will stay connected with that brand for a long time.
- Audience trust influencers more
To trust someone takes a lot because you have known that person very well and you know when they are lying to you and not lying to you. Trust is hard but if audience trust influencers then I don’t see no reason why brand won’t run to such influencers.
Influencers have gained the trust of their audience. Their audience believes in what they are saying and posting on their platforms. So if they post a brand and say good things about them, then their audience will head over to the brand’s accounts/ sites and make purchase and even follow their social media accounts.
Since we have talked about the importance of influencer marketing, we can head over to the strategies to use in influencer marketing. There are 10 steps and strategies in getting started with influencer marketing. Let’s jump right into it now.
10 Influencer Marketing Strategies
- Picking your objective.
Before going into the influencer marketing world, you should have an objective. You should ask yourself questions like why am I going into influencer marketing world? Or who is going to be the best fit for my brand awareness?
There are two main objectives you should watch out for when picking objectives that will align with influencer marketing portfolio. We have marketing, sales, and operation.
Marketing: In this category, you are looking for influencer(s) to promote you (more like awareness). You are not thinking of making sales but you are trying to get your brand known. You are seeking for more followers on your social media handles, to get email subscribers, and to get more traffic to your website.
Sales: This is when you are looking for influencers to promote your products to make sales. Endorsements, showcases, reviews, special offers are all part of ways in making sales.
If a brand is into the skincare industry, your objective will be that you want your potential customers to be into skincare, to see how good your skincare product is and how effective it can be to your skin.
And secondly, since you are into skincare, you will have to pick a good influencer who will bring his or her followers’ attention towards your products.
Page: Vinicius Bocchi
This is a good example of an influencer that is into skincare products and other beauty accessories. This influencer has a unique standard in keeping his followers on check with his unique content.
- Finding influencers.
Since you know your aim and objectives towards influencer marketing, your next step will be to find influencers for your brand. There are about 3 ways in finding influencers; social media, publishing sites, networks, and agencies.
Social media: You can get influencers on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, etc. But above all, the two particular social media platforms that always catch the eyes of brands are Instagram and Youtube.
Publishing: This category has to do with blogs/ articles, podcasts. These ways are also good like social media. In terms of blogs, some brands want bloggers to write a paid review about their product on their blog. It is more like writing articles. In the aspect of podcasts, brands check for podcast channels who has high followers and can make negotiations with them on when to announce their brand on their podcast show.
Read Also: Top podcast shows by influencers
Agencies: This is where you hand over your influencer marketing portfolio to the agency so that they can handle everything for you. Such agencies charge a lot for them to handle your brand influencer marketing work but if you are a wealthy entrepreneur and you don’t want stress, you can go through this method.
Make sure you choose the exact platform you want to use in generating more awareness of your brand. If it is YouTube, you should make a thorough research about the platform and the audience on the platform. If it best suite your brand, you can then go ahead in search of influencers for your brand.
- Assessing influencers.
Once you have found your influencers, you have to list them out. You can do this by creating a spreadsheet and writing down the influencers for your brand.
Once you have listed them out (make sure they suite what you need for your brand), you check for 3 key things on their social media page; their engagement, their contents, and their followers.
Followers: Some influencers have < 10k followers and some have > 10k followers. You should check each of the influencer’s followers number you have listed on your spreadsheet. How many do they have and whether their range of followers are all-round or are based on a specific industry like the beauty industry, sporting industry, business industry, etc.
Kylie Jenner is an influencer with huge followers and also has high engaging contents. This is the beauty of knowing who to collaborate with in terms of influencer marketing.
Engagement: This part is very crucial because there are so many bot accounts that have high followers but low engagement. On YouTube, you will see accounts that have up to 100k subscribers but if you analyze each of their published videos, they have less than 1k views on each of their videos. Make sure you make proper research based on how their subscribers and followers are reacting to their videos. My suggestion is that whether it is high followers or low followers, always check how their audience is engaging, liking, and commenting on their content.
Contents: For little or large audiences on any social media platforms, the content published is what drives new followers and engagement to the account. As a brand that is seeking to get people’s attention, you should always seek out influencers’ content too. Check what are their captions, the type of video and image they publish, and most importantly, check the performance of other brands they have worked in the past. Once you have checked other brands’ performance on your potential influencers’ accounts, you can then go to the next step.
Note: Assessing the people you want to work with goes beyond their social media accounts. Some influencers have bad records in working with brands. This is also an important influencer research you should go into so that you can come up with a conclusion on whether you can work with them or not.
- Contact influencers.
Through your spreadsheet, you have listed out the influencers you want to work with and the next thing you want to do is to contact the influencers.
Your message is what attracts your influencers in working with you. Your message should be sweet and direct because the influencers are normal people like you.
‘Good day/ Hi!!! We love how your account and you help brands to get noticed. We are interested in endorsing you as our brand ambassador as we believe that your audience will love the quality of our products. Would you be interested in promoting our brand? If so please let us know your prices per post/ video.’
Note: Don’t contact influencers with all the channels at once. Once you have contacted them with one channel, wait a few days before contacting them with all the channels.
The channels we are talking about are direct messages, their emails, their phone numbers, and even their agency emails (which is always written in their bio).
Not all social media platforms have a bio that you can contact them like YouTube. In case such happens like YouTube, most influencers drop their contact channels in their description box.
Once you have contacted the influencer through his or her channels and you don’t get a reply, you try one more time and if you still don’t get a reply, it is time to move on.
- Confirming promotion terms.
There are 5 things you should look at for when you want to confirm any payment; type, quantity, content, time, and duration.
The type: Is the influencer going to post stories, images, videos, links, or engagement. What engagement simply means is that the influencer will comment, like, and even follow your brand’s handle (24hrs). This is one of the cheapest ways in getting people’s attention towards your brand.
The quantity: Influencers (who are experienced) will offer you a certain price or a discount for more than one post. The deal can be an image and a video, one image, multiple images, one video but it all boils down with what the influencer wants to be paid for per content type.
Content: This category simply means that you want the influencer to create the content or you are the one that is going to create the content. In terms of Youtube videos, most of the influencers are the ones who create the videos but they are paid much higher because of the workload in setting and editing the videos. It is also cheaper if the brand creates the content because they can add what they want in the image or video.
Time: You should set a time range on when the content should be published. Most influencers know their most engaging time with their followers and it is best to figure out with the influencers on when their followers are most active. Time means a lot when promoting your brand.
Duration: This is how long the promotion stays on the influencers’ platforms before the influencer can post again. Some can say 1 day, 6 hours, it depends.
- Confirming payment terms.
There are two well-known promotion bodies; shout for the shout and shout out. Shout for shout is when two parties who have familiar products and audience and promotes each other accounts on the social media handles. This system does not require any payment.
Shout out simply means that your brand is promoted in an influencer account. The influencers can be given a commission/affiliate/ discount code or a gift in other to promote that brand. But most influencers will need payment instead of gift or commission.
There are times that influencers can reduce your price if you are likable (starting from your message), authority (you know what you are talking about/ you are not misled), leverage (you can say yes or no to offers from the influencers aka not afraid to stand your ground), and persuasion (you are firm, not demanding and also showing and giving more details on why they should promote your brand on their platform).
- Paying influencers.
Payments can be done after or before the influencer post the content but most influencers always require payment first before promotion. Payments can be done through PayPal or direct transfer.
- Managing your promotion launch.
There are 3 categories in managing promotion. This will help track and manage your promotion. The 3 categories are assets, communication, and compliance.
Assets: Make sure that your assets are ready to receive new people. This arrangement should be done before the promotion begins. Your assets can be your website, your email list, social media profiles, landing page, app, etc.
Communications: Aside from making promotion, you should not leave the content to do its job like that. You should at least contact the influencer by telling him or her about how you are hoping that the promotion will go smoothly and also thanking them for the future well-done job you both have done. And again once the promotion begins, don’t leave the audience hanging. If people are asking questions, the brand should be the one answering them. This is how communication should be.
Compliance: Once the promotion is done, you tick off everything that was meant to be done. Like was the type of promotion correct, did the influencers do what was meant to be done, was the content correct, and many other little details you should check.
- Assessing results.
Historic: There are two ways in analyzing your assessment; external view and internal view. The external view means that I compare our posts with other brands’ posts. I check which one did best. It must not be other brands but it can be the influencer’s regular posts. While the internal view means that you are comparing other marketing strategies you have done in the past with the post you are promoting.
ROI: There is no possible way in tracking influencer marketing. One way to check your ROI is that before the promotion takes place, you write down the exact daily sales, the followers/subscribers you have and after promotion, and you then measure them. This will give you details about the promotion performance.
Divide your budget ($100 paid to the influencer) by the number of followers you have gained after promotion/ sales you got = cost per follower. Then divide it by the number of sales= ROI (%)
Future modeling: You can have a spreadsheet of how the performance did starting from the influencer’s behavior to the performance of the promotion.
- Optimize your performance.
Once the promotion is done, you will give an account of the new followers, likes, and engagement. You will also come up with strategies on how to keep your followers instead of making them unfollow you. You should also have a conclusion stating whether your promotion was successful or not.
These are 10 steps and strategies on how to create a successful influencer marketing. Not all results turns out to be great because there is no 100% guarantee of influencer marketing success but analyzing your ROI should guide your brand.