What is an influencer?
Have you ever tried a restaurant, product or service because it came highly recommended by a friend? That is the power of influencers. Who are influencers exactly? Well, an influencer can be anyone who is thought to be in-the-know and trusted for their opinions. We all have influencers in our lives and the concept has successfully made its way into the world of marketing. The term ‘influencer’ is a buzzword right now but rest assured, we’ve been subject to influencers for quite some time.
Here’s the beautiful Ms. Marilyn Monroe promoting Chanel No.5 ad and legendary actor John Wayne endorsing Camel cigarettes.
So we know that influencers have been around for some time, there’s nothing exciting about that. What is exciting is how influencer marketing is evolving. Influencers are no longer reserved for the big screen and Hollywood lights. Today, the term ‘influencer’ is reserved for everyday people who have positioned themselves as go-to resources for the lifestyle they embody, organically influencing their followers into potential buyers for brands and products they represent. Influencers are often academics, journalists, industry professionals, brand advocates and self-made celebrities.
Influencers have embraced their role as opinion leaders and when done correctly, have been able to profit from their following. You might be thinking, that’s great I’m really happy for them but how does it make me money? We’re getting there…
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a simple concept with an incredibly effective outcome. Over the years influencer marketing has shifted its focus to key individuals rather than the target market as a whole. Marketing efforts should be motivated by selling to these influencers, or offering incentives for influencers to work with you. Influencers can be willing to accept goods, sponsorships and payment in exchange for a review of your product or service. This type of review is called a native ad. Dissimilar to standard paid ads, a native ad appears organic and seamlessly flows within the user experience. These types of placements are targeted and relevant, gaining the trust and buy-in of the viewer.
As the fastest growing customer acquisition method, Influencer Marketing can go viral when done correctly and is definitely something that should be explored for your product if you’re looking to expand your reach. Check out Sideqik’s infographic identifying the power of Influencer Marketing and how it’s being digested.
Instagram is currently the leading platform for Influencer Marketing. To see some of the most successful Instagram marketing campaigns led by influencer and brand partnerships click here.
Is Influencer Marketing right for me?
Influencer Marketing could be a good fit if you’re looking to accomplish one or several of the points below.
- I am looking to create ongoing relationships with my product/service
- I am looking to strengthen brand loyalty
- I am looking for a brand ambassador
- I am looking for an avenue to share the content I’ve created/have had created
- I am looking for ways to gain brand/campaign awareness in a particular demographic
- I am looking for targeted traffic to reach my objectives
How can I get rich?
Alas, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Show me the money! While we can’t promise you that you’ll be able to hightail it out of here on the next flight to paradise, we can help optimize your influencer marketing tactics so you get the most out of your marketing dollars. Here is our 9 step life cycle of Influencer Marketing.
1. Identify an authentic brand message. Your message must be genuine and clear. Remember, your influencers will need to speak with your brand voice.
2. Identify influencers. Find people who have a greater than average impact on your marketplace. Take note of their name, relevance, URL, active social platforms and their respective following as well as their overall reach.
3. Find an appropriate network. Networks are useful in connecting you with the appropriate influencers and take the guess work out of the negotiation process, for a fee of course. They typically serve as mediators, settling both pricing and content details. With the help of networks, you can specify they type on influencer that will be producing content in your name, the number of followers, your target demographic, preferred platform and type of promotion.
4. Decide on quality vs. Companies often ask themselves if it’s better to spend $100 for 1,000 less influential bloggers or $1,000 for 100 solid bloggers. It will really depend on your budget and your campaign KPIs to determine the perfect fit. Ideally, if you can achieve a balance of great content paired with a handful of great influencers you’ll be set.
5. Market to your influencers. It helps influencers get on board when they see their community is already invested in the product or service you’re offering. By increasing brand awareness within their community you’re strengthening future ties. You can market to your influencers by:
a) @Mentioning themb) Include them in a relevant curated list
c) Include their commentary or posts in your content
6. Market through your influencers. Once your influencers and the type of campaign has been confirmed use influencers to increase brand awareness within their community. Provide them with the most relevant key words and tracked links to gauge the success of their involvement.
7. Market with influencers. The ultimate goal of marketing through your influencers is to transform them into advocates so the promotion lasts far beyond the campaign.
8. Evaluate. Review the tracked links and ROI. Identify the necessary improvements and evaluate your strategy and influencers for the next campaign. Ways to evaluate your Influencer Marketing campaign ROI are as follows:
a) Impressions: how many times the post is viewed
b) Engagement: how many times the post was liked, commented on, shared, favorited, etc.
c) Conversions: how many times a trackable link/promo code were used
d) Mentions: how much are users are discussing your brand
e) Content quality: how relevant was the post to your key words, your audience, your target demographic, etc.
Before you embark on your Influencer Marketing journey, it’s important to note that not all influencers can be evaluated on a project by project basis or a singular campaign experience. Often times, given the nature of the relationship they’ve established with their followers, strategies must sometimes respect a longer timeline. A dedicated approach to fostering strong and sincere relationships with influencers can be instrumental to your success.
If you want help integrating Influencer Marketing into your digital marketing strategy but you’re not sure where to start, contact DigiWorld Partners today for a consultation.