Influencers are authorities within their niche on social media, people who would usually not consider themselves famous in the offline world. The size of their following is less important than their reputation as go-to resources on a given topic. They promote themselves and brands they like to audiences they build single-handedly, giving them all the power to run things as they see fit (within platform guidelines, of course). Let this blog post be your influencer marketing guide.
Influencer marketing grew greatly from 2016-2019 and was boosted again by the pandemic of 2020. Now clearly part of the mainstream, spending is projected to increase into the mid-teens of billions for 2022 from just over 1.5 billion in 2016. Spending on influencers is generating a 5X ROI for every dollar spent. Below are just a big few brands that have used influencer marketing successfully.
Customers don’t trust traditional marketing anymore, and they are increasingly hesitant to trust celebrities on social media. They want as close to friend referrals as they can get, which is in this case people who they’d like to be friends with or people they look up to. Many customers would like to be influencers themselves. In order to reach new audiences, the ones growing and thriving today, you’ll need to tap into these grassroots marketers, many of whom simply have a knack for promotion and do influencing on the side. The credibility and brand reputation you can gain from everyday people promoting your offerings is practically priceless.
Even if you have a big budget, you shouldn’t just start reaching out to popular influencers randomly. Dial deeply into your community and find the influencers that are both available and best positioned to represent your particular take on the community you’ve chosen.
All influencers aren’t created equal—there are mega, macro, micro, and nano influencers, and which is right for your brand is for you to dial in.
Influencers don’t just move product or service signups, though they certainly can. Sometimes you just want to build brand awareness, and create some goodwill you’ll cash in later for actual sales. Quest Nutrition doesn’t require big follower numbers to provide sponsorship, simply people who live the healthy lifestyle they promote, clearly to build an army of promoters big and small who make their brand name inescapable. In general, the most important goals of working with influencers are the following:
To find the right influencers, you have to understand your audience. Of course, this is the most basic step in social media marketing, and through running any business you’ll grasp who your audience is. However, you have to get familiar enough with influencers to know which ones A) you can access and B) actually have significant pull with your audience.
Reach, relevance and resonance are the 3 R’s that let you know if an influencer has the pull you need to make collaborating with them worth it. Reach is pretty simple -- do they have the follower count needed to make the impact you want. But resonance and relevance are more difficult to discern.
Certain metrics can back up your influencer choices with hard data.
Your influencers don’t just support your business efforts, you need to support them back. Besides building a feedback loop of impressions and conversions, you should genuinely enjoy the influencers who promote your business. Showing your genuine interest is an easy way to engage yourself and become part of the community on any particular platform, whether it’s a niche or mainstream interest.
No marketing campaign runs itself, and influencer campaigns are no different, meaning you need to measure them and tweak them to optimize results. Remember to track reach, engagement, and conversion to see where things are going right and wrong. If you’re reaching many people and they’re engaging but not converting once they hit your site, that’s on you. Time to tweak your offer. If influencers get your collaborative posts viewed, but nobody engages or clicks over to your site, consider working with a different influencer or changing your social content.
Influencers are the present and future of social media marketing, people who have the authority to get their followers to take the actions businesses want. While barely five years old, 90% of marketers say influencers are effective at promotion and the vast majority of firms project increasing their spending percentage in the following years on influencers. The faster you tap into this form of promotion, the better equipped you’ll be to move with the wave as it grows and learn how to create a successful influencer marketing campaign.
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