Influencer marketing: what you need to know

The rise of social media stars caused the explosion of influencer marketing in recent years. It is a powerful marketing tactic that is more than just about likes and shares. You can think of it as a single customer promoting your brand to thousands, or even millions, of friends. 

Interested in learning how to build a successful influencer marketing strategy? This short guide can help. After reading the tips and information, you can become an influencer marketing expert in no time.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is an advertising strategy that brands use to promote their offerings. The tactic involves partnering with influencers who earn money through social media.

Influencer marketing allows brands to tap into a large, engaged audience to establish credibility. Other benefits of the strategy include:

  • Reach a bigger audience
  • Grow your brand's social following
  • Boost site traffic
  • Get more leads
  • Drive sales

Is influencer marketing right for your business?

Although influencer marketing has its benefits, you should still determine if investing in this strategy is the right move for your business. Read on to discover if this tactic can help you address the gaps in your brand's marketing efforts.

Companies today face several challenges that hinder their growth. Some entrepreneurs struggle with improving their websites, while some struggle to find success in their marketing endeavors.

Influencer marketing may not be the right strategy for every brand. But there are cases where this particular tactic can be quite beneficial. 

To determine if your brand will benefit from influencer marketing, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Do you have a disconnect with customers?
  • Do you need to generate brand awareness?
  • Are you trying to expand to a new market?

If your brand is experiencing the issues above, then influencer marketing can help. 

Are you getting disgruntled phone calls from customers? Do your clients not understand what your product or service is all about? If yes, there is an obvious disconnect between you and your target audience. You may need an influencer to bridge the communication gap.

Social media personalities have a loyal audience that turns to them for advice. You can use this to your advantage and educate your audience about your brand.

Use an influencer to tell your customers what you stand for and what they can do to learn more.

Influencer marketing can also help increase brand awareness for your business. If your company is new, you may need help getting your brand off the ground. 

To help in this effort, you can partner with an influencer. Doing so is a great way to reach your audience. Make sure to work with someone who matches the demographic and behavioral characteristics you are targeting.

When trying to expand into an untapped or a new market, you need to find a creative way to gain access. One excellent avenue is through an established influencer in that audience. 

Work with an influencer who has a thorough understanding of your market. Discuss how you can partner together to reach this audience.

How to know if influencer marketing can help your brand

Below are practical tips to discover if influencer marketing is what your company needs.

First, you need to understand your campaign goals. Before looking for the right influencer, you need to consider what you want to achieve.  Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART) when accomplishing this step.

Here are several common marketing campaign goals:

  • Boosting sales of a specific product over a certain period.
  • Generating more website traffic.
  • Improve social media engagement.
  • Get more users to an email subscriber list.
  • Increase brand awareness online.

After defining your goals, you will learn whether influencer marketing can help you achieve your targets.

Another helpful tip is to research your industry. Influencers today align themselves to specific niches. 

Doing this tip can help you determine whether your industry is fit for influencer marketing. 

For example, a construction firm may not have the same success with influencer marketing as a beauty company. This is why factoring in the nature of your industry before investing in influencer marketing is crucial.

When researching your industry, you should study your competitors. Check their website for online marketing strategies, their traffic source and if they are effective.

Today, we can check any website's traffic for free to measure traffic and engagement. You can track the Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters to know how many visitors an influencer sends to your site. They can also assess how much attention the campaign generates.

Additionally, you can also look up the top influencers of your industry. See if they are already partnering with competitor brands.

Different types of influencer marketing campaigns

Once you decide that influencer marketing can help your company, you will be spoilt for choice with several campaigns. Here are several practical yet effective strategies you can use:
Sponsored social media content

The amount of content online can drown out anything your brand can put out. An influencer can help your content stand out from the rest. 

A social media personality who produces and promotes content can help share your company’s message. They can create posts to promote your brand on their accounts.

Provide a set of guidelines on the type of content your brand promotes. After they prepare the post, you can launch the campaign by publishing it on different social media platforms.

You will pay the influencer to create content and promote your product for this campaign. 

Host giveaways

A host giveaway is a practical yet effective influencer marketing strategy. This tactic is trendy because of its simplicity and the benefits it provides brands and influencers alike. 

Hosting giveaways provide a high amount of guaranteed growth in the forms of follows, likes, shares, and retweets. The engagements offer a great degree of benefits, including brand awareness.

Running a giveaway campaign involves the influencer asking the audience for simple actions that can help promote a brand. These actions can be entering emails, posting, subscribing, or sharing. 

Social media takeover

Social media takeover can help increase brand exposure while providing engaging content to your audience. This campaign involves letting influencers control promotion on the company's social media accounts.

For this campaign, you need an influencer whose personality aligns with your brand. They will make content for your brand's accounts for an agreed period.

Generally, brands partner with influencers who incorporate interactive features, such as Q&As. The activity farms impressions online and boosts brand exposure.

Free product seeding

This tactic is another variant of host giveaway campaigns. This strategy involves sending products to an influencer in exchange for free publicity.

Free product seeding can help build long-term relationships with the influencers. It is also a chance for them to get a first-hand experience of your product. If they like your offerings, their content becomes a positive product review online.

Additionally, you can give influencers a coupon code to share with their audience. This tactic can help drive sales.

Brand ambassador programs

A brand ambassador is an individual or a group who uses your products and promotes them for you. Now, many companies partner with these representatives to take influencer marketing to the next level. 

In implementing this tactic, the brand ambassador shares posts, images, videos, and articles relating to your product. They share your content on various social media sites for an agreed period.

How to choose the best strategy for your business

Because there are several kinds of influencer marketing strategies to choose from, you may struggle to find the best one for your brand. Read on and discover how to end up with the perfect tactic that can help you achieve marketing success.

1. Analyze your goals

The goal of using influencer marketing tactics is to reach new customers. The tactic helps brands achieve this goal by extending their reach to the influencer's followers.

Note that the goal is to reach new customers first, not make a sale immediately. That said, driving sales can also be the goal of influencer marketing campaigns.

The strategy you need to choose should depend on your goal. This is why it is crucial to sit down and list your top priorities before making a decision. 

When doing so, remember to create measurable goals you can report on and track.

Consider how your campaign will fit into your broader social media marketing strategy. After that, you will have a clearer and more accurate picture of what approach will work best for your brand.

2. Know your audience

An effective marketing strategy requires talking to the right people using the right tools. Additionally, you should also be working with the right influencers to achieve your goals.

To help in this effort, you should first define your audience for the campaign.

Try creating audience personas. Doing so can help you understand who you are trying to reach. This step will determine whether you are trying to reach more of your current audience or a new audience.

After creating an audience persona, you can develop a set of influencer personas. They can help you in your search for an influencer.

3. Remember the 3 Rs of influence

When choosing a strategy, remember that influence has three crucial components:

  • Relevance

A relevant online personality shares content relevant to your industry. A relevant influencer must have an audience that aligns with your customer pool.

  • Reach

Reach refers to the number of people you could contact through the influencer’s follower base. 

In influencer marketing, a small audience can be effective. But make sure there will be enough of a following to align with your goals.

  • Resonance

Resonance is the potential engagement rate the influencer can generate with an audience relevant to your company.

As previously mentioned, a huge follower count is nothing if the people aren’t interested in your offer. So reach out to niche influencers. They can have engaged and dedicated followers who can be relevant to your brand.

4. List out potential influencers

When looking for an influencer, the key is trust. Your audience must respect and trust the opinions of the influencers you work with. Without these elements, any results will be superficial. You may struggle to find value in your marketing efforts.

So can you tell if your audience trusts an influencer? The answer is engagement. 

A high number of likes, comments, views, and shares show that an influencer has an audience who trusts them.

A good engagement rate also represents a loyal following. Today, it is very easy for online personalities to inflate their follower count using bots and fake accounts. Comments from posts can show that an influencer has engaged and dedicated followers.

Look for an influencer who’s producing content that complements your own. The tone of their posts must also be appropriate for how you want to present your company.

5. Measure results

After launching your campaign, try not to focus on vanity metrics, like likes and comments. If the online influencer you are partnering with has a massive following, you might get overwhelmed by the initial engagements.

To measure the effectiveness of a strategy, you have to understand its return on investment (ROI) value.

Conclusion

The tips provided here can help you end up with an effective influencer marketing strategy. By following them, you can develop a campaign to give your brand the push it needs to stay ahead of your competitors. Just remember to always measure your results against your goals, so you will know what works and what doesn’t.


Rodney Brazil

Rodney Brazil

More articles written by Rodney.

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