An Introduction To Influencer Marketing
Boosting Sales With Influencer Marketing
As the holidays fastly approach us, brands look for unique marketing strategies to reach more customers and drive higher sales. One approach that I’ve seen used by both big and small brands to make a big impact on their digital presence & sales is influencer marketing.
In 2018 it’s impossible to go a day on social media without interacting with a viral content creator. Our newsfeeds are flooded with explorers, foodies, bloggers & professional meme creators, and we happily turn to these influencers every day for engaging content that aligns with our interests. Most of all we trust Influencer’s word when they offer us their advice on topics, product or services. In fact, a report from Think With Google stated Influencers are just as likely as celebrities to drive buying decisions and when you think about it, it makes sense, as social media users can interact with their favorite influencers multiple times a day, through the various posting formats social media platforms offer. These influencers have become so relatable within our lives that the online connection we form with them makes us feel as if they are a close friend. Couple this with the fact that 61% of all consumers rely on social media outlets as the most important source of information when shopping and you have an opportunity for both big and small brands to partner with the millions of influencers that are out there.
Types Of Influencers:
Brand’s need to know that influencer’s come in many forms, and each category has advantages and disadvantages when taking into account reach, product relevance & content resonation. Depending on your marketing goals you’ll want to choose a group of influencer that can best help you accomplish your goals. Below we break down influencer’s into three categories:
Micro-Influencer: People with followers up to 10,000, these are everyday people who Gardner engagement from 25-50% per post, their audience feels highly connected to them, as their views closely resonate with them.
Macro-Influencers: People with followers up to 10,000 to 1 million followers, they are often bloggers, journalists, and other media personalities. They have a high topical relevance that makes them experts in their field (cooking, lifestyle, fashion, comedians, etc). These influencers typically can have 5%-25% engagement rates.
Mega-Influencers: These influencers have 1 million + followers and are often actors, athletes, and other celebrities. They have the largest reach but have the lowest resonation with consumers. They typically have engagement rates between 2-5%
How does Influencer Marketing work:
Influencer marketing is about finding the right person to represent your brand and deliver your message to an engaged audience, here are some simple steps of what you need to do before activating an influencer campaign.
- Find influencers that are relatable to the products or services you sell. For instance, If you sell home good products, like cleaning supplies, influencers like interior designers may be a good idea to target. The idea is to pair products with influencers who have some sort of topical relevance to your product, and where their thought leadership will be trusted by their audience to buy your product. It’s important to note that personality & audience engagement ratings are equally important to find a good fit for your brand. You’ll want these influencers to have a talent of authentically promoting your brand while engaging their followers with content that doesn’t seem to stagged.
- Coordinating content efforts with influencers is a highly collaborative process that requires you to guide influencer’s in showcasing your brand message but at the same time trusting your influencer’s to put their own spin on your message ensuring their content is as authentic and organic as possible. The posts should look like the content their audience is used to consuming on a daily basis. Remember influencers are exactly that for a reason, do not try to hijack their creative process.
- Influencer partnerships should help you grow sales & your social media following. As your influencer campaign begins to pick up traction you’ll want to make sure and sales through your new partnership! Measuring the effectiveness of your campaign is equally as important and can be broken down into direct conversions (sales, sign-ups, etc) & earned media as influencers can often help you reach an audience larger than paid ads for the same money. By measuring campaigns you can figure out which influencers deliver the most ROI for your business.
How To Pay Influencer:
So how are influencer’s monetizing? Well, every influencer is different, and payment should be negotiated based on the scope of content created, previous sponsorships & average engagement ratings. Here’s three of the most popular method brand use to compensate their influence partners.
- Direct Sponsorship Payment – Like a sponsor or spokesperson the influencer is paid per posts or content series created, these are established influencers who have a track record of producing high engagement posts with a loyal community surrounding them
- Revenue Share – Brands can partner with influencers to drive sales, giving them a portion of every successful sale they drive. This performance-based model is great for high volume e-commerce/subscription based store’s who want their influencers
- Free Product – Another great way to engage an influencer is to offer them free product to produce content around. Obviously, some products are easier to do this then others but if you find an influencer highly interested in your product categories then it will be a perfect match
How To Measure The Impact Of Influencers:
Calculating ROI for each influencer is important for brand marketers to understand the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns. However, measuring influencers uses different methods then other paid digital channels such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.
In particular, if you wanted to use UTM campaign tags you may have to think again. You are most likely familiar with this tracking method for search engine marketing campaigns you already have. Unfortunately, social media channels like Facebook scrub the links on organic posts, making it hard to correctly implement UTM tracking. Even though UTM campaign tagging is not an ideal way to measure influencers, there are still ways you can effectively track your campaigns.
- Social Listening – These tools will allow you to measure the virality of posts and earned media by aggregating any posts that use your branded hashtags. The reach can be calculated and compared to what you would have paid to reach the same audience if you were to pay for ads, thus showing you part of the brand awareness value in terms of paid media.
- Affiliate Programs – Affiliate programs allow you and your influencers to track the amount of sale’s the influencer drove, awarding the influencer with a commission for their efforts. The sales are generally tracked via a unique URL that the affiliate program inside your e-commerce website can track once the user gets to your website.
- Coupon Codes – By providing a unique coupon code to your influencers, you can get a comprehensive understanding of the direct sales your influencers posts.
Influencer marketing presents a huge opportunity for small brands to level the playing feel and for large brands to gain a competitive edge in connecting with audiences. These efforts when highly organized can have a big impact on your brand’s online presence and better drive the conversion, for that reason it makes it my top holiday strategy pick! If you have any questions on how to best organize the campaign, feel free to reach out to our team or me personally and will help get you started!