We at expaus have been talking to clients about influencer marketing for a while. We talk to business people, big and small, old and new, about different strategies that can help them propel their brand. For most companies, marketing with influencers is a novel idea. Some are dubious. Others are interested. But the regard for it is growing as the popularity of advertising is waning.
What is influencer marketing?
It’s a type of marketing that involves social influencers or key people in your industry. Key people are individuals in your niche with authority. They can be bloggers, successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and specialists.
So instead of marketing directly to customers, you market to these influencers, usually employing social media marketing and content marketing as well. In fact, influencer marketing goes hand in hand with these two forms of marketing. Influencers rely on social media for influence. You, on the other hand, rely much on social media to get to them. Both of you rely on content to either give each other a plug or talk to audiences.
Importance of Influencer Marketing
When you’re able to market through and with influencers, you’re able to tap into their network of thousands of followers. Some social media influencers have such a huge organic reach that they have millions of followers and great engagement.
You can keep marketing through your social media channels and watch your following and engagement creep slowly over the course of time. But borrowed influence brings significant increase in your following and engagement. Subsequently, that results in substantial increase in inbound traffic, brand awareness, and consumer acquisition.
Another factor that sets influencer marketing apart from other forms of digital marketing is trust. Followers trust authorities who don’t sell brands to them. For instance, professional photographer who blogs and posts about tips and advice about photography attracts photography beginners and enthusiasts who will later on view him as an authority figure. They will trust whatever he says. His followers will wonder what brand of cameras and accessories he uses. His reviews and opinion on camera gear becomes somewhat his followers’ holy grail. Camera companies and their advertisers don’t enjoy such sheer magnitude of trust, and at some point these companies will try to contact him and ask him to review or feature their models.
Role of Influencers in Marketing
Influencers have been around since commerce began. They’re probably as old as word-of-mouth marketers. Their roles hasn’t changed. If anything, what has changed is where they exert influence, and today it’s the social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are some of the places where you find professionals giving people entertainment and information. These key figures influence people’s buying decisions. Their followers look at the clothes they wear, the products they use, the brands they mention even in passing becomes.
Who are the influencers in marketing?
Influence: What is it?
Influence from a marketing perspective is the power to affect consumer decisions. It’s that simple. In that sense, anyone can be an influencer. Someone who compelled you to buy a product for some reason is an influencer. A celebrity who wore a virtually unknown brand of bag who then inadvertently incites enough interest in her followers to check out the brand becomes an influencer of that brand, albeit unintentionally. A blogger who mentions a product on one of her posts becomes an influencer, too, for that brand. A professional who does a demo video of a gadget becomes an influencer as well.
There are four factors that determine influence.
This is why not everyone with a million followers is an influencer. Not every social media rock star has authority or content relevance or persuasiveness.
Types of Online Influencers
There are many types of influencers, and it’s worth noting they are different. Some social influencers are better suited for your brand than the others. Now there are different ways to classify influencers.
We can classify them based on their following size. For instance, there are macro and micro influencers. The distinction varies across marketing circles. But we can consider influencers with more than 10,000 followers as macro-influencers. Micro-influencers are those with at least 1,000 followers. However, these are quite broad classifications.
Another way to classify them is by the type of content they share. In that case, we make the following distinctions:
Then again we can be a little more specific. The following are the top influencers based on what they do:
How and Where to Find the Right Influencer
Influencer targeting is the challenging aspect of an influencer marketing strategy. It’s the initial step you take before you can think of making partnerships. There a few places on the web where you can find social influencers. They’re not everywhere. One has to understand the psychology behind wielding influence — the factors that make influencers what they are. Their personality traits put them on places where they can have huge following. Basically, we’re talking about active social hubs online.
We at expaus has been helping clients reach out to influencers through well-calculated tactics geared to your brand. In other words, someone’s social media influencers may not be your appropriate influencers.
Hence, we suggest the following steps:
- Google search using your keywords
- Find relevant sites
- Identify relevant authority figures
- Visit their social media channels
On social media channels, do the following steps:
- Search using relevant hashtags
- Identify figures with substantial following
- Check page and channel engagement
- Identify relevant figures
Influencer Marketing Campaigns: Best Practices Checklist
- Make contact and establish relationship
- Encourage content sharing and creation
- Compensate social influencers
- Monitor ROI
- Keep abreast of the trends
Influencer Marketing ROI
Measuring ROI is an imperative step in any digital marketing strategy. At the end of the day you have to assess whether your influencer marketing strategy working. Eventually you have to go back to your goals and see whether you’re meeting them. Two major factors that need monitoring and assessment are engagement and revenue. Cost-per-engagement is measured in terms of money spent for every like, comment, and interaction. Engagement is better looked at as an indicator of brand opinion in general.
Most people, even marketers, think of ROI in terms of revenue, and there are different ways to measure revenue. You can fuse affiliate and influencer marketing to allow you to track sales your social media influencers make for your brand through their social media pages or blogs. Affiliate marketing allows you to monitor inbound traffic and sales as well.
A convenient way to monitor the health of your influencer marketing strategy is through tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights. We use different influencer marketing tools to determine whether your brand is on the right track.
The success of influencer marketing depends on your strategy, which involves finding the right social influencers, establishing a relationship with them, marketing with them, and evaluating results.
At Expaus, we value every penny spent. We make sure you get results that’s not only reasonable but also efficient for your budget. Contact us!