What is influencer marketing?
What is influencer marketing and how does it work?
Influencer marketing focuses on positioning a brand in the mind of the target consumer by sharing the brand story with the help of an influencer. The influencer is committed to share and promote the brands in a way they reach the target audience through his/her social media posts and stories. This way, the consumers learn and find about the brands or products in an authentic manner.
For brands to approach media in an authentic way, brands should present compelling content that the target audience or customers care about and trust.
What really matters is that consumers learn the unique value preposition of your brands and find it worthy enough to put their money on. Influencers have the expertise to generate discussions online, so the contents created by the correct influencer always influence the people and are talked about and shared. This can create an intense effect on followers.
Influencer marketing often collaborates with social media marketing and content marketing. In social media marketing, the influencers work with the businesses to bruit the brand’s message through their personal social media platforms such as Facebook, Blog, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, …
Most influencer marketing campaigns contain the content elements that fit for the purpose.
The content can be a video story, a live video, a blog post, an image or anything compelling to the audience. Ultimately, social media marketing and content marketing are not the same as influencer marketing. Social media marketing and content marketing are only two components of influencer marketing as they are two ideal methods to reach target consumers and to maintain consumer engagement.
What is an influencer in business?
An influencer is a persona, not always a celebrity, who possesses the power to influence the purchasing decisions of the target consumers. It is vital for any business to find the correct, influencer for their target, niche audience to make the best out of the campaign. An influencer could be a celebrity, a quality content creator, a buzz builder or an advocate.
How important is influencer marketing to promote your brand?
Conventional digital marketing focuses on presenting as many as advertisements to their followers, which result in creating a platform of ‘ad fatigue consumers’. Some of the followers even tend to boycott brands as a result of excessive advertising campaigns. Influencer marketing is the ideal solution for this problem as it helps to reach people with authenticity and trust.
The smart way is to create ongoing conversations with the followers about the brands through different influencers, with different means and at different time intervals.
The ideal campaigns will help marketers to attract more customers, retain existing customers, increase consumer engagement, strengthen customer loyalty hence to increase brand awareness and profit. This is the power of influencer marketing.
What are the key components of an influencer marketing Strategy?
- Recruitment of influencers
- Selecting the ideal niche influencers
- Content collaboration
- Automating the workflow
- Statistical Analysis
- Optimized Distribution
- Recruitment of influencers
Recruitment of influencers
Searching for influencers on Google seems like an easy way out, yet it is not the most efficient way as marketers may have to deal with unqualified influencers, unreliable sites and most importantly it is a hectic, time consuming task. The ideal influencer should represent the target audience.For this purpose, the marketers need:
- An easy, reliable and efficient method to find qualified niche influencers who are available for partnering and onboarding.
- To eradicate the difficulty handling the individual influencer payments.
- The possibility to centralize all the current influencers in a distinct platform and to track them.
- There are few best ways to identify the influencers for the campaigns.
- Find them organically – Marketers can initiate searching by investigating social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Subscribe to a platform – Databases pull publicly available information for marketers with the help of web scraping.
- With the help of an agency – This is an ideal way for marketers to retrieve real time, reliable information on influencers.
Selecting the ideal niche influencers to promote your brand
The task of selecting influencers is a manual, time consuming process which is always subjective. Marketers can save time and resources by going forward with following suggestions to select their influencers effectively.
- Use a proprietary, algorithmic engine/s that find appropriate influencers automatically based on the desired audience, intended skills and cost.
- Use several criteria to search influencers such as demography, language, the effort to reach them, location and their niche audience.
- Invite or import as many as qualified influencers for the selection process, so marketers can go ahead with the best and also the one time database that marketers create in the process will help marketers in future campaigns.
- Keep a track and scrutinize influencers based on each product, season, audience, budget or nature of the campaign.
The ideal content will be always compelling to its followers, authentic and aligned with the brand advertising objective. Always equip the influencers with a great value of the brands that they would love to talk about. This is the top tip to make the influencer inspired to work for marketers!
The best piece of content is enriched with the audience’s interests, the brand story, and the unique value preposition of the brands. Also, it’s absolutely vital for marketers to find the best suited platform to launch the campaign.
Automating the workflow
Marketers can launch the influencer marketing campaigns of any size, with different complexity levels in different time frames. To get the maximum result of what marketers do, marketers can automate the workflow as discussed below.
Marketers need to possess the ability to:
- Invite influencers and perform assignments as a matter of a button click.
- Maintain direct communication with influencers at any point of the campaign. For this purpose, marketers can use in-app messaging services easily.
- Evaluate the content before it’s published.
- Produce programs with multiple projects (blog, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook etc.) and track all the projects together.
- Work easily with editorial calendars (instant creation, managing and editing)
- Check the project status of each influencer to see if the influencers are invited, they have accepted the job, the assigned task has been scheduled, the content has been published and if they are paid.
- Analyze the audience using various methods to identify the best suited content for the campaign.
Traditional content impressions and click-thru-rates are not enough to gauge the success of the influencer marketing campaign. Marketers need to have a way of real time tracking through the content published on Instagram, Youtube, blog, Facebook and other channels.
To perform a successful analysis which will be accountable for revenue, marketers should:
- Track real time performance across various channels with the help of the statistics based on post reaches, post views and post engagements.
- Critically evaluate the engagement rate in par with total media value.
- Evaluate return on investment against the cost.
- Evaluate the worthiness of each channel or platform based on the return on investment.
- Determine which influencers do the best job by sorting them in terms of post reaches, post views, post engagements, total media value and return on investments.
- Generate reports in various formats.
Influencer marketing strategy doesn’t just stop by the content been published on influencers’ web sites or social media channels. Go beyond that and obtain testimonials from the influencers to use them on your other advertising materials such as in the newsletter. More the brand shares the influencer’s story, the wider the audience becomes!
Continuous refinement and optimization of content distribution is important to improve results. Eventually, this will generate higher revenue impact.
Through optimized distribution, marketers can predict which type of content, what are the social media platforms and which influencers produce the best result even before actually expanding distribution to the target audience.
In today’s marketing industry, the sustainable customer engagement is the key to boost up revenue generation. The six pillars of influencer marketing strategy is the road map to uplift your brand and the business.
What are misconceptions related to influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is TOO MANUAL
This is no longer a valid case. Unlike in past, now you can reach for an influencer marketing platform where you can eliminate over 90% of manual work. Brands find these platforms great as they do the most of the work for them.
Influencer marketing is ONLY FOR BIG BRANDS, not for a small business.
You can find the best influencers that fits in your pocket. Even a micro business can use influencer marketing strategy as a wide variety of influencers are available online to do the work for them. The ultimate importance is to find the correct influencer to reach your niche audience.
The impact generated by influencer marketing can’t be measured.
Based on a study performed by Nielson, it was proven that there’s a definitive sales lift generated as a result of influencer content. There is also number of other studies that proves this point.
Influencer marketing is only CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
Celebrity endorsement is only one piece of influencer marketing. The real influencers are passionate people who can make their voices let out to reach the minds of target customers, not essentially a celebrity!
Influencer marketing is only about ADVERTISING LOOK LIKE CONTENT
An influencer will not only talk about a brand but also talks about his/ her personal experience with the brand. The opinion of the influencer on the brand is what appeals to the target consumers. So, it’s not mere advertising about a feature of a product.
Influencer marketing is always coupled up with the trust. A paid post is not repellent to people as long as what they see in the content is relevant, valuable and provides a solution for their problems.
Influencer marketing is ONLY to find a wide REACH on your campaign
To only obtain a wider reach for an advertisement is an outdated practice in present online marketing. What really matters is the post engagement and the engagement cost.
Time spent to read a blog post, to share a post in a social media platform, to download a content, to watch full videos hosted by an influencer are what really matter and they reflect the real consumer engagement.
Influencer marketing is not just about content reach but about the people engagement.
Influencer marketing is NO DIFFERENT THAN THE DIGITAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
In fact, influencer marketing strategy serves you with the advantage of cost effectiveness. The content creation cost and the distribution cost are the same, which is a completely different case in traditional digital media.
Credits Photo by Cristian Dina from Pexels