Influencer marketing on social media has been on the rise for years now. However most brands are still trying to figure it out.
In this guide we will walk you through every aspect of influencer marketing. After you’ve read this guide you’ll have a clear understanding of how Influencer marketing fits into your Social Media strategy.
Table of Contents:
- What is Influencer Marketing?
- What are the benefits of Influencer marketing?
- Is influencer marketing dead?
- How does influencer marketing work?
- Is Influencer marketing overrated?
- What are the key strategies in Influencer marketing?
- What are Micro Influencers?
- How do you measure ROI with influencer marketing?
- How do you start in influencer marketing?
- How can I find Influencers on Youtube?
- How to find Influencers on Instagram
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing (a.k.a. influence marketing) is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements from influencers, people and organizations who possess an expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields.
Simply put, influencer marketing is getting a person with a following on social media to share a product with their following.
What are the benefits of Influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a powerful combination of a celebrity endorsement and word of mouth.
Influencers have followers who trust them. They are mini-celebrities. If the influencer mentions a product to their followers, it’s like a trusted suggestion to a friend. When an influencer posts about your brand, some of the followers will check the product out and maybe even buy your product.
For brands with limited budgets influencer marketing can be a huge success.
Is influencer marketing dead?
Influencer marketing is far from dead. In fact, influencer marketing is just getting started.
Here are a few Influencer Marketing Statistics you need to know:
- 70% of millennials are influenced by the recommendations of their peers. Source
- 51% of marketers say influencer content outperforms brand-created content. Source
- Influencer marketing generates 11X more ROI than traditional forms of marketing – Source
Influencer marketing has changed in recent years, and at times has gotten a bad wrap. However
How does influencer marketing work?
Influencer marketing is a lot simpler than most make it out to be.
The way it works is that you find someone on social media who you want promote your product. You both agree on a price (the promotion can be free as well). And the influencer creates a post telling their followers about your product or service.
Thats pretty much it…
However the devil is in the details. There are many other factors to consider when you are doing influencer marketing.
Sometimes you will have to pay the influencer to promote your product. Can you afford their rates?
Sometimes the influencer may not want to promote your product all because your product may not be in line with the influencer’s brand.
Their reputation is on the line with each post they make.
If your brand doesn’t match the influencer’s goals they will usually decline to post your product.
This is different from other advertising methods where as long as you have the budget, and your product meets the platform criteria. Facebook and google will gladly take your money.
Is Influencer marketing overrated?
No way, if anything Influencer marketing is underrated. While not as easy to turn on and off as Facebook or Youtube ads, the impact of Influencers is undeniable.
In fact influencer marketing has a very long history. It is the evolution of celebrity endorsements, only now it’s on social media.
Just look at brands like Nike, and Jordan, and most recently Revolve.
Let’s take a look at a few brands that use Influencer Marketing and celebrity endorsements as main strategy.
These are great Influencer Marketing Examples:
Nike began sponsoring Athletes with free products since the early 1970’s. One of their first most notable endorsements were with a 22 year old running phenom Steve Prefontaine who competed in the 1972 Olympics in then upstart Nike’s running shoes.
Gym Shark Apparel
Gym Shark is currently the UK’s fastest growing company. The company founded in 2012 sells fashionable fitness apparel. They got their start by sending their weight lifting tank tops to Youtube influencers. Today, they sponsor influencers across Instagram and Youtube and regularly hold live in person fitness events around the world.
Revolve is the coolest brand you’ve never heard of. The company owns a collection of 18 ecommerce brands online. Revolve went public on the stock market in 2019 and is now worth over $2billion. The key to their success? Influencers. Revolve is partnered up with over 3,000 influencers. Last year the company spent $75million sponsoring influencers, paying them to wear their clothes, and flying them around the world to the most exclusive parties and events.
Daniel Wellington went from nothing to over $200million in annual sales in under 4 years. How? You guessed it – Influencer marketing. The Swiss watch company was Europe’s fastest growing between 2013-2015. The company was one of the first companies to execute the Instagram influencer marketing strategy at scale. Back then, all you had to do was contact someone with a cool profile, and offer them a cool watch. Using this Filip Tysander the founder of Daniel Wellington was able to turn his $15,000 investment into over $200million in sales.
Tupperware was founded by Earl Tupper in 1938. However just a few years later in the early 1940’s his company was struggling. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when he hired Brownie Wise, a Divorced and cash-strapped advice columnist that Tupperware took off. She started a business called “Patio Parties” where she held parties as a way to connect with friends AND sell Tupperware products.
It wasn’t until the 1950’s when he hired Brownie Wise, a Divorced and cash-strapped advice columnist that Tupperware took off. She started a business called “Patio Parties” where she held parties as a way to connect with friends AND sell Tupperware products.
These brands leveraged one simple fact: People trust other people. Instead of convincing consumers to buy by saying how great you are. Let influencers evangelize your brand for you.
What are the key strategies in Influencer marketing?
Here are a 7 tips to ensuring your influencer marketing campaign is successful.
- Think long term.
While influencer marketing can yield short-term results, it is helpful to view your influencer marketing strategy as a long game.
Your goal is to build ongoing relationships and credibility with your campaigns. Creating an ongoing influencer marketing strategy will allow you to gain traction, and a reputation in whatever market you’re trying to reach.
- Develop a creative vision.
Having a clear creative vision for the campaign, and communicating this to the influencer gives them ideas for how they can present your brand to your audience.
You can do this by researching influencer campaigns in your niche.
- Define your goals.
Are your goals reach, or sales, or content?
Once you define your goals ensure you design your influencer campaign to achieve your desired outcome.
- Create an influencer marketing calendar. With your influencer campaign you will likely work with multiple influencers. It is important to develop a calendar, for say 2-3 months, and plan out exactly when each influencer will promote your product.
- Define your budget. Influencer campaigns are rarely free. In most cases you will at least have to provide free products to influencers. You also may have to pay to get the influencer to create a post for you. It is important for you to define your budget so that you can decide what size of influencers you can work with.
- Set a criteria for your influencers.
Set expectations for exactly what kinds of influencers you want to work with. This might be influencers with less than 10,000 followers because they are more likely to accept free products, or influencers between 100k-500k because you’re looking to gain lots of awareness.
- Track results.
Be sure that you are tracking the results from your campaign. Influencer marketing isn’t as mature as google search or Facebook ads. It is your responsibility to track impressions, clicks and sales.
What are Micro Influencers?
It depends on who you ask. It varies by niche, and platform. But in our book, an Instagram micro influencer any profile with less than 100,000 followers. These people are usually focused on a specific niche such as travel or fitness.
Usually what defines a micro influencer is their reach how much they are able to command as far as sponsorship rates.
Micro Influencer rates tend to be less than $500/post.
How do you measure ROI with influencer marketing?
There are many ways to benefit the return on investment (ROI) of influencer marketing. This will vary by the size of your brand, and your marketing goals.
Depending on type of influencer campaign you’re executing here are a few ways to measure your ROI with influencer marketing campaign:
If you’re a large brand with the campaign objective of reach, you can measure by impressions, mentions, and reach of the influencer content, and lift in any paid media.
If your goal is to bring awareness back to your profile on social media you can measure new followers and profile visits.
If your goal is to get signups or sales you can measure clicks, and sales.
These aren’t all that different from your other campaigns, you’ll just have to do the legwork ahead of time to track each post, and update your campaign if it’s not performing in line with your expectations.
How do you start in influencer marketing?
First you should decide what kind of influencers you want to use to promote your product.
Here are three questions to ask before searching for influencers:
What kind of person do you want to promoting your products? What niche are they in?
Do you have budget for large influencers, or do you want to give free product in exchange for a smaller influencer endorsement?
Finally, do you want to collaborate with influencers on Youtube or on Instagram or both?
Once you’ve answered these questions you can start your search for the right influencers to work with.
How can I find Influencers on Youtube?Step 1: On Youtube search for keywords related to your topic.
Start there to see the most popular pages. Open each of the relevant pages in a new tab.
Step 2: Click into each video. On the right hand column is a section called “Up Next”, and open up tabs with videos related to your brand.
Step 3: On each of these videos visit the Channel page, go to “related channels” on the right hand side of the page. Open the relevant videos in new tabs.
Continue to build your list by searching difference keywords, finding videos in the search results, then finding related videos, then finding related channels.
Step 4. For each youtube influencer you find that you want to work with, click on the “ABOUT” tab, and the contact information should be available near the bottom of the page.
Step 5. Add each channel, subscribers, contact information to a spreadsheet.
How to find Influencers on Instagram
Step 1: use the search box to find profiles related to the hashtags related to your brand.
Check out each of the trending videos for your hashtags, and visit these profiles.
Once you find a profile that matches the type of influencer you had in mind click to the profile.
Step 2: To find similar influencers to contact click on the “related profiles” arrow.
This will show you profiles that are similar the the profile you are viewing.
Step 3: Open each one of the related influencer profiles in new tabs.
Step 4: Save each Influencer you may want to work with to a spreadsheet that includes, Instagram profile name, and follower count.
Step 5: If the influencer has an email address in the bio add the email to your spreadsheet. If not, visit each influencer profile on your phone in the Instagram app to get the contact information.
Influencer marketing is simply an evolution of the time-tested celebrity endorsement, and word of mouth. The most successful consumer businesses have used these strategies to build brand loyalty, and stand out from their competitors. To get started with influencer marketing, remember to ask the right questions when you create your strategy, and commit to testing over a few months with multiple influencers and campaign goals. Once you master influencer marketing, the content and credibility you gain will quickly boost all of your other social media marketing activities.