Influencer marketing can be a great way to build up your brand on social media, without relying on your own profiles or the more traditional advertising options offered by these platforms.
An estimated 80% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective and around 66% plan to increase spending on it. Discover more about the benefits of working with influencers in this post.
We’ve written about influencers before and started with Influencer Marketing: What is it and How does it Work? And then explained How to select influencers, as well as What makes one influencer stand out from the rest? And How Micro-Influencers are Making a Big Splash. At this stage some big names started getting involved and Amazon launched its own influencer programme. There are downsides and there have been some Influencer marketing campaign fails. This article looks at the benefits with more tips on how to recruit the right influencers for your brand.
Why Work with Influencers?
The biggest benefits of working with influencers are:
- Reaching the right audience: the best influencers have large audiences of followers who often fit into a specific demographic or share the same interests. Working with an influencer enables you to reach out to these people on social media. It can be particularly effective at targeting younger people or reaching out to niche audiences.
- Increasing engagement and conversions: the term influencer is used because these individuals can have a big impact on their followers. People are more likely to engage with posts made by influencers than those put up by businesses or to make purchases based on these recommendations. One survey found 40% of people had bought an item after they saw an influencer use it.
- Shaping your brand: connecting with the right influencers can have a huge impact on how your brand is perceived. It can also build a sense of trust and authenticity because influencers posts can be perceived as more “real” than posts made under your brand name.
- Boosting your search rankings: getting your brand mentioned on blogs and social media can help make it more visible on search engines. Every time an influencer or their followers mention your brand, it boosts your search rank.
- Cost-effective marketing: influencer marketing can be a very cost-effective strategy. One estimate found that every dollar spent on it could return up to $11.69 of earned media value (conversions, reviews, brand mentions etc). Hiring a celebrity influencer is expensive, but smaller scale influencers can connect you to niche audiences at a much lower cost.
How to Access Influencers
Influencer marketing can be very effective, but you must find the right influencers for your brand and come up with a strategy that suits both partners. You need an influencer with the right audience and reach. The influencer must also feel able to talk about your product in an authentic way that suits their own image.
Choose Your Influencer
You need to find an influencer whose followers match your target audience. The content they post should also be relevant to your brand so that the marketing campaign fits in well. Ideally, your influencer will have a genuine interest in your brand – if they’ve mentioned it before then this could be the basis for a great partnership. It’s not enough to find TV celebrities who are well-known but don’t relate to your brand or product category. I was doing some work with a men’s luxury goods brand where formal suits were the order of the day, but an agency working on tandem with this brand suggested various celebs who on Instagram wore swimwear all day long – not ideal for promoting accessories to wear for a black tie occasion!
The best way to find your influencer is to search for people who are mentioning your brand or talking about your sector on social networks. Keep an eye on relevant hashtags or look for the most active participants in relevant discussions. You can also look among your own followers or check for active followers of related brands or influencers.
Many competitor tracking and social media analytics tools such as BuzzSumo can help you to identify these potential influencers. You can then compare how many followers they have and monitor their engagement rates. Use these metrics to narrow down the options and then take a look at the content they are posting. You need to be sure that you’re choosing the right people to represent your brand, especially if you’re planning a longer term partnership.
Set Out the Terms
It is vital to treat influencers just like any other business relationship. If you’re paying for content then you need a contract. You need to tell the influencer what you expect them to deliver and when, although it helps to be a bit flexible so that they can remain authentic and have some creative freedom.
It is also important to set out the financial terms of the relationship. If all you want is a one-off review from an influencer with a smaller audience, it might be enough to offer a free product. However, if you’re expecting a powerful influencer to produce high quality sponsored content, you will need to offer more.
The cost will depend on the type of content you want and the reach of the influencer. The biggest celebrity influencers can expect to be paid thousands for a single post. For example, Selena Gomez has been paid $550,000 for one Instagram post.
As a general rule, you should expect to spend about $10-20 per 1000 followers if you’re paying by post. If you’re paying per view, like or sale, then you should expect to spend anything from $50-750 per 1000 engagements.
Track the Response
Once the content is released, you should monitor the effects just as you would with any marketing campaign. Make sure that the content meets the expectations set out in your contract. Keep track of the engagement rate for the campaign and how well it has converted into sales.