Guide to Understanding Influencer Marketing
The popularity of social media is something that nobody can deny anymore. It is surprising to see someone who does not have a profile on at least one of these platforms these days.
And since there are so many active users who engage content every day, it was only a matter of time before others have taken this fact to their advantage. Influencer marketing has become a cornerstone for every brand and the influencers themselves rely on it as a source of income.
It benefits everybody involved. If you have not had an opportunity to try it yourself, then you have come to the right place. This article will work as an excellent guide to give you the most important aspects of everything you need to know about influencers and how to get the most out of their services.
What Is It?
Plenty of individuals think of influencer marketing as celebrities promoting products. While there are some similarities, influencers are not those with millions of followers and known all over the planet.
Since they do not have as many followers and focus on a particular niche, their engagement rate is much higher, making influencers an excellent investment.
Does it Work?
As you can see from the picture above, plenty of people rely on social media whenever they are looking to make a purchase. In fact, most of them spend time browsing it and get redirected from a post on either Instagram or Facebook.
And then there are influencers who specialize themselves in a particular industry and act as authorities whenever they are promoting a new product or services. And since people trust them more than corporations (one of the reasons for clicking that “follow” button), it is understandable that they are more likely to spend the money.
Reaching the audience is what you should aim for. More specifically, it should be an attempt to reach a very specific demographic, one that would be the most likely to buy from you.
Awareness and Traffic
Another aspect that is often underestimated is brand awareness. Think about it as word of mouth in the sense that as soon as you get a positive mention from an influencer, regular people will start to talk about you as well. The word spreads fast and it can become the biggest benefit of having to work with an influencer in the first place.
Another problem that a lot of businesses face, especially at the start, is receiving enough traffic to their website. On top of that, hardly anyone who stumbles upon that site will bother purchasing anything. Getting a targeted demographic to come to your website is extremely difficult.
However, if you were to score some content that promotes more than just your brand name but has a link to the website, consider yourself lucky. On top of that, if there is an opportunity, ask to get a backlink from a blog post. It will boost your SEO rating as well, especially if the blog has high domain authority.
The advantages should be quite clear, right? Now let’s move on to the next point – finding your perfect influencer.
The word “perfect” might be a bit of a stretch since finding such an influencer is more or less impossible. The whole ordeal becomes even harder if you are working in a very narrow niche which automatically limits your available options.
As for the most popular platforms, well, the first thing that comes to mind has to be Instagram. It is the hub for influencers and is mostly used by the younger generation, one which is more capable of using technology and buying stuff online. Given how popular Instagram is, most influencers are putting all their efforts into increasing their presence there. And despite some negative thoughts every now and then, it is highly unlikely that things will change in the future.
Facebook might seem like a decent place as well, but you hardly see a lot of influencers there, especially the ones who are actively promoting stuff. People treat Facebook more as a personal page in which they can share their thoughts and such. Very similar to a blog, so it would be better to not bother with it at all.
YouTube is great for those who believe that longer video promotion would be the most beneficial. And if there are certain YouTubers who would be able to lift things up even higher.
An honorable mention should go to LinkedIn, a platform which has the world’s best professionals around. Even though it is slightly different from other social media websites, it still has a lot to offer.
Other Methods of Searching
Now if you do not feel like entering hashtags and searching for profiles, you can always make use of special tools for finding influencers. A good example would be Buzzsumo.
Also, you could make use of Google or other search engines and look for the influencer directly. The results will likely show you the top of the list, but who knows, even if they are A-tier influencers, you could still land them.
Finally, some people overgo doing everything on their own and simply hire an agency to search for influencers. That is correct. Those exist as well.
Making the List
When you are finished searching, you should have a decent list of potential candidates. Some people will likely struggle to make the cuts. As a rule of thumb, the one thing you should pay the most attention to has to be the overall engagement rate.
There are plenty of self-proclaimed influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers. But if you pay attention to the number of likes and comments they receive, those tend to tell a different story every now and then. Do not even bother with such accounts as you will be wasting your time and money.
Making the Contact
Once you have a list of the candidates, it is time to contact them. Keep in mind that some influencers receive a lot of messages throughout the day and it might be difficult to answer every single one of those. Have some patience.
If there is an opportunity, send an email rather than a direct message on the social media platform. It will look more professional.
Write about your expectations, tell why you want to cooperate with them, ask about the payment, and so on. Once you get a few replies things will become clearer. From there you can start making adjustments and slowly reach the place of finding your best candidate.
Type of Content
This was briefly mentioned before, but it is important to discuss the content you want to be posted by the influencer. While it depends on your budget, it is still possible to get the most out of what little you have, especially with someone who is amenable.
There are a few types of content:
- A single post on social media in which influencers usually take a picture together with the product and give you a shoutout.
- A series of posts leading to the final post which reveals something.
- Video promotion.
- Blog post in the form of a review.
- Contests and giveaways.
- Behind the scenes shots. Usually made in the story mode. This content lasts for only 24 hours and gets deleted afterward.
Affiliate Marketing Offer
Some influencers will certainly not accept doing this but you can still find a couple who would be interested in affiliate marketing proposition.
What are the reasons for doing this? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Influencers will be working harder when they know that there is money on the line. They will get a percentage for every sale they make. Also, it is a more effective strategy for the long-term game. A single post on a social media profile will be forgotten in no time.
When you start working with an influencer, it is important to understand that your relationships should not be one-sided. While creativity should be left to the influencer because he or she understands this side of work better than anyone, you should still have some input. A slight suggestion every now and then to ensure that everything is going the way you want.
Also, maintaining a good relationship should also be one of your priorities. Finding a good influencer is extremely difficult and you never know when you might be in need of another promotional post. There are so many brands that tend to burn the bridges even when there is no need for that.
In summary, after reading this article you should be more than familiar with what influencer marketing is all about. The road to finding your perfect partner in taking the brand to the next level is long and arduous, but the benefits of working together with a great influencer far outweigh any problems that you might encounter when looking for one.