Influencer Marketing: Is It for Your Brand?

Does influencer marketing actually work? Is it worth the cost you will pay? Will it really bring you more sales? Or is it just one of the recent fads that will be gone by next month?

In this guide, we discuss what influencer marketing is, who can call themselves an influencer, the types of campaigns an influencer may do with a business and discussing whether or not it is something your business may want to consider using.

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is a person who has:

  • a large and engaged social media following
  • the ability to influence the behaviours, opinions and purchase decisions of their followers
  • specialised in a specific niche or industry
  • partners with brands for money to promote products or services to their followers
There are four types of influencers:
  1. Mega influencers - have more than one million followers and are most often celebrities such as movie stars and sportspeople. Their services are costly, often $1 million per post and are best suited to large corporations, luxury brands and brands wanting to reach a broad audience.
  2. Macro influencers - have between 100 thousand and one million followers. These influencers are best suited to large startup brands and non profit organisations.
  3. Micro influencers - have between 10 thousand and 100 thousand followers. These influencers have a specific niche they focus in and have a 60% higher engagement rate than macro influencers. They are more affordable, but still likely only for medium sized brands. 
  4. Nano influencers - have less than 10 thousand influencers. These influencers have a very high and authentic engagement with their followers and have a highly specific niche topic. Offering the smallest reach, these influencers are favoured by brands who want to target a specific audience for a lower cost. 

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing where individual influencers endorse and mention products to their social followers. Influencer marketing is a successful type of marketing for many businesses because there is a large amount of trust of social influencers from their followers. Their recommendation of your product is a type of social proof, which is one of the key things customers consider during their purchasing journey.

Types of Influencer Campaigns

An influencer may offer your business an option of marketing campaigns such as:

  • brand ambassadorships - the influencer becomes a spokesperson for the brand. This works on growing brand awareness and the influencer is the face of your brand in all ad content.
  • sponsored posts - these are promotional social media posts that you pay the influencer to create and post. These posts must be clearly disclosed as being part of a paid marketing partnership.
  • affiliate marketing - the influencer offers their followers a special discount code to use to purchase from your website. Purchases are then motivated to buy products for less and the influencer is motivated to share the code as they earn money for every conversion from your brand.
  • unboxings and reviews - you send the influencer free products to use. They create an unboxing video which shows their real time reactions to the product, and then afterwards share their experiences using the product. You are likely going to pay the influencer as well as giving free products.
  • contests and giveaways - your brand gives the influencer free products for them to run a giveaway campaign. The influencer tells their followers what to do to enter, such as leaving a comment on a post and promotes your product at the same time. You are likely going to pay the influencer separately for this to the product. 
  • pre-release content - the influencer shares with their followers on social media products or services from your brand which are currently not available to the public. You will need to give the influencer the product and pay them separately for their work. 

Choosing the Right Influencer for Your Brand

Just because you can afford to pay an individual influencer, or they reached out to you for free products or they have lots of followers, doesn't necessarily mean they are the best choice of influencer for your brand. You will need to choose one which:

  • is relevant to your target audience - does the influencer's values, content and audience align with yours? 
  • works within your niche -  you choose depending on whether you are wanting to target a small specific niche audience or as many people as you can.
  • you are happy with the number of and engagement levels with their followers - are their followers likely to be interested in your brand?
  • uses the social media platforms you want the content displayed on - this depends on the target audience of both your brand and the influencer. 
  • can promote a strong message to their followers - you want an influencer who is able to craft a message that their followers understand, engage and resonate with.
  • is affordable for your brand - as discussed earlier, some influencers are cheaper than others. But being cheap and affordable doesn't necessarily mean they are are good fit for your brand. 
  • quality of content - do they produce high quality graphics and text for their posts?
  • frequency of posts - this is both how often you would like your content shared by the influencer and how often they schedule their posts.
  • reputation - are you happy with their reputation and are ok with it being associated with your brand?
  • authenticity - does the influencer come across as being an authentic, genuine person? Or are they pretending and acting the role?

Creating a Marketing Campaign with an Influencer

Then there are three key things to be aware of when creating an influencer marketing campaign. They are: 

  • identifying the right influencer - this is by far the most important task, so make sure you use the points in the paragraph above to make the right decision for your brand.
  • creating campaign goals and strategy - identify what your specific goals are for the campaign. What will the influencer do to achieve them? How will you measure success and return on investment? Does the influencer have a specific marketing strategy they use with brands, and if so are you happy with it? Or will you need to develop a marketing strategy for the influencer?
  • quality content creation - the majority of the time the influencer will create their own content in which to promote your brand or product. However you will need to give them the right images, contact details and logo. Look through their previous posts; are you happy with the quality of them? Or do they want you to produce the content for them instead? 

The next big question is, is using an influencer a good idea for your business? This is quite a difficult question to answer and will depend upon multiple factors. Costs, target audience, products or services, suitability of having similar values and beliefs as your business, and whether you will get enough of a return on investment to make it worth while - which will depend upon what your goals for using an influencer are.

Tags: marketing  

Posted: Tuesday 23 April 2024

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