Before now, an influencer marketing pitch was typical with only celebrities and a few devoted bloggers. But that has changed immensely. Social media influence has risen and overwhelmed the market.
Influencers build up trust with their high following. Hence, endorsement from them saves as social proof to your prospective clients. When you see a celebrity or someone you look up to on social media wear something or use stuff, there’s a chance you’ll love that too.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a partnership between a business and an influencer. It entails working with an online influencer to market your products or services. It could also be to create awareness and improve brand recognition. Therefore, it is a business strategy used to promote business.
According to Neil Patel, Influencer marketing is the process by which brands leverage well-known figures who have influence over their target markets to promote their brands.
An influencer can be anyone, not necessarily a celebrity. So, what’s influential about these people? Their follower count on the web and social media! An influencer can be a well-read blogger, a photographer on Instagram or anyone with a large following. Influencers are found within every industry; all you’ve got to do is find them.
“There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.” Malcolm Goldwell
Some can have hundreds of thousands (millions even) of followers, while many will seem more like ordinary people. Others may have only thousands but have a considerable reputation. And also be viewed as experts in their field. These are those that make very engaging posts on social media. They provide answers to people’s questions and share the best pictures and videos. In addition, they run informative online discussions.
What can this form marketing do for practice?
- Reach a bigger audience
- Build trust for your brand
- Grow your social following
- Increase site traffic
- Get more leads
- Drive sales
How to create an influencer marketing strategy
Every market strategy requires deliberate planning. Thus, influencer marketing is no different. It is common to make a general approach and use different influencers, but one size does not fit all. Your tactic should be geared towards a particular influencer; you’re not simply looking for popularity. You want to elicit an action from your audience.
An influencer can have a huge following and still not bring in any returns. So, do not automatically assume that someone with a high following is an influencer.
Popularity does not always yield influence. Good influencers have popularity and loyalty. They have earned media, not artificial media. You may see one with millions of followers, but their post has about a thousand reactions and even less engagement- that can generate no influence. It is, therefore, not the mistake you want to make.
“Growing online presence is important. But let’s get real about influence. Presence doesn’t equal influence. Presence can be measured in social media followings. Influence can’t.”- Martha Giffen.
Martha Giffen’s influencer marketing quote is an affirmation that numbers aren’t everything. Follower count, in theory, has nothing to do with influence. However, what the numbers represent has everything to do with.
What you need to know
According to tapinfluence, you need to know that influencer marketing:
- It’s here to stay
- It’s no longer about celebrities
- It is about trust.
How to find influencers
Which platform do you want to focus on at the moment? You should start with one, but you can continually expand to others later. It goes without saying you should already be on the platform you’re choosing. When you answer this, what comes up next is research. Much like any plan, research is the first step.
Unsure of where to begin? Social listening is your go-to. Use social listening to find out where people are talking about your products and services. Then find the most influential voices in your industry on each platform.
While researching, give attention to the type of influencers you’re interested in. Is it a high following or celebrities? Because your choice will determine your budget.
In 2017, influence.co published the results of their research into Instagram influencer payment. They looked at the average cost per Instagram post and found:
- The overall average price was $271 per post.
- The average price for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83 per post.
- The average price for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763 per post.
Set a budget and management strategy
A successful influencer marketing campaign involves careful monitoring and follow-up.
Several others might have hired the influencer you hire. So, they may fall behind on their commitments and not post on time. Or even miss out on your call to action in the post. Therefore, It is your responsibility to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Create time to be more practical with these relationships to nurture them and enhance your approach.
Decide on goals and message
Before you go for an influencer, figure out your WHY. Are you looking to elevate brand awareness or increase sales? Look at what your practice needs are.
Do you have a new product or service you want to put out? Or do you want to educate your audience on your brand values? Whatever your goals are, the right influencers can help you achieve them.
Influencer outreach: How to contact influencers
Back to step one: research. With a plan set around your network, goals and what types of influencers you want to target, we go back to researching to actually find the right influencers to work with.
During this research, keep in mind the below:
- Does the influencer already post about similar things to your service? For example, if you’re a restaurant and want to promote a new menu, you should look for influencers who regularly post about dining out and the food they eat.
- Are they legit? This means scrolling through their feed and clicking through on posts. A poor engagement ratio to follower count and spam-like comments are signs of a fraudulent account.
- Have they worked with similar brands before? Depending on what type of influencer you’re looking for, a seasoned one will be able to show you a press kit that contains a portfolio of their work. The more you invest in an influencer, the more you’ll want to vet them.
You can also use Twitter analytics tools to identify potential influencers that will fit your campaigns.
Next, determine how you’ll be reaching out to them. For micro-influencers, you could reach out directly in a private message on the same platform. For more established ones, click around their profile, and they may list contact information for business inquiries in their bio. They may also link a website that denotes brand partnerships. –Sproutsocial
“If done properly, influencers communicate a brand’s message in authentic ways,” stated Daniel Brunson, ABOC of Hicks Brunson Eyewear. “These are real people who use the products they are posting about. If they are posting pictures of themselves talking about how much they like their newest pair of glasses and the local eye care provider where they came from, their followers are going to notice.”