Nowadays, nine out of ten marketers admit that they use influencer marketing to promote their products? And the influencer marketing benchmark report from Influencer Marketing Hub shows that the industry is projected to grow to around $16. 4 billion this year.
If you’re a marketer wanting to venture into social influencer marketing this guide is for you. In this article, we explain in detail what influencer marketing is and how you can use an influencer marketing strategy to grow your brand.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Have you ever bought a product because an influential person or someone you follow on social media recommended it? Well, this kind of marketing is what we call influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is a type of digital marketing where brands collaborate with social media users who have a significant and loyal following and ask them to endorse or recommend their products.
Due to their unique content, knowledge, or authority, influencers successfully gain real followers on social media. Influencers also influence their audience’s buying decisions, since the relationship they have built with their followers is based on social trust.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?
If you’re unsure if social influencer marketing is really something you need to add to your marketing strategy, maybe you’ll change your mind after learning the benefits of this type of digital marketing.
1. Drive Sales
Every business wants to increase its sales and profits.
However, as a brand, it can be extremely difficult to persuade people who don’t know you to buy your products or services.
Social influencer marketing increases sales as it uses the power of trust. Since influencers have already built trust with their followers, it becomes easy for their audience to trust their recommendations.
Besides, consumers are more likely to try a product if they see it being promoted by a person they know. The result is that a brand that collaborates with an influencer will see improved conversion rates.
2. Enhance Brand Awareness
Influencers are social media content creators who have a following that is larger than that of the average social media user. For instance, Nano influencers tend to have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers while mega influencers who are often celebrities and famous people often have more than a million followers.
Since influencers have many followers, they have the power to increase your brand’s visibility among their audience. When an influencer recommends a brand, their followers will notice which increases brand visibility.
3. Reach Your Target Audience
Collaborating with a niche influencer can help reach your targeted audience.
Unlike mega influencers who have massive followings, niche or micro-influencers have a smaller following. However, micro-influencers focus on a particular niche or subject area.
As a brand, when you work with an influencer who specializes in your niche, you’re more likely to reach people who have an interest in your products.
4. Increase Engagement
Are you struggling with creating engaging content? Social influencer marketing can help.
Influencers are content creators that know how to craft and share unique content that attracts high engagement. Besides, influencers know how to use effective tools such as Instagram growth service tools to gain the attention of your potential customers on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Moreover, partnering with an influencer to offer discounts and giveaways can lead to lots of engagement due to the high number of people who will see the post.
In addition, partnering with a micro-influencer is another great way to increase your brand’s engagement rates. Studies show that engagement rates among influencers tend to fall with higher follower counts, meaning that brands shouldn’t overlook the importance of partnering with micro-influencers.
5. Enhance Brand Credibility
An influencer’s power lies in their ability to gain the trust of their audience. By use of authentic and unbiased content, influencers end up building a loyal following.
When an influencer shares an opinion about your brand or gives an honest review about your products or services, the audience is more likely to trust your brand as this information comes from an unbiased source. This further builds credibility and a loyal community for your brand.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
We are living in an age where consumers prefer to make their own purchase decisions.
Besides, today’s customers are well-informed and wary of the marketing tactics used by brands. Around 92% of consumers prefer to seek referrals from people they know before buying a product.
As a brand, gaining the trust of your target audience is essential if you want them to buy your products. The reason b2b influencer marketing works is that it involves the use of peers and people customers trust to influence purchasing decisions.
But where do you start if you want to use influencer marketing as one of your marketing strategies? Let’s look at how you can develop an influencer marketing strategy for your business.
Know Your Target Audience
The first thing you do before hiring an influencer is to know your potential customers. Start by coming up with a buyer person or a detailed description of your target audience.
Also, do some research and find out which social sites your target audiences are on and the type of content they love.
Information about your targeted audience will help you when it comes to choosing the right influencer for your niche.
What Are Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with influencer marketing? Do you want to increase sales, build engagement, or improve SEO? It’s important to outline the objectives you hope to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign.
However, even as you come up with such broad goals, remember to make them more specific. For instance, if you want to improve your brand’s visibility, decide the specific audience you’re targeting.
Having goals makes it easier for the influencer to know your expectations. It will also be easier for them to come up with a content strategy that aligns with the objectives of the campaign.
Choose the Right Influencer
You’ll need to decide on the type of influencer for your brand, as influencers are different. The various types of influencers include:
- Nano influencers have 10k followers or fewer
- Micro-influencers have between 10k and 100k followers
- Macro influencers have 100k to 1 million followers
- Mega influencers have more than a million followers
If you’re having a difficult time finding influencers, you can use social listening to help you find the most influential influencers in your niche.
Also, the below questions can help you find an influencer who is a good fit for your brand.
- What is their niche?
- Who is their audience?
- What kind of content do they share?
- What products do they promote?
- What are their engagement rates?
- What’s their budget?
- What brands have they worked with in the past?
Reach Out to the Influencer
Most influencers are easy to reach as you can directly message them.
Unfortunately, if an influencer is too busy, or they feel you aren’t right for their niche, they may turn down your offer.
If you really want to work with a certain influencer but you’re afraid they may say no to your partnership, it may be a good idea to engage with their content first before you message them. For instance, you can share their posts or retweet their tweets to increase your chances of getting them to notice you. This way, by the time you message them, you won’t be a stranger, and you’ll have a better chance of working with them.
Measure Your Success
Your goals can help you determine if you’re making progress. If you’re not meeting your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), then there is a problem, and you may need to change your influencer marketing strategy
Also, remember to measure relevant metrics. For instance, metrics such as conversion rates and the number of new followers may mean more for your bottom line than the number of likes and comments.
How Effective Is Influencer Marketing?
Advertising your brand through social influencer marketing allows you to promote your products through someone known and trusted by your potential customers. This authentic way of promotion is becoming incredibly popular among brands due to its ability to produce great results.
Here are statistics that will give you a sneak peek of just how effective influencer marketing has become in recent years.
According to a 2016 study done by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, content from influencer marketing provides 11 times more Return on Investment (ROI) than other traditional forms of marketing. Besides, another study done in 2019 found that influencer marketing generates returns of up to $18 for every $1 spent.
Influencer marketing also continues to gain popularity. For instance, despite the coronavirus pandemic, influencer marketing grew from a small industry of about 1.7 billion in 2016 to a sizable 9.7 billion industry in 2020 according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Further, the industry is set to grow by about $13.8 billion this year.
The majority of firms have also embraced social influencer marketing, with many choosing to increase their influencer marketing budget due to its effectiveness.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing is also not in doubt, as evidenced by past research. Survey data from an influencer marketing benchmark report provided by Influencer Marketing Hub indicates that 90% of the surveyed respondents reported that influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.
How Can Businesses Assess the ROI from Influencer Marketing?
If you want to get value for money from your social influencer marketing campaign, you must measure its ROI. Unfortunately, according to some recent surveys, only 67% of brands measure their influencer marketing Return on Investment (ROI).
If you need some insights on how to start measuring your influencer marketing campaign ROI, here are a few that can help.
Set Your Goals
As mentioned earlier, you must know what you want to achieve with your influencer campaigns. Having clear goals will help you come up with relevant KPIs that can help you measure your success.
So, let’s look at some of the goals and their KPIs that can help you measure influencer marketing ROI.
If the goal of your influencer marketing campaign is to make your audience familiar with your brand, you’ll need to measure metrics related to brand awareness, which include:
- Reach, which is the number of people who had seen your content for the first time
- Impressions refer to how many social media users have seen your content. You can track impressions using social media’s built-in analytics
- New mentions refer to the number of social media users that are mentioning your brand
- Traffic refers to the number of users who visit your site daily, especially the ones coming from the influencer’s posts
- Search volumes are the number of people searching for your brand
Increase in Sales
For most marketers, their number one goal for using social influencer marketing is to increase sales. Some of the measures you can use to track sales attributed to an influencer include:
- Use tractable links. You should track everything that contributes to sales, as this will help you know if the sale can be attributed to influencer marketing.
- Use coupon codes or distinct codes that you can personalize to a particular influencer
Is your goal to drive engagement through influencer marketing? Then you need to know the number of users who take action when it comes to your influencer’s social media marketing.
How many likes, comments, clicks, retweets, and clicks are you getting for every post made by the influencer?
Remember engagement can also be an indicator of future growth and sales as the people who engage with your brand now may end up being your potential customers in the future.
Some metrics you can use to measure engagement include:
- Number of likes, comments, retweets, and shares
- Growth of followers on your social media platforms
- Cost per engagement
- Number of new subscribers in your email list
- Number of users who add products to their cart
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Agency?
As a brand or marketer, you can make some extra income from influencer marketing by creating a b2b influencer marketing agency.
An influencer marketing agency acts as the link between brands and influencers. Unlike other marketing agencies that offer an array of marketing services, an influencer marketing agency’s sole focus is on using social media influencers to promote brands’ products or services.
Some other roles played by Influencer agencies include:
- Find and connect the right influencers with brands
- Reach out to relevant influencers and handle all communications relating to the influencer contracts with clients
- Create and monitor influencer marketing campaigns
- Create a content strategy for social media campaigns
- Analyze metrics and results of influencer marketing campaigns
So, do you want to start an influencer marketing agency? Here are steps you can follow to build a successful influencer agency.
Know the industry – You need to be knowledgeable about the influencer marketing industry. So, if you’re new to the industry, learn everything you can about it. No brand will be willing to work with an amateur, which is why you must know your stuff. Being knowledgeable about the industry will also ensure you gain the trust of influencers.
Come up with a business plan – As boring as it may sound, it’s important to come up with a marketing plan before you launch your agency. Define your goals, vision, and mission. Additionally, you should do some research on your targeted audience and what works for them. While at it, don’t forget to come up with a name for your agency.
Set up a website– If you want to succeed in digital marketing, you should have an active online presence. Start by setting up an appealing website, as most customers will look you up online. Also, create accounts on various social media platforms and ensure they’re active. Ensure your website and social media accounts have all the necessary information about you. For instance, include your contacts, location, and the services you offer.
Make your business legal – Even if your business is purely online, you need to legalize it. Ensure you get the required licenses and permits. Also, register for taxes and follow the law to save your business from legal wrangles and lawsuits.
Reach out to influencers – As an influencer marketing agency, you’ll need to collaborate with influencers regularly. Have a list of influencers you can contact for particular influencer campaigns. At the start, you’ll most likely have the attention of nano and micro-influencers only. Don’t be discouraged, as many small brands prefer working with such influencers. Besides, as you gain experience and become successful, you can expand your list of influencers to include macro and mega influencers.
Today, consumers are looking for authentic recommendations from people they trust. Influencer marketing provides the perfect avenue for brands to promote their products through everyday social media users who have gained the trust of their followers.
Hopefully, this guide will help you get started with your influencer marketing campaign and also help you set up a successful b2b influencer marketing agency.