Today’s marketplace is an overcrowded environment for brands, with the majority competing for the same target audience. This situation has forced businesses to fight for the attention of potential clients through a different approach; hence, the onset of influencer marketing.
Over the last couple of years, influencer marketing has become an integral part of the social media marketing strategy for many brands. Its ability to drive sales more effectively than other traditional marketing approaches has seen influencer marketing lauded by both B2C and B2B marketers.
As the popularity of influencer marketing continues to grow, some brands remain unsure about the smartest ways of adopting the influence of social media personalities to boost their business. While there are many benefits of influencer marketing, it can be a confusing and rather complex strategy to launch and manage.
A successful influencer marketing strategy enables you to increase brand exposure while building authority in your industry. It also drives traffic to your site, getting new leads to purchase your products and services. However, for this to succeed, you ought to have an excellent hosting platform for your website. Checking out the features of Kinsta and WP engine would be a good start.
What is Influencer Marketing?
At a fundamental level, influencer marketing is a strategy that identifies social media users with a strong influence on a brand’s target audience. A brand forms a partnership with the influencer wherein the latter agrees to expose their audience to the company’s message or content.
This type of marketing works because of the high levels of trust that the influencers have built with their following. The recommendations from them act as a form of social proof for their followers to love your brand. Such social media influencers often have a large and engaged audience. Businesses benefit a lot as they get in front of their target market in a natural, positive, and meaningful way.
Take a look at these statistics, which will give you a clearer picture of why influencer marketing is a popular tactic to drive up sales:
- Only 1% of millennials trust advertisements, while 33% trust blog reviews before making a purchase.
- 40% of people reported having purchased a product or service after seeing an influencer they follow on social platforms use it.
- 71% of social media influencers believe that their audience gets engaged through an honest and authentic voice.
- According to research by Tomoson, influencer marketing yields up to $6.50 in returns for every dollar invested,
Getting Started with Influencer Marketing
It is easy to understand why influencer marketing is a red-hot topic right now. But how do you capitalize on it?
Here are five tactics, based on current influencer marketing trends, to help you create and launch a successful influencer marketing campaign:
1. Set your goals and key performance indicators
As with any other smart marketing plan, always start by documenting your goals. What do you intend to achieve with such a campaign? Having your goals clearly defined in your early stages enables you to develop a consistent, winning strategy throughout the campaign.
Moreover, setting your goals before taking any marketing action helps you to come up with the metrics you should track and monitor to assess the performance of the strategy.
Some of the key performance indicators (KPIs) to consider when running an influencer marketing campaign are:
- Brand Awareness – more people recognize and like your brand.
- Audience Building – getting more followers and subscribers to your social platforms.
- Engagement – getting more likes, comments, and shares on your content.
- Lead Generation – having more people signing up for your offers.
- Sales – more people are purchasing your products/services.
- Customer Loyalty – having many more people remaining interested in and connected with your brand.
- Link building – getting more backlinks to your website.
2. Understand the influencer landscape
Once your goals are well-defined, another critical component of influencer marketing is finding a relevant and trusted influencer. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a social media influencer for your brand. However, the right candidate has to be in tune with your audience’s desire and needs.
For some years now, Instagram has been the only platform that comes to mind when influencer marketing is mentioned. In fact, this site accounted for 92% of all influencer marketing in 2017. However, as time went by, other platforms came up. As a smart marketer, it would be prudent to incorporate other platforms where your target audience might be found.
According to CEO World, there are about 16 types of influencer marketers to choose from. As you consider your options, try to explore the following:
- Social media stars
- Industry experts
- Thought leaders, etc.
3. Determine fair compensation
Influencer marketing costs vary and often depend on the status and reach of the influencer. There is always room for negotiation on the price (except for some well-established and successful influencers). However, the cost should always be viewed from the lenses of ROI while taking into account the specific KPIs you set.
Overall, influencer marketing is a much lower investment with a larger return on investment than other forms of marketing. Some influencers might even consider striking a mutually-acceptable deal, especially if they fall in love with your products or services.
4. Give the influencers creative freedom
Influencers have built their following thanks to their creativity and personality. It would be prudent to allow them to exercise creative control of the campaign when promoting your brand. You should know that people are uninterested and tired of being bombarded with ads every other time. This is precisely why you should market content and stay away from traditional advertisements.
5. Continuous tracking and assessment
It might feel like a victory seeing your brand mentioned on social media. However, just getting an influencer to promote your business isn’t a sign of marketing success. This will only get determined if you’ve reached your influencer marketing goals.
The digital landscape is rapidly shifting and those not keeping up with the trends are still losing customers, wasting their ad budgets, and continuously shrinking their market share. Luckily, influencer marketing has been extremely successful in driving brand awareness.
A well-executed marketing strategy will help you achieve the majority (if not all) of your initial goals. By following the five tips outlined above, your brand stands to nurture a deeper and more organic relationship with the target audience. Elevate your brand’s visibility, awareness, and outreach naturally and effectively by trying out influencer marketing.